En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 01, 2010

From: Pittsfield, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Seasonal Tasks, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers planted in Pittsfield, IL to bloom the first of October
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

If I plant my wildflower seeds now in Illinois, is it possible they will bloom in three months (by the very beginning of October)?

ANSWER:

Our first thought was to say that couldn't be done. However, we are not as familiar with the growing habits of wildflowers in Illinois as we are those in Texas, and couldn't find anything right offhand that said "this seed shall be planted at this time, etc." We did find several excellent websites on Illinois wildflowers, to which we will give you links so you can do some further research on when and where to plant the flowers you want.

In our Native Plant Database, we can search for annual flowers (which would ordinarily be planted from seed) that bloom in September and October and select some that are attractive. The catch is, some of those that bloom that late in the year started blooming months earlier, like July, and the seeds may be so confused that they won't even germinate until next Spring, because that is when we would ordinarily recommend annual wildflowers be planted in your area of west central Illinois, USDA Hardiness Zones 5b to 6a.

It sounds like you already have a wildflower mix you want to plant, in which case the information we give you won't be of much use to you. If that is the situation, go ahead and plant them right now and see what happens. Read the instructions on the packet for planting in sun or shade, watering and so forth. It should also say on the package when to plant the seeds, and we bet it's early Spring. Or you can keep the seeds and plant them in early Spring, because we only found three Illinois wildflowers that bloom in September or October.

Illinois Wildflowers

University of Illinois Extension Wildflowers

Illinois Native Plant Society

Native Illinois Wildflowers That Bloom in September and October:

Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea) - blooms yellow June to October

Oenothera rhombipetala (fourpoint evening-primrose) - blooms yellow May to September

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan) - blooms yellow June to October

 

From the Image Gallery


Partridge pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata

Diamond petal primrose
Oenothera rhombipetala

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

More Wildflowers Questions

Native plants of Taos and Los Alamos NM from Houston
April 07, 2012 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, can you recommend a guidebook for the native plants of the Taos/Los Alamos region? (I'm most interested in forbs.) I'll be headed there in May--is there anything I should es...
view the full question and answer

Science project
May 16, 2010 - I am doing a science project and have to find 30 examples of flowers native to Texas to photograph. What is available in the Dallas - Fort Worth area that is easily photographed?
view the full question and answer

Grass in mixed wildflowers in Gloucester VA
September 02, 2009 - I have a acre of mixed wildflowers which is in its 3rd season. I now have some grass issues. I have sprayed for just the grass but still have too much. Should I bush hog, disk and replant ??
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for a wedding in Memphis MO
October 13, 2009 - I am pretty new at this landscaping flower thing, but I love it. We just moved out to the country in NE Missouri from Colorado (Huge difference, but love it). We have decided to have our wedding at o...
view the full question and answer

Flowers for monarch butterflies in Bastrop, Gonzales and Travis Counties of Texas
March 05, 2013 - Hi Mr./s. Smarty Plants, What are some flowers that grow naturally on a Bastrop, Travis, or Gonzales county riverside that monarch butterflies commonly feed on? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center