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

Tuesday - October 18, 2011

From: Brenham, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Planting, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: When to reseed wildflowers in a drought year?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

My acreage with extensive wildflowers was mowed in 2010 before annuals had seeded. Only a few returned this year. Considering the predicted lonterm drought should I postpone reseeding this fall?

ANSWER:

 

Seeds of Bluebonnets, Gallardia, and many other Texas spring-blooming wildflowers need to germinate in the fall to facilitate development of deep roots and a rosette of leaves over the winter months.  There would not be time enough to do this if the seeds were planted in the spring.  A "good year" for bloom requires some rain during the winter to support rosette formation.  Of course, during a drought there may not be sufficient fall and winter rain to achieve this, so reseeding in the fall does involve some risk.  However, it is a risk that must be taken.  In the event that no rain falls during the winter, many of the seeds will remain ungerminated and will have a second chance the following year.  And if only a few plants do bloom they will at least provide a new seed supply for next year.

I would encourage you to reseed right away and hope for rain in the near future.  Some seeds have already germinated as a result of rain falling in recent weeks. Try to bring the seeds into contact with the mineral soil as much as possible.  This will take full advantage of whatever moisture is available.

Check out this Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center web site for tips on distributing your seeds efficiently.  And pray for rain!

 

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Keeping a Texas Madrone alive from Belton TX
October 01, 2012 - I have found a supplier of a Texas Madrone and have been wanting to grow one ever since our family vacation to Big Bend NP. My question is how do you have success with this tree? Many people say it is...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on seed harvesting
August 09, 2004 - I am interested in learning more about harvesting native seeds. I manage a number of sites where restoration projects will involve planting, and we would like to use native seed stocks. Could you te...
view the full question and answer

How to sow Eves Necklace seeds.
October 03, 2007 - I have recently acquired some Eve's Necklace seed pods. In order to plant them, do I need to open the pod to get to the seed, or do I just plant the pod? Should I soak or scarify the pod/seed?
view the full question and answer

Native grass mix for Bastrop County, TX
February 25, 2014 - I plan to put in a small lawn on a tract of land near Rosanky, TX in Bastrop County. There are scattered oaks but the yard space will be mostly open. Soil is basically sandy. Is there a good native...
view the full question and answer

Help with Habiturf from Bertram TX
March 24, 2014 - I am a resident of Bertram..about 45 min northwest of Austin. I have 1.33 acres of land with my home on it. My front pasture is pretty nice native grass but my backyard is full of weeds. I'm guessing...
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