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
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

Instructions on making wildflower seed balls
September 20, 2007 - About 2 years ago I visited the LBJ Wildflower Center and picked up a sheet that described how to make wildflower seed mud balls. I've lost the sheet and can't find the directions on your site. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Neighborhood association wanting wildflowers mowed from Grand Prairie TX
July 14, 2013 - For at least 15 years, I have been fostering growth of wildflowers in 60% of my 90x400' yard which include 150' utility trunkline easement in which I can plant no trees. This year, we had volunteer ...
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

Seeds of mayflower
May 03, 2005 - Although I now live in Virginia, I grew up in eastern South Dakota. Several years ago while visiting SD I was walking in the pasture and noticed that many of the wild mayflowers (pasqueflowers) had ...
view the full question and answer

History of the Texas Bluebonnet
March 12, 2008 - Hi, I'm working on an article for a newspaper and wondered if you could point me in the right direction to find out the history of the bluebonnet. When did it become the state flower? Is it really il...
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