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
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 Soils Questions

Is cement leaching into flower beds in Colorado Springs?
May 16, 2009 - I have posed this question to a number of garden centers in our area around Colorado Springs--only to rec. a repeated--"Gee, I don't know." When we moved to our new home there was a rock concrete ...
view the full question and answer

Turf grasses and alternatives for NH
October 23, 2010 - I live in Hancock, NH, just north of Peterborough. We just bought a relatively new house that pretty-much has no lawn and minimal landscaping. Can you (or anyone) suggest native lawn grass alternati...
view the full question and answer

Foundation Plants for South Carolina
November 07, 2009 - What native plants are suitable as foundation plantings? My soil is heavy clayey loam with red clay subsoil. I live in Charleston County.
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of one Desert Willow in Phoenix AZ
September 06, 2013 - We planted 4 desert willow trees in the summer and 3 of the 4 are doing excellent, however the last one is not not doing so well, it was the smallest of all and it started out fine but its leaves bega...
view the full question and answer

How will my Texas Mountain Laurel survive clay soil?
June 09, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Pants: I live in a new neighborhood (brownfield site) in Central Austin where the developers have put fill in the yards. After not much more than 2 inches of topsoil you encounter fairl...
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