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

Wildflowers of my region
March 20, 2004 - How can I learn more about the native plants and wildflowers of my region?
view the full question and answer

Restoration of hilly area with natives of New York
April 24, 2006 - I have an area, down the street from me, 2 side hills. During the summer, this all becomes over grown with small trees and just brush in general. I have asked our city for over 20 yrs to clear it as j...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on books for Southwest New Mexico
November 01, 2004 - Which book would you reccommend for Native plants and flowers for Southwest New Mexico - Silver City area?
view the full question and answer

Best time for wildflower planting in the Ozarks
April 13, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Ozarks, and have an open bottomland valley area I want to transform into more natives for many reasons. I am starting a 2 acre field of NATIVE grasses (warm sea...
view the full question and answer

Flowering plants for shady garden in Bastrop
July 02, 2010 - We live in Bastrop, 8 miles west of the Historical district. We have a small flower garden in a shady spot around 25 feet from the back patio of our home. We'd like to find out what native plants, f...
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