Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - December 29, 2008

From: Bastrop, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Grasses and wildflowers for Central Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live between Bastrop and Paige and would like to know native grasses or types of wildflowers I can plant now. thank you

ANSWER:

First, read our How-To Articles Meadow Gardening and Gardening Timeline, to give you an idea of when to start. We know you're probably not planning anything so large-scale as a meadow garden, but this article makes suggestions about what percentage of flowers and grasses to plant, how to prepare the soil, and how to sow the seed. We are assuming you were referring to seed, as opposed to purchasing bedding plants, which are difficult to find in native grasses and wildflowers as well as expensive.

Generally, in Central Texas, late fall is the best planting time for wildflowers, especially. However, if you get them in quickly, before any more very cold weather, there still might be time this year. When you look at our webpage for each native plant, most of them will have propagation instructions, and best planting time. For instance, Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) names fall as the time to plant, but also says cold will help the seed to germinate, and gives instructions for scarifying the seed to promote germination. You could try planting some seeds now, and if a few come up, be patient, because other seeds in your first planting will come up next year, and the year after that, plus the ones that do come up can reseed themselves.  We'll list a few Central Texas wildflowers that you can try planting now, and that have propagation instructions. You can also go down on the webpage for each plant and use the link to Google on that plant for more information. Another thing you can do is go to Native American Seed Online Catalog, where you will find seeds for wildflowers, special mixes, native grasses and grass mixes. They will give you planting and blooming times and prices for packets of seeds. 

WILDFLOWERS

Castilleja indivisa (entireleaf Indian paintbrush)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Dracopis amplexicaulis (clasping coneflower)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Phlox drummondii (annual phlox)

Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower)

GRASSES

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama)

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly)


Castilleja indivisa

Callirhoe involucrata

Coreopsis lanceolata

Dracopis amplexicaulis

Engelmannia peristenia

Gaillardia pulchella

Helianthus maximiliani

Ipomopsis rubra

Lupinus texensis

Oenothera speciosa

Phlox drummondii

Ratibida columnifera

Andropogon glomeratus

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua hirsuta

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

When to harvest bluebonnet seeds in Hurst TX
April 12, 2009 - Can I harvest the Blue Bonnet Seeds now (April) or do I have to wait until they dry up & pods begin to open?
view the full question and answer

School Rain Garden in Iowa
January 08, 2013 - Could you recommend plants for a rain garden to be installed on a middle school campus in the Council Bluffs Iowa area???? Many thanks!
view the full question and answer

Blooms as far as the eye can see
March 06, 2008 - Why are some wildflowers capable of putting on spectacular sweeps of blooms "for as far as the eye can see" such as Indian paintbrush at Vail Pass in Colorado, or bluebonnets in the Texas hill count...
view the full question and answer

How will winter weather affect bluebonnets this year?
February 27, 2010 - Just wondering how our winter weather this year will affect the blooming of bluebonnets. When are they expected to be in full bloom and what will be their duration? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Less Maintenance Plant Suggestions for New Raised Bed in Henderson, NV.
April 03, 2014 - We have a newly constructed raised garden bed. I was wondering what kind of plants would be appropriate to plant this springtime in Henderson, NV with less maintenance because I work full time.
view the full question and answer

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