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

Bluebonnet trip planning from Searcy AR
February 10, 2013 - We are planning a Spring Bluebonnet trip to east, central and south Texas. Is there an average timetable for Blubonnet blooming in the areas of San Antonio, Hill Country, Austin and east, and Northea...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers that will grow in sandy soil in New York
June 09, 2005 - Dear Mr. S. Pants, We live near Albany, NY in what was once a pine forest. The soil is very, very sandy. I've had some success with wildflowers but I have to use some topsoil and humus mixture to ...
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

Bluebonnets around May 21 in Fredericksburg, TX
January 31, 2010 - We heard that this 2010 spring is expected to be a great bluebonnet/wildflower season in the Texas Hill Country. Do you predict that a later May date (21st) will be too late to catch abundant bluebonn...
view the full question and answer

How many leaflets does a Texas Bluebonnet have?
July 04, 2010 - How many leaves does a Texas Bluebonnet have? I have a co-worker who is making disparaging remarks about my bluebonnet plaque.
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