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

Small native flowering plants for Plano, TX
July 07, 2005 - Suggestions for native flowering plants small enough for a border planting? I live in Plano TX, just north of Dallas. Zone 8.
view the full question and answer

When is best time to plant seeds of Texas Nightshade in San Antonio, TX?
September 20, 2014 - I need to know the time to plant seeds of Texas Nightshade. Can I plant them now ( August ), or wait till fall or spring?
view the full question and answer

Root lengths of Central Texas wildflowers
March 10, 2009 - I'm looking for lengths of the roots of wildflowers of Central Texas. It would be particularly helpful to know the really long ones. Any native prairie flowers or grasses would do.
view the full question and answer

A&M maroon bluebonnets for Hawaii
July 10, 2011 - My daughter graduated from Texas A&M and has moved to Hawaii. She would love to have the maroon bluebonnets developed by A&M to plant in her new home. How would she need to prepare the seeds since t...
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of Mexican primrose from Dallas
April 25, 2013 - Can I purchase Mexican Evening Primrose seeds now for planting in the fall or do I need to wait for the fresh crop of seeds that will be gathered from this spring flowering. How can I be assured the ...
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