En Español

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

Friday - March 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Planting wildflowers in spring for spring bloom
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I was wondering if it is possible to plant wildflowers around this time of year, and expect them to bloom in the spring still? I have heard that many wildflowers germinate in the fall. Are there certain types of wildflowers that might do better for this late winter planting for spring blooming? Thank you, Edna Martin

ANSWER:

I'm afraid it is almost certainly too late to plant spring-flowering wildflower seeds and expect them to bloom this April and May.  As you know, the typical Texas wildflowers, such as bluebonnet, Indian blanket, and coreopsis, are usually planted in the fall, giving them time to form good roots and a rosette during the winter.

Your best bet is to visit a local native plant nursery and buy enough established wildflower plants to make a small showing this year and plant seeds this coming fall for next year.  An alternative is to purchase a seed mixture such as the Lady Bird Legacy Wildflower Mix, which contains not only spring- but summer-blooming species.  Planting these seeds now would at least give you flowers by June.  Or, narrowing your search through the species in this  Lady Bird Legacy Wildflower Mix, you could sort out some annual plants by checking the appropriate box in the right margin.  Annual plants usually grow much faster than perennials and therefore would be more likely to bloom earlier.  Seeds of these individual species might be available commercially.  On the Wildflower Center home page, check Suppliers under the pull down menu Explore Plants for local seed suppliers.

I wish you a bloomin' good time this summer.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Plants for cleared area by creek
October 10, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. My front "yard" is about 2 1/2 sloping acres with a wet weather creek at the bottom. It has been recently cleared of cedar. The cedar is now shredded and acts as a cover to he...
view the full question and answer

When will bluebonnets bloom in Texas this year from Nacogdoches, TX
December 09, 2010 - When can we expect to see bluebonnets blooming in Texas this year?
view the full question and answer

Asters bloom period
April 16, 2005 - When do the asters bloom?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of California poppies in Abilene, TX
September 25, 2008 - I live in Abilene,TX and would like to plant some California Poppies from seed. Is it best to sow these in the fall or wait until the spring? Our winters can produce some cold spells of below 20 degre...
view the full question and answer

Growing Lupinus perennis in sandy soil.
February 15, 2009 - I want to grow Lupinus perennis for the Karner butterfly. I know it won't grow in clay (my soil is wet clay). Can I plant the plant in a big (20" diameter x 17" tall) rubber pot, and fill the pot w...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center