Topic: Plant Propagation Author: Nan Hampton Date: Monday - August 25, 2008 From: Santa Fe, TX
QUESTION: I live in Santa Fe, Texas and I've been trying to find the right date to plant Indian Paintbrush seeds but so far have been unsuccessful. I know it says in the fall but that seems to be a broad range. I have found that one needs to plant bluebonnets around September 1st and was wondering if the paintbrush seeds can be planted at the same time. Thank You
September is a good time to plant the paintbrushes along with the bluebonnet seeds. The seeds of both plants need to undergo an extended cold period in order to germinate. Planting the two seeds together will also give you a better chance of growing paintbrushes since they are hemi-parasitic on other plants and Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is one of the plants that is often used as a host plant. The paintbrushes can germinate without a host, but in order to grow well and bloom they need a host plant for their roots to attach to. The paintbrush receives extra water and, perhaps, some nutrients from the host. This arrangement does not kill the host. You can also start the seeds in a greenhouse and then set out the small plants in the spring. Please see the answer to another recent question to learn more about propagating Indian paintbrushes.