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
2 ratings

Wednesday - July 02, 2008

From: Italy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Wildflowers
Title: Transplanting native bluebells in Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

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 can't believe they are growing. We've had NO RAIN for nearly 2 months. Our corn is already drying up. So, I want to know how I can transplant some bluebells into my wildflower patch in my yard. I tried this before but I was not very careful with the roots. Also, are bluebells one of those flowers that has no pattern of when or where it will appear? Some of the fields I've seen in previous years were lush with the purple (and some white!) flowers, but this year the field is bare.BUT I have some in my pasture where I've never had any growing before.How does that work?

ANSWER:

According to our Native Plant Database, Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum (showy prairie gentian) is best propagated by seed. Unfortunately, the seed is about the size of black pepper, and slow to germinate. There are propagation instructions on the webpage we have linked you to. In terms of transplant, we have always suspected that this is a soil specific plant, because it seems to come back in the wild only in certain patches. However, we also noticed (in Brenham, the home of you-know-what ice cream) that it tended to grow in the sides of ditches, where more moisture, and perhaps some shelter from sun and wind, were available. You are very fortunate to have wild stands of this flower, as it seems to be growing more rare in the wild, and the plants that can be purchased often don't survive, either. We would suggest that, with patience, you might try propagating by seed. In addition, study the conditions and the type of soil your wild bluebells are in, and try to emulate them in your garden.


Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Excessive nitrogen inhibiting coreopsis blooms
September 28, 2006 - I planted coreopsis in the summer last year and they bloomed profusely nonstop from June 2005 to April 2006. However, this past summer, continuing to present time, my coreopsis have not bloomed at a...
view the full question and answer

Will wildflowers still be blooming end of March from Austin
November 20, 2009 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants - A wildflower enthusiast from Rome Italy wants to schedule a special visit to Austin end March early April 2010. Can she be sure wildflowers will still be blooming then?
view the full question and answer

Hanging plants for Austin, TX
May 18, 2014 - I'm looking for a hanging potted flower suggestion for Austin. Most locations are shaded under a large tree, but some locations may have several hours of afternoon sun. I'd love to see some hummin...
view the full question and answer

Methods of planting state wildflowers on roadsides in California
November 06, 2006 - My garden club is initiating a program to plant state hwy 49 within our county with our state flower, California Poppy. Do you have information on using hydroseeding as a method of planting?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating Claytonia virginica in Varna IL
April 13, 2010 - How do I get rid of or control Claytonia virginica? It is starting to take over my lawn.
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