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
1 rating

Thursday - July 01, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower seeds to plant in summer in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are there any wildflower seeds that can be planted during the summer months in Austin, TX?

ANSWER:

Hey, it's a free country. Via online ordering or even at the Wildflower Center Store, you can buy wildflower seeds at any time, and plant them at your pleasure. Now, ask me if you will get any flowers out of that? Probably not. The seeds, properly treated and watered, might very well sprout and stick their little heads above the soil. Then, the sun would come up on another Texas Summer day, and you have fried wildflowers. There's a reason our wildflower season is Spring. For eons, the native plants of Texas have learned to live with mild Fall weather, seldom-freezing Winters, a short but very nice Spring, and a long, relentless Summer. Wildflowers are best planted when the flowers have finished the seed and spread it around. Birds and insects eat some of them, some blow away, some shrivel from being exposed to the sun and heat. But there are a lot of seeds and some manage to hide under other plants, or go down into the soil, or be rained in, and they wait through the rest of the Fall and Winter, until they begin to germinate, grow and bloom. The time they spent in the soil, which could be years if the rains don't come, prepares hard coats (like the bluebonnet) for germination, a little rain in the Spring and it's magic time. Some people grow things like African violets (non-native!) indoors under lights so they can have year-round blooms. Try figuring out a way to make Spring weather over a field of wildflowers in August.

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildlife uses of wildflowers in Central Texas
May 01, 2006 - How are wildflowers in Central Texas used by wildlife?
view the full question and answer

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

Should Rock Harlequin stay green all winter?
May 28, 2014 - I have a rock harlequin that came up in a area that had been disturbed. It came up last summer/fall and the foliage survived our tough winter. I can not find anything about this plant staying green al...
view the full question and answer

White evening primrose from Baton Rouge LA
April 16, 2013 - My husband and I have a disagreement about Mexican Primroses. I believe I have seen patches of them which are pure white. He believes they must be faded pink ones. Do white ones occasionally grow? ...
view the full question and answer

When to plant wildflowers in California
December 10, 2013 - When is the best time to plant wildflowers in California?
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