Explore Plants

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
    
 

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


Diamond petal primrose
Oenothera rhombipetala

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Allelopathc qualities in sunflowers
June 19, 2007 - I have a sunflower patch in the corner of my backyard (Maximilians, common sunflower, and silverleaf sunflower)and would like to use the spent stalks (sans the seedheads) as mulch in the fall. Howeve...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for steep slope in Washington DC
May 07, 2010 - We have a steep slope in our garden in Washington DC which has sun from noon to sun set. Could you please recommend some low maintenance plants which would be a good ground cover and limit erosion?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Baptisia from Lancaster OH
August 24, 2012 - My Baptisia has gone to seed. When can I plant these seeds? Do they need strat? (zone 5)
view the full question and answer

How to make a lawn into a prairie in Arlington, Texas
September 15, 2010 - I am removing lawn grasses in order to start a native prairie meadow. After grass removal, I'll put down 1/2" of compost. I will broadcast wildflower seeds on the compost. If I mulch after broadcas...
view the full question and answer

Male pollinator to produce berries on Juniperus virginiana from Amston CT
November 08, 2012 - We have planted 3 juniperus virginiana 'Glauca' (on our Connecticut property) that have a few blue berries on them. Will they need a male pollinator to make berries? We do not have other juniperus...
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.