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
10 ratings

Tuesday - August 07, 2007

From: Anacortes, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower seed planting time in Northwest US
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the best time to plant wildflower seeds in the northwest United States?

ANSWER:

We always feel the best time to plant anything is in the Fall. For one thing, the weather is usually more pleasant and more predictable. You will probably get earlier bloom in the Spring from those seeds having had several months to prepare themselves. One exception to that would be if your plans were to plant on a slope. In a case like that, where Fall rains could erode away the soil and wash away the seeds, it would be better to plant them in the Spring. Then, they at least have a sporting chance to get up above the ground and maybe some roots put down before the next heavy rain. Summer is never recommended-the seeds will come up all right, but they will be met with heat and critters wishing to have the baby plants for a little salad. And, the clincher to the argument is, there is so much to do in the garden in the Spring. In the Fall, the weather is usually nice, you have less other stuff to do, and you can actually enjoy the process. After all, show consideration for the gardener, too.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflower planting in Northeast Pennsylvania
April 16, 2007 - I live in PA, Northeast, and have high grass that is mostly wet, I was wondering if I could just throw wildflower seeds out into the high grass and if they would grow.
view the full question and answer

Fragrant native plant to plant on rock wall in New York
May 28, 2007 - HELLO THERE, I LIVE IN CENTRAL NY. I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD SUGGEST A PLANT FOR THIS ROCK WALL ON THE SIDE OF MY HOME. IT IS A NATURAL ROCK WALL, SO BEAUTIFUL!! THE ROCK IS FLAT, ACTUALLY THE AREA...
view the full question and answer

Viability and storage of bluebonnet seeds past "use by" date
April 26, 2006 - I have several packets of Bluebonnet seeds and wildflower seeds which have "packed for 2006 use by 3/07". My questions: 1) will these seeds be good for the 2007 growing season?; 2) how should I ...
view the full question and answer

Plant Suggestions for Shady Site under Trees in Alabama
April 03, 2014 - I live in Montgomery, AL and have a bare area (20' x 5) that's shady and soil erosion is a problem. Grass stops growing at the drip line of the trees here. Do you have any suggestions for growing s...
view the full question and answer

Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
February 17, 2014 - I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
view the full question and answer

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