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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - January 21, 2003

From: Kingwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Best preparation time for wildflower garden for summer
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff


Is it too late in late Fall to prepare a wildflower garden for next spring/summer?


Germination is really dependent on the kind of plant; in general, those plants producing seed with hard seed coats have particular requirements in order to break dormancy (ie. Bluebonnets). This could be weathering to break down tissue that comprises the "skin" of the seed, allowing for moisture to be absorbed by the seed to aid in germination. Temperature, related to a term called stratification, in which the seeds undergo a chemical change due to storage at colder temperatures that provides signals to the seed embryo to develop at particular times of the year. Re-cap: it is not too late to start a wildflower garden for the Spring. Right now should be the time to make any preparations in the landscape you need to broadcast your seed


More Seasonal Tasks Questions

When should salvia greggii be pruned from Austin
December 12, 2013 - Should salvia greggii be pruned in fall/winter? I thought I read onsite that all woody perennials should be left untouched or pruned to 6 inches. Does this apply to salvia greggii?
view the full question and answer

Trimming back freeze damage from Anacacho orchid in Liberty Hill TX
May 17, 2010 - When is it safe to trim back what I think is dead wood on my Anacacho orchid trees (that were hit hard this past winter)? Is there any harm done if I cut back living wood?
view the full question and answer

Vinegar as a Herbicide
March 08, 2012 - When can you use vinegar on weeds to get rid of them.
view the full question and answer

Trimming of Aster ericoides in Philadelphia
March 20, 2010 - Should I cut back my Aster ericoides, ‘schneegitter’ in the spring?
view the full question and answer

Damage to plants after sudden freeze in Redway CA
January 02, 2010 - I live on the North Coast of California near "The Avenue of the Giants" and Redwoods State Park along the Eel River. We recently have had below freezing weather, constant rain and even snow! I have...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center