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

Tuesday - March 15, 2011

From: Ashburn , VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: When to plant wildflower spring mix seeds in Ashburn VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just bought wildflower springmix and want to know when to plant them, is there a specific temperature?

ANSWER:

We are always a little leery of wildflower "mixes." They are heavily marketed as being the way to have lovely blooming meadows with just a sprinkling of seeds. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Without knowing what seeds you have, we can only guess that the right time to plant them is now, in early Spring. Were there any planting instructions or plant names on the package that you purchased? In Central Texas, we plant our seeds mostly in the late Fall, because our ground doesn't freeze and most of our native wildflowers will start putting out rosettes of leaves in December to January, and are blooming right now, in mid-March. Your weather is probably enough colder that the seeds wouldn't stand a very good chance being planted in the Fall, but you surely want them in the ground to benefit from Spring rains and to protect the new little plants from heat.

Another warning about seed mixes - they may include not only seeds not native to your area or to any of North America but also invasive weeds. We are going to send you to a couple of our How-To Articles to give you some idea of the importance of using natives. The first is Using Native Plants and the second is Meadow Gardening. You will learn that wildflowers don't fit into a category that can be easily put in a mix. And, finally, when you get a nice stand of native wildflowers, you might want to consider Seed Collecting and Storage.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Smarty Plants on Rain-lily
April 12, 2005 - What is the common lily (I think) that grows in the ditches and especially this year because of all the rain. The flower is trumpet shaped and has red stripes in the petals? Very common everywhere t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on wildflowers in Wisconsin
June 28, 2004 - May I have information on wildflowers in Wisconsin and how to grow them?
view the full question and answer

Varieties of lupines that will grow in Zone 7, Alabama
October 27, 2006 - I have just found you and read 500 plus questions, fascinated. My question concerns plants in Alabama, is there a variety of lupine that will grow is zone 7, sun or shade? Also, we purchased acreage t...
view the full question and answer

Horse pasture seeds from Pawling NY
April 19, 2013 - We are getting ready to seed an area to be used as horse pasture some time in the future. What seed mix should we use to create an organic horse pasture in Pawling, NY. Ideally there would be some wil...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy hedge and drought-resistant garden
July 21, 2008 - I am looking for a hardy evergreen hedge for privacy in Northern Michigan. I have sandy soil. Also am interested in planting a drought garden with mostly sun in same sandy soil.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center