En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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


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?


  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

Preventing weeds in kinnikinnick in Richland WA
May 29, 2011 - We planted our kinnickinick last Nov. and we live in Richland, WA, where it gets hot in the summer. We planted almost 500 of them on a hillside. Weeding is taking over our lives, to say the least. ...
view the full question and answer

Raising bluebonnets in Stanford CA
January 17, 2011 - I'm a Houston girl now living in Northern California (Stanford). I would like to know if I need to adjust my growing timing for lupinus texensis? Mostly, I want to know when I should actually put th...
view the full question and answer

Optimum planting time for perennials and trees
November 02, 2007 - Our group is running out of fall workdays. Is it OK to plant native perennials and small trees in Central Texas during the winter months? Or should we wait now until the spring?
view the full question and answer

Shade trees for Spring TX
August 17, 2011 - Dear Mr.Pants, our west-facing backyard in Spring, Tx, is unbearable in this Summer's heat. Neither us nor the neighbors has any backyard trees established yet, as the subdivision is pretty new. C...
view the full question and answer

Cutting Juncus effusus back from Bellevue WA
November 18, 2010 - I read your posts about Juncus effusus and just have one follow-up question. When is the best time to cut them back to the ground - before winter or early spring? I live in the Pacific NW. I recent...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center