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

Wednesday - April 26, 2006

From: Vidor, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Viability and storage of bluebonnet seeds past "use by" date
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

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 store these seeds until time to plant them?

ANSWER:

Wildflower seeds should generally be planted within a year of collection. Since we don't know when your seeds were collected, all we can do is go by the "use by" date and hope for the best.

A constant temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and no more than 50% humidity are recommended for storing wildflower seeds. Fluctuating temperature and humidity can reduce seed viability and/or cause them to sprout prematurely. Darkness is also important. The best place to get these three factors is to use your refrigerator. More info can be found in our Native Plant Library in the PDF file "Guidelines for Seed Collecting."
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Native plant bibliography
March 20, 2004 - What book do you recommend for identifying the native plants and wildflowers of my region?
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds for trail for Eagle Scout project
May 11, 2006 - I'm a boy scout with Troop 1202 in the Dallas, Texas area, planning an eagle project to benefit my local parks department. The project will be to plant native wildflowers (from seed) along a trail. ...
view the full question and answer

First flower of the year from Tallahassee FL
August 20, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What is the first wildflower to bloom in the North Florida area each year? I appreciate your knowledge and attention to all the questions you are asked.
view the full question and answer

Flowers for Central Texas wedding in May
September 27, 2008 - Hi there! I am getting married in Marble Falls, TX in May. My soon to be husband and I are very eco-conscious, and were wondering what type of flowers are local and in season for a Central Texas weddi...
view the full question and answer

When to See Wisconsin Wildflowers Blooming?
July 07, 2016 - When is the best time for Southern Wisconsin wildflower blooming?
view the full question and answer

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