En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Planting wildflower seeds in a drought in Grimes Co. TX

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

Wednesday - November 03, 2010

From: Shiro, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Planting wildflower seeds in a drought in Grimes Co. TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a dilemma, shared by others I'm sure. My place, which is in Oakland prairie, has seen no real rainfall since sometime in August, and the soil (sand, loam, and blackland clays)is extremely dry. I have seeds for lanceleaf coreopsis,Indian blanket, inland sea oats, and Drummond phlox which I normally would plant anticipating fall rains, but it doesn't look like we are going to get much according to NOAA. Any suggestions? Shall I wait longer or for spring? Additional watering is pretty much out of the question.

ANSWER:

Be of good cheer, Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis), Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel), Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats), and Phlox drummondii (Annual phlox all are native to the Grimes County area. As a result, they are accustomed by millennia of experience to living even when conditions get a little challenging. You can follow each plant link above to get the specific propagation instructions from our page on that particular plant.

The Indian blanket and phlox are both annuals. It is important to get them in the soil in the Fall to ensure some seed-bearing plants next year to perpetuate themselves. The Coreopsis and Inland Sea Oats are both perennials, to be planted in either Fall or Spring. Since perennials seldom bloom until the second growing season, planting the coreopsis in the Fall should ensure that you will get at least some blooms next year. The Inland Sea Oats is really better planted in the early Spring, as that is when the seeds germinate anyway.

With or without rain, we would suggest that you go ahead and get at least some of the seeds in the ground. Make sure they make good contact with the soil, perhaps raking them lightly, to wait for rain. As is usual with native seeds, some of those seeds may wait in the soil for years before they get the right conditions and come up. Then, in the Spring, plant some more; with reseeding and perpetuation you should have years of blooms.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Coreopsis lanceolata

Gaillardia pulchella

Chasmanthium latifolium

Phlox drummondii

 

More Propagation Questions

Research on Atriplex confertifolia in Austin
January 21, 2010 - I have heard a lot about Atriplex confertifolia (Shadscale). Has the Center done any research/trial growing of this plant for possible adaptability to Hill Country (west Austin) area? If this is a ca...
view the full question and answer

Pollination of blackberries in Lake Winnebago, MO
May 27, 2010 - Not sure if blackberries are native, but my daughter got a start of one at a plant exchange at the nature center. Do we need more than one for it to pollinate correctly? We have strawberries growing i...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of growing Buckleys yucca in South Carolina
February 03, 2008 - I live in Lexington, SC. I am wondering if I can grow Buckley's yucca (yucca constricta) here and if so, where can I purchase the seeds or plants? I am from Texas and we are trying to create a "we...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Passiflora lutea by seed
July 11, 2007 - How long does it take to germinate yellow passionflower vine seeds? Where can a vine or seeds be purchased? What would they cost?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a redbud in August from St. Louis MO
August 09, 2011 - I have a 4' tall redbud that needs to be transplanted before the end of August because of construction on our house. Can this be done without killing the tree? Can I take a cutting from the tree and ...
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