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Mr. Smarty Plants - Propagation of Texas bluebells from seed

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Tuesday - July 29, 2008

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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

 

 

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