How to Plant Texas Red Buckeye From Seed


Texas red buckeye is also called red buckeye, scarlet buckeye or firecracker plant, and is a stunningly red wildflower with dark-green, glossy leaves. Its natural range is most of the southern United States, including Texas. It can be planted from seed, but take care with them because the seeds and young shoots are toxic enough that they were used as a poison by North American native tribes. It is desirable in garden plantings because it is somewhat deer-resistant and attracts butterflies and other pollinators.

Step 1

Choose a good area for Texas red buckeye before planting. Test the soil beforehand with a pH testing kit, as this wildflower loves acidic soil, in the 6 to 8 pH range. Plant in a moist, well-drained spot that gets partial or afternoon shade.

Step 2

Turn over the soil where the buckeye will be planted. Dig down at least 1 foot to make sure the soil is loosened and will provide good drainage. Turn it over and mix it well. Add 1 to 2 inches of peat moss and mix it into the soil to make the soil acidic enough for the buckeye if the soil test calls for it. Do the same with a layer of compost if the soil is poor and you want to make it richer.

Step 3

Plant seeds immediately after acquiring them. Sow the seeds wildflower-style, broadcasting them by hand in the planting area. Cover them over with a light layer of soil and compost mixture. Poke the seeds shallowly into the top layer of soil, not burying them any deeper than 1 inch, if you're planting just one or two seeds.

Step 4

Water immediately and regularly after planting, keeping the soil moist until shoots begin to poke up.

Step 5

Maintain the red buckeye with occasional watering throughout the growing season. Water frequently in times of drought, and about once a week in normal rainfall. Water until the soil is moist, not soggy, each time.

Tips and Warnings

  • Young shoots and seeds are poisonous; don't let children or animals near them.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH testing kit
  • Spade
  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Red buckeye seed
  • Soaker hose, if needed


  • Texas red buckeye
Keywords: Texas red buckeye, native wildflowers, scarlet buckeye

About this Author

Kim Hoyum is a Michigan-based freelance writer. She has been a proofreader, writer, reporter and editor at monthly, weekly and daily publications for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science in writing and minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.