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

Native Equivalents to Lily of the Valley
February 24, 2011 - Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majuscula) with its delicate drooping flowers is my favorite flower. Unfortunately, it's hard to get in central Texas as a cut flower, much less to grow. Are...
view the full question and answer

Growing Lupinus perennis in sandy soil.
February 15, 2009 - I want to grow Lupinus perennis for the Karner butterfly. I know it won't grow in clay (my soil is wet clay). Can I plant the plant in a big (20" diameter x 17" tall) rubber pot, and fill the pot w...
view the full question and answer

Is Rudbeckia hirta annual, biennial... or what?
January 20, 2010 - The desciption for Rudbeckia hirta says it is biennial and blooms the second year then further down the page it says it is an annual, which is it? Will I see blooms the first or second year?
view the full question and answer

Planters for wildflower exhibit in Jemez Springs NM
November 28, 2010 - I am planning to have a wildflower/pollinator exhibit at a visitor center located on a high elevation grassland (no trees). I would like advice on the size of the planter boxes.The area is located at...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting native bluebells in Texas
July 02, 2008 - Hello Smarty, Italy TX here again! Your advice on crape myrtles has inspired me to try harder, but now I have a question about a TRUE native wildflower,the Texas Bluebell, growing in my pasture. I ca...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center