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Thursday - April 30, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower Seed Planting in Austin in April
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What wildflower seeds can I plant in April? Is there a schedule?

ANSWER:

  You can plant seeds anytime, but the issue is then what do you expect to result from your planting.   Planting in April [or even early May, when this answer will come out] will not likely be successful as you may desire.

   There is a schedule, it’s the one they follow themselves in nature.  Plants flower, ripen and distribute their seeds in late Spring to Summer.  Those seeds germinate over the winter and are poised to grow vigorously in the late Winter to early Spring to produce flowers just in time to start the whole cycle again.  An example of this would be our beloved Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet).  They are just now distributing seeds as the flowering season is pretty much over.  Some of those seeds will germinate in the late fall and can be seen over the winter as tiny seedlings.  Those seedlings erupt into growth and then flower in the early Spring as we have just witnessed.

  So, feel free to plant Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet), Castilleja indivisa (Entireleaf indian paintbrush), and Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup).  But don’t expect any flowers until next Spring.

  I suspect you may want flowers this summer, or at least later in the year.  Ones that might just germinate and flower later this year would be those that naturally flower in the late summer to fall.  Here’s a good way to find some suggestions.  Here is a link to the Special Collection for Central Texas.

 These lists can be sorted for several attributes.  If you select “Herb” – this tends to return Wildflowers.  I also selected “Bloom Time” of September, October and November.  This returned 38 plants.  These plants may well grow and flower this year if you plant their seeds now.  Here’s a few attractive choices:

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)
Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower)
Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria (Golden tickseed)
Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)
Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)
Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)   and there are several more good choices listed!

 

From the Image Gallery


Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Golden tickseed
Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Maximilian sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

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