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Mr. Smarty Plants - Collecting bluebonnet seeds

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Tuesday - May 13, 2008

From: Bastrop, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Collecting bluebonnet seeds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Greetings, My bluebonnets have bloomed nicely, and are showing a good crop of seed pods. I know that if I wait they will all open and spray the seeds everywhere, but I want to harvest some of the seeds. What should I use as my signal that it's harvest time? Thanks.

ANSWER:

First of all, let me point you to our How to Article "Seed Collecting and Storage". The seeds need to be mature before you collect them; otherwise, germination success is going to be questionable. The pod of the bluebonnet seed should begin to look dry and lose most of its green color, turning first yellow and then brown. Somewhere between the yellow and brown color the seeds will be mature and ready to collect. If the seeds are hard and dark when you examine them in the pod, they are mature. Green seeds that aren't hard are immature and not likely to germinate. Once the seeds have been collected, removed from the pod and cleaned of debris, they should be stored in the refrigerator in a paper sack to allow good air circulation and prevent mold forming until they are planted in the fall.

Bluebonnet seeds should be planted in the early fall and you will find another useful article, "How to Grow Bluebonnets" with information about planting those seeds once you've harvested them. Those seeds you didn't collect before they dispersed themselves should produce new bluebonnet plants where their parent bluebonnets grew.


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

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