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
5 ratings

Friday - September 08, 2006

From: Marlin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Best planting time for wildflower seeds in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

My husband bought a large amount of wildflower seeds at the Ladybird Johnson's Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas several months ago, but neglected to ask when to plant them. Some were Bluebonnets and some were "mixed" wildflower seed for the state of Texas. Could you please answer these questions regarding the above? 1) When do I sow them? 2) If rain is rare, how often do I water them? 3) When do I mow them after their blooming time in order for their seeds to re-sow themselves? Thank You for your help.

ANSWER:

First, let me refer you to several articles in our Native Plant Library that should be useful to you: How to Grow Bluebonnets, Wildflower Meadow Gardening, and Large Scale Wildflower Planting. These are 1-3 page articles in PDF format for you to download.

Now to answer your questions:

1. For wildflowers native to Texas, the best time to plant is in the fall. This includes bluebonnets that should be planted no later than mid-November. For more information about planting bluebonnets and other wildflowers, see the articles above.

2. First of all, they should be watered in well when they're sown. The most critical time is during germination and initial establishment; the soil surface should not be allowed to completely dry out during the first few weeks after sowing. After they are established native plants generally require less water than exotic cultivated plants; however, long periods without rainfall will certainly affect their growth. During periods with very little rainfall and high heat like we have been having recently, watering every 5-7 days is probably about right. As it gets cooler, the time between waterings can be longer. You should monitor your wildflowers and adjust the watering schedule when you see that they are beginning to look stressed.

3. You should wait to mow until at least 50% of your wildflowers of each species have dropped their seeds.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Texas wildflower guide with every flower listed
November 09, 2012 - Is there a Texas wildflower guide that contains every single flower that grows in the state? I have a few flowers on my land I haven't been able to identify because they aren't in the guide I have. ...
view the full question and answer

Trimming back wildflower beds in Cody Wyoming
February 20, 2011 - I live in Cody Wyoming and I have some wildflower beds in front of my house that didn't get trimmed back this summer...they look like swamp plants now, super nasty. Should I trim them now?
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers and grasses for sunny field in Nashville, TN
October 09, 2005 - I want to plant wildflowers in a sunny field (old pasture land) in Nashville, Tennessee. I plan on killing the existing weeds and tall grasses with roundup this fall and planting native grasses (wha...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping recommendations for site in Dubuque, IA
March 27, 2010 - I need a seed recommendation. Here are the variables: Location: Dubuque, IA (east Central Iowa) Soil type: Sandy to sandy and gravelly. Part is a riverbank facing east. Steep bank then flat to ...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant, Fast Growing Groundcover Suggestions for Georgia
April 20, 2013 - Our driveway is 1/4 mile in length and is steep on both sides (one side up one side down). It currently has grass that our contractor planted using seed when we built our house. We are unable to cut t...
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