Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

More Meadow Gardens Questions

Site restoration in Seabrook, TX
May 23, 2009 - I have 2+ acres in the Seabrook/Kemah area of Texas and am planning the lawn/landscape. The property is zoned as light commercial and will have one 60X120 metal building. The rest of it is my outdoo...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower garden for Driftwood, TX
August 20, 2013 - I would like to plant wildflowers in a fairly large field on a slope. The slope is a little rocky and is located in Driftwood, TX. I have been thinking about a mixture of Bluebonnets and Indian Blank...
view the full question and answer

Creating a wildflower meadow
May 18, 2013 - I have an area 1-6 acres worth that is currently grass that I would like to overseed with wildflower seed. The local native plant nursery says that would be a waste. I don't really want to kill gra...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower field for sewage leach field from Olga Washington
August 01, 2012 - I am interested in planting a large native wildflower field at a resort in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. It would be over a sewage leach field for many cabins and bathrooms. Are there any ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Miami, FL
November 10, 2011 - I live in Miami, Florida. I have a medium size Bismarck Palm in my front yard. What would be a good ground cover other than grass around this palm?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.