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
1 rating

Tuesday - February 13, 2007

From: Austin , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Best planting time for wildflower seeds in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

When would be the best time to plant wild flower seeds and mow an area where we want to grow wild flowers in Austin Texas?

ANSWER:

The best time to plant wildflower seeds is when "Mom Nature" does it, i.e., when the seeds naturally mature and are dispersed. For most of our native wildflowers this is late summer or early fall so that they come up again in late winter/early spring. Many seeds require a cold period to break their dormancy so that spring warmth and rains trigger their germination. (In particular, bluebonnets should be sown in early fall. Their leaf rosettes will appear by mid-December and grow until they are ready to bloom in March and April.) Seeds of some wildflowers will germinate and grow if planted in the spring rather than the fall, but usually they come up several weeks later than those that were planted in the fall.

There are several titles in our How to Articles that you might find helpful, e.g., "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" and "Large Scale Wildflower Planting".

To ensure that the annual and biennial species will be reseeded, you should wait to mow your wildflower field until at least 1/2 of the seeds of all species have matured and fallen.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

General Wildflower Reference
March 07, 2008 - Can you recommend a good general reference book on wildflowers that is not limited by being either regional or a field guide? (I already have Wildflowers Across America.) I am looking for a work whi...
view the full question and answer

Sunflowers for Terrell, Texas
September 29, 2015 - What sunflowers grow best in Terrell, Tx?
view the full question and answer

Flowers found blooming in February in Austin
November 17, 2010 - For people visiting from other states, which flowers usually bloom in February in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Planting fields with wildflowers
November 05, 2009 - I'm hoping to seed a few fields (large area, short grass) the easiest way possible. I'd love to do bluebonnets but I don't think I can get a large aerator to the locations. Basically I'm wonderi...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for flood plain in Minnesota
December 05, 2008 - Hi- Our home sits on 2 acres with about 1 of the acres in a flood plain area. That 1 acre has water running through it when the snow melts off and it generally dries up in 2 days. It is currently plan...
view the full question and answer

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