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 - October 13, 2006

From: Hubbardston, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Survivability of Texas wildflower seeds in Zone 5A or 5B
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What are the recommended hardiness zones for Texas wildflowers? Could these seeds survive in a 5A and 5B climate? If so, when would be the correct time to plant seeds for zone 5A/5B?

ANSWER:

The majority of Texas lies in USDA Hardiness Zones 7-11, with only the northern part of the Panhandle region in zone 6. It will depend on the wildflower, of course, but Texas wildflower seeds that were produced from plants growing in Texas are most likely adapted to Hardiness Zones 8 or higher. Additionally, cold hardiness is not the only consideration for ensuring successful plants. Soil composition, day length, and other climatic conditions (such as the range of humidity and the prolonged summer heat) are important in determining when and if seeds will germinate and if the plants will thrive. Even with wildflowers that have a wide distribution such as Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) seeds from plants grown in Texas are not likely to do as well in Massachusetts as seeds from plants that grew in Massachusetts. Natural selection will have favored more cold hardy plants from the Massachusetts seeds than from the Texas seeds. Certainly, Texas's most famous wildflower, the Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) is likely to grow poorly, if at all, in Massachusetts. The Northeast has some beautiful wildflowers of its own that are adapted to the soil, the cold and other climatic conditions of the region. Your best bet for beautiful wildflowers next spring and summer is to plant those native to your region.

The best time to plant wildflower seeds in any area is when they are planted by nature itself. For most wildflowers this occurs late summer through late fall. Many seeds need a period of cold to break their dormancy so that the spring warmth and rains instigate germination. Some seeds will germinate and grow if planted in the spring rather than the fall, but usually they come up several weeks later than those that were planted in the fall.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

More on bluebonnets
May 17, 2006 - I'd like to know if Texas Bluebonnets or even Aggiebonnets (maroon bluebonnets) can be grown in the Phoenix, AZ area. If so, what conditions would you recommend doing this in, as our spring and summe...
view the full question and answer

Viewing times for wildflowers from Ouchitas to Austin
November 03, 2006 - I'm a geographer and wildflower enthusiast considering a spring visit to the Austin area and want to find out the best time to view wildflowers and farm crops around Austin and also on the drive from...
view the full question and answer

Information on Texas wildflowers
February 28, 2009 - Does your site (or another site known to you) have a link to provide information on when our Texas wildflowers should emerge this year at various locations in the state, and whether this year is expec...
view the full question and answer

Planting wildflowers in spring for spring bloom
March 02, 2012 - 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 c...
view the full question and answer

Weed killer and bluebonnets in Angleton, TX
March 18, 2010 - Is there a way to weed my yard with weed killer and not harm my bluebonnets?
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