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

Thursday - January 23, 2014

From: Lockhart, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Bluebonnet Planting in January in Lockhart
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

My husband has yet again failed for the second year straight to put out the bluebonnet seeds in our backyard back in October. Is it too late now that it's mid January for me to get them in the ground or started inside?

ANSWER:

  You sound a lot like Mrs. Smarty Plants - - She'd be reading this and nodding uh-huh, uh-huh.

  But, sadly, I have to admit that your expectations are right.  It is REALLY late to be putting seeds out, or even trying to force germination indoors.  If you take a close look where they grow naturally, you'll see that they are germinated and likely grown to 1-3".  Pretty much just waiting for the spring rains to spur their big growth spurt and flowering.  Actually, just to get a bit of color and get this going, getting a few from a native nursery or transplanting a few of those you found [from where you can take them legally of course] may be your best course of action.  I bet the Mr. would remember then next fall to do the planting also!

   Mr Smarty Plants has also taken a variety of similar questions.  If you read these, the answer won’t change very much but there is a variety of addition information you might find interesting:
MSP on Transplanting Bluebonnets
Planting wildflowers in spring for spring bloom
Another January question:  Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
Planting wildflower seeds in Texas in February
Is it illegal in Texas to pick bluebonnets? No

 I also found for you a “How-to Article on Planting and Caring for Bluebonnets”.   In the same list of How-to articles there are also separate articles on Rhizobium and on seed scarification.

In the meantime - May I offer you some Bluebonnet pictures?

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

Bluebonnets planted in late spring bloom, will they bloom again?
February 06, 2008 - New to South Texas & we decided to plant bluebonnets around our house. The seeds were planted in late spring & we were delighted to watch them start their initial growth-cycle. They ultimately produc...
view the full question and answer

Rejuvenating old Lindheimer muhly clumps
October 02, 2015 - I've got two clumps of Lindheimer's muhly in full sun in the western (limestone) part of Austin. I'm thinking they've been there for the past 8 or so years. In the past two or three years, the g...
view the full question and answer

Moving a red oak away from the house foundation
January 24, 2008 - About a 3 weeks ago I noticed a 5 ft. red oak growing in my flower bed. I hadn't noticed it growing up through my shrubs until the leaves turned bright red. The problem is that its coming up about tw...
view the full question and answer

Winter wrappings for plants in Ellenton Florida
December 23, 2010 - Hi and thank you for your time, I do appreciate it. I have one question. I live in Florida and yes we do get frost and temps down to 28 degrees in the winter. last year I lost almost 50 plants tha...
view the full question and answer

Overwintering Texas bluebonnets
November 17, 2011 - I planted Texas Bluebonnet and I want to know how to save them through the winter months. I think they are so beautiful. Can I cover them with something?
view the full question and answer

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