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?


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

Tuesday - July 29, 2008

From: Venus, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of Texas bluebells from seed
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a few Texas Bluebell seeds. I would like to grow these in my yard. What would be the best place..pot or flower bed? When should I plant? How to maintain?


On the Native Plant Database webpage for Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum (showy prairie gentian), propagation instructions can be found:

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: The seed is exceptionally small and somewhat difficult to germinate. The best results have come from surface seeding (since the seed requires light for germination) in flats at approximately 70 to 75 degrees. Field seeding can be done in spring or fall, however, spring germination usually results in the vegetative growth overwintering and not flowering until the second summer. Fall germination should produce flowers the first season.
Seed Collection: Collect seed in June, when seeds inside capsule are black.
Seed Treatment: The seed for E. grandiflorum is not commercially available, and thus, no large-scale seeding rates have been established. Note that the seed is exceedingly small; one capsule can produce 1200 seedlings!

They seem to be somewhat soil specific, and, again according to the webpage linked above, they prefer a moist sandy or sandy loam soil. They are found naturally in fields and prairies, especially in areas adjacent to streams and tanks. If you feel that your soil is very unforgiving clay, growing them in pots (after transplanting them from the flats) would probably be more productive.

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum



More Propagation Questions

Planting wildflower seeds in a drought in Grimes Co. TX
November 03, 2010 - I have a dilemma, shared by others I'm sure. My place, which is in Oakland prairie, has seen no real rainfall since sometime in August, and the soil (sand, loam, and blackland clays)is extremely dry....
view the full question and answer

Sagebrush for Westminster CO
August 06, 2010 - On a recent visit to Taos, NM we fell in love with the local sagebrush. We would like to plant this sagebrush in our yard. We are located near Denver Colorado. Would this plant survive and how do we g...
view the full question and answer

Gardening book for beginner gardener
December 06, 2008 - What is a good gardening book for a beginner gardener who lives in Round Rock. Would like info for both vegetables and plants for landscaping. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

What do wildflower seeds look like from Westlake Village CA
February 23, 2014 - I collect seeds from my wild flower garden but can't always tell what part of the dried flower is the actual seed that will reproduce. Is there a resource that shows the seed part of flowers? Than...
view the full question and answer

Time of year to plant Tecoma stans
December 16, 2007 - I wanted to know when the best time to plant the Esperanza flower (Tecoma stans) was. The information on the website did not give planting dates or soil conditions for this plant. Can you please help?...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center