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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.

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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.

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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!

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Friday - October 27, 2006

From: Jamestown, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Seeding time for wildflower annuals and perennials in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have a large area of open land in front of our house and would like to dedicate part of it to wildflowers. I purchased some perenial seeds and would like to know if I can plant these this fall? The seed are Coneflowers, digitalis, Lupines & poppies. Then in the spring add some annual wildflower seeds. Thank you for your help.

ANSWER:

Fall is the perfect time to plant your wildflower seeds. In general, the best time to plant native seeds is when Mom Nature does it. For the plants you mentioned, most of them set and drop seed in the fall. For many seeds (such as the Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and Foxglove (Penstemon digitalis)) cold, moist temperatures benefit germination. Both annuals and perennials will also germinate if planted in the spring. You might find the article, "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" and other articles in our Native Plant Library useful for your project.
 

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