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
2 ratings

Tuesday - March 11, 2008

From: Raleigh, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Soils, Wildflowers
Title: Growing Texas bluebonnets in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in North Carolina and love the Texas Bluebonnets. Can I create my own mix of soil to be able to grow them here? Soil is basically red clay and icky.

ANSWER:

You are not the first person who has wanted to grow our beautiful Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) outside of its native home; therefore, I am going to refer you to a recent question and answer on the subject.

Instead of trying to grow the Texas bluebonnet, why not consider one of the lupines native to North Carolina?

1. Lupinus diffusus (Oak Ridge lupine), photo from USDA Plants Database

2. Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine) and the subspecies, Lupinus perennis ssp. gracilis (sundial lupine)

3. Lupinus villosus (lady lupine)

 

From the Image Gallery


Sundial lupine
Lupinus perennis

Sundial lupine
Lupinus perennis ssp. gracilis

Lady lupine
Lupinus villosus

More Soils Questions

Chlorosis on plants in Austin
April 09, 2013 - I have several plants that have chlorosis on the new growth. I did an at-home basic soil test. Ph came out at 7.5 (the highest the scale went, so it could be higher than that). Nitrogen and phosphorus...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of growing plants in St. Peter Sandstone
April 02, 2008 - Can you grow plants or native plants in St. Peter Sandstone or amend it?
view the full question and answer

Expanded Shale Availability in Austin Area
March 18, 2016 - Where can you find expanded shale in bulk or bag in the Austin area?
view the full question and answer

Poor drainage in wildflower bed
November 10, 2004 - I have a flower bed that has given me difficulty because it has poor drainage but typically receives sun for most of the day. Salvia gregii was the only survivors for the initial landscaping attempt. ...
view the full question and answer

Soil for Emory Oak from Dripping Springs, TX
April 15, 2012 - I bought an Emory Oak today at the Wildflower Center's plant sale. Upon reading about it when I got home, I see "it won't grow in alkaline soils." I was hoping to plant it in the riparian area ...
view the full question and answer

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