Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Tuesday - February 13, 2007

From: Austin , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Best planting time for wildflower seeds in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

When would be the best time to plant wild flower seeds and mow an area where we want to grow wild flowers in Austin Texas?

ANSWER:

The best time to plant wildflower seeds is when "Mom Nature" does it, i.e., when the seeds naturally mature and are dispersed. For most of our native wildflowers this is late summer or early fall so that they come up again in late winter/early spring. Many seeds require a cold period to break their dormancy so that spring warmth and rains trigger their germination. (In particular, bluebonnets should be sown in early fall. Their leaf rosettes will appear by mid-December and grow until they are ready to bloom in March and April.) Seeds of some wildflowers 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.

There are several titles in our How to Articles that you might find helpful, e.g., "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" and "Large Scale Wildflower Planting".

To ensure that the annual and biennial species will be reseeded, you should wait to mow your wildflower field until at least 1/2 of the seeds of all species have matured and fallen.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

What is the name of the Texas Wildflower that smells like grape koolaid?
March 28, 2014 - Can you tell me the name of the Texas wildflower that smells like grape koolaid? I live in north west Texas and every spring, the low growing purple flowers line spots along the roadside. It's a joy ...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower Lawn for Round Rock, TX
March 04, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live on the west side of Interstate 35 in Round Rock. I have a very sick St. Augustine lawn that I would like to replace with some sort of wildflower mix. I like the look of...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds that do well in black clay soil from Plano TX
November 21, 2013 - What native wildflower seeds do best in black clay soil? We live in Plano along creek w/ 8,000 sq. ft. in full sun. No manmade water source. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 01, 2003 - Is there such a thing as a red bluebonnet?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on wildflower meadow gardening
December 08, 2004 - My local elementary school in Decatur, Texas (north central) has an open field of wonderful wildflowers in front of it. This year, they were mowed before the flowers went to seed. What is a good rul...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.