En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Wildseed Planting in a drought

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

Wednesday - September 14, 2011

From: Kyle, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Planting, Seasonal Tasks, Wildflowers
Title: Wildseed Planting in a drought
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Due to the extreme drought and no rain in the near future in central Texas would it be prudent to have a wildseed planting in October?

ANSWER:

Prudent??   Interesting choice of words.

  There are no issues with having a wildseed planting in October, in fact, that is just the right time to go ahead and distribute seed.  Seeds are a dormant form of the plant and it will not harm them at all to be distributed during a time of drought.

  On the other hand, your question implies that you sort of expect the planted seed to grow and produce a wildflower for you to enjoy next Spring.  That is not necessarily so.  The seeds need the right conditions, which include good rain, warming sun and maybe even a winter freeze to break them from their dormancy.  If all the condtions are right, a goodly number of the seeds germinate and we will have a lovely wildflower Spring.  If the conditions are not right, the majority of the seeds remain dormant and wait for the right conditions.  Then we see another weak wildflower season.

 To give you a little associated information, Here is a Mr Smarty Plants answer about the droughts effect on a wildflower meadow and also a "How-to" article on wildflower seeding.

 

From the Image Gallery


Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Palmleaf poppymallow
Callirhoe pedata

Damianita
Chrysactinia mexicana

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Firewheel
Gaillardia pulchella

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

Drought affecting native trees from The Woodlands
August 18, 2011 - I've been trying to grow native trees in my yard for the past 3 years and I'm starting to question whether the amount of time required to spend watering them during the long hot season in Texas is r...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers and plants for landscaping in March in Austin
February 18, 2004 - What are the best flowers and plants to landscape with in the Austin area in March?
view the full question and answer

When to plant in Austin
November 02, 2010 - I own a small landscaping business in the Austin area, and we are admittedly learning every day, but trying to do the right thing. We are knowledgeable about the sun, water, soil requirements for a v...
view the full question and answer

Optimum mowing time for acreage with spring wildflowers
November 17, 2003 - I have several acres where wildflowers grow in the spring, & would like to know when and how often to mow this field for optimum blooms?
view the full question and answer

Winter wrappings for plants in Ellenton Florida
December 23, 2010 - Hi and thank you for your time, I do appreciate it. I have one question. I live in Florida and yes we do get frost and temps down to 28 degrees in the winter. last year I lost almost 50 plants tha...
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