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
1 rating

Friday - April 06, 2012

From: Valley Mills, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Wildflowers
Title: Flowers for Fall in Bosque County from Valley Mills TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What Wildflowers could we plant in Bosque County area to bloom in the Fall?

ANSWER:

It's getting a little late to be planting wildflowers even for Fall bloom, but we will try to find some for you to try. Ordinarily, we recommend that wildflower seeds be planted at the same time that the flowers in the wild drop their seeds. Perennials will not bloom until the second season, anyway, so you are talking annuals. Annuals grow and bud quickly, when the weather is cooperating, bloom and set seeds. Once those seeds are dropped, the plant has finished with its Prime Directive, which is to reproduce, and ordinarily the plant then dies. Hopefully, the next year, the seeds left in the ground from the previous season will come up in greater numbers, and go through the same procedure.

From our online list Wildflowers of Central Texas  we will look at the sidebar on the righthand side of the page and select on bloom times of September, October and November. You can follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant. Sometimes, there are directions on how and when to plant seeds. We will check them to see if we can find out if any can be planted by the end of April and you can hope to have flowers by Fall.

If you are planning a Fall wedding, a garden at the background, your best chance is to purchase bedding plants and get them in the ground now. If your thought was just to begin a Fall garden, then you can plant seeds of any of these in November or thereabouts and the annuals will bloom in the Fall of 2013, while the perennials will bloom in 2014. Some perennials can be propagated by cuttings of existing plants in November and would probably begin to bloom the next year.

The plants that bloom in the Fall have usually been blooming since March to May, which means this is NOT their seeding time. There were exactly 2 annuals that fit the bill: Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan), which blooms from June to October and Eustoma exaltatum (Catchfly prairie gentian), blooming from May to October. This means that those plants are very likely up, after putting out their seeds probably in November.

Perennials for a Fall garden:

Asclepias asperula (Spider milkweed) - blooms March to October 

Calylophus berlandieri (Berlandier's sundrops blooms March to September

Commelina erecta (Whitemouth dayflower) - March to October

Glandularia bipinnatifida (Purple prairie verbena) - May to October

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower) - May to October

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) - March to November

Ratibida columnifera (Mexican hat) - May to October

Salvia farinacea (Mealy blue sage) - April to October

 

From the Image Gallery


Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Catchfly prairie gentian
Eustoma exaltatum

Antelope horns
Asclepias asperula

Berlandier's sundrops
Calylophus berlandieri

Whitemouth dayflower
Commelina erecta

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Mexican hat
Ratibida columnifera


More Wildflowers Questions

Native Texas Plants for a Terrarium
October 08, 2014 - I have a 55-gallon aquarium that I would like to make into a terrarium. Are there any Texas native plants that would do well in the limited artificial light of the tank? The plants should be of varyin...
view the full question and answer

Desmanthus and Chamaecrista seeds
June 05, 2005 - Hello my wildflower specialist friend. I got 20 Desmanthus illinoensis and also Chamaecrista fasciculata seeds. Then I planted them in early March, when there was still frost, in clayish soil, not far...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Daucus pusillus, native alternative to Daucus carota
June 15, 2007 - What happened to "Queen Anne's Lace"? Growing up in Texas, I recall seeing "Queen Anne's Lace" growing wild. In my mind, the blooms were rather large. The plants I see growing profusely along th...
view the full question and answer

Favorite Wildflower
July 31, 2011 - Dear Green Guru - What are your favorite wildflowers? Signed Curious
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

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