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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - October 07, 2008

From: Elmendorf, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Soils, Wildflowers
Title: Requirements to grow Lupinus albifrons
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is required to grow Lupinus albifrons? Temp., soil mix, alkaline or acid, etc.?

ANSWER:

Look at our webpage on Lupinus albifrons (silver lupine) and you will get the basic information. We found this website from San Francisco State University  The Biogeography of Silver Bush Lupine (Lupinus albifrons) which goes into considerably more detail. To summarize, it will live in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 10. In Bexar County, you are roughly in Zones 8a to 8b, and so should be able to grow it there. It can grow on sandy slopes as well as rocky areas, and in an acidic range from 6.0 (acid) to 8.0 (alkaline). It does need very good drainage. This plant is native to California, but is found outside of California, particularly in Oregon; it is confined to western North America. In terms of soil mix, just about any plant will profit from an addition of organic materials such as compost to the native earth. The lupinus genus is a legume, and therefore will fix nitrogen in the soil, for its own benefit, but also benefitting other plants sharing its space. The propagation instructions on our webpage are that it should be planted from seed. Fall is a good time to plant lupines in Bexar County, they are really a winter annual. The rosette will show up in mid-winter, protected from cold by the warm earth, and bloom probably in mid-March. If you wish to harvest seed, you will need to leave the pods on the plants until they are almost completely dry. 


Lupinus albifrons

Lupinus albifrons

Lupinus albifrons

Lupinus albifrons

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Native Plants for a Shaded Patio Container in Missouri
April 17, 2015 - What kind of native plants would grow well in a pot on a fully shaded patio? I live in Kansas City, Missouri. The patio faces north and doesn't get any direct sunlight, but it gets lots of indirect...
view the full question and answer

Control of grasses in wildflower gardening
July 27, 2006 - We have been trying to manage and grow a plot of wildflowers in Madisonville, Texas just east of Bryan / College Station on a charity organizations site for 3 years with some success. The grasses have...
view the full question and answer

Genetically altered bluebonnets?
September 07, 2008 - I am trying to locate where I can purchase what I consider real bluebonnets not the genetic altered ones. The ones I am talking about are completely blue without the white tip on top. Do you have an...
view the full question and answer

Illegal to pick wildflowers
March 14, 2004 - Is it illegal to pick wildflowers?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet trip planning from Searcy AR
February 10, 2013 - We are planning a Spring Bluebonnet trip to east, central and south Texas. Is there an average timetable for Blubonnet blooming in the areas of San Antonio, Hill Country, Austin and east, and Northea...
view the full question and answer

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