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?

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
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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - January 30, 2014

From: Columbus, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Wildflowers
Title: Transplanting bluebonnets to garden from Columbus TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is it possible to transplant bluebonnets from pasture to garden and if so when is the best time to do this? Thank you

ANSWER:

On the time to transplant, we would say NOW. Some bluebonnets will be blooming in February, especially where you are, in Southeast Texas. The more quickly they get (carefully!) taken out of the ground and put into their new location the less damage will be done to the roots or by dehydration.

As it happens, this is not a new subject for Mr. Smarty Plants. Please see this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on transplanting bluebonnets.

This  USDA Plant Profile Map does not show Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) growing natively in Colorado County. However, it does show them growing in counties all around, so we are guessing that they grow in your area, but just have not been reported.

This, however, brings us to another subject. Consider where you are going to find the plants to move - is it in your immediate area where the soils would be compatible and do you own that pasture or do you have permission from the owner to take those plants? This may sound like real nitpicking, but taking anything, including plants, from any property - whether it is owned by the Federal Government, State Government or is a wildlife preserve - is considered a felony. You may look out at all those fields of wildflowers and consider that because you can see them, you can transplant them, but that is incorrect. We would say that most landowners would be happy to let you take a few plants for your own garden, where you will be able to propagate more, but we wouldn't count on it. Furthermore, the State Highway Department frowns on plants being removed from roadsides, both because they want everyone to be able to see these beauties, but also because of the hazards of stopping on a roadside, both to the stopped vehicle and its occupants and to the other cars on the road.

Below, from our Image Gallery are several pictures of newly sprouted bluebonnets, to help you dig up the right thing. We also suggest you read our How-To Article on How to Grow Bluebonnets.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More Wildflowers Questions

Healthy native plants supporting local economy from Tacoma Park MD
February 17, 2012 - I am collecting information on how healthy native plant communities can support the local economy. Do you think the Texas bluebonnets are a good example of this in Texas? For example, do you know ma...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for limestone ledge with thin soil in Austin, TX
February 14, 2007 - My back yard is essentially a limestone ledge with less than an inch of soil on the top in full sun. What native plants can live in this environment? Since I can't really dig a hole, maybe I should...
view the full question and answer

Mosquito-deterring plants for shady hillside
July 05, 2011 - We have a part to full shaded hill side/ native woodland area that was once covered with english ivy..we managed to get rid of all the ivy but now we are overtaken with violets..maybe they are even na...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
January 09, 2007 - I have had an area in my yard where I have established bluebonnets. Since we had such a dismal showing in the spring of 2006 I was looking forward to a great show for 2007. Lo and behold I had about...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on wildflower collecting
August 23, 2004 - Is wildflower collecting a good school activity?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center