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

Wednesday - January 28, 2009

From: Bishop, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Why are our Bluebonnets turning brown?
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Our Texas Bluebonnets are turning brown and appear to be dying. We've had them going for 5 or 6 years and have never seen this. I found a few small worms on one plant but can't seem to find them anywhere else. I sprayed a pesticide on them but it either doesn't work or it's too late. I live in south Texas and we are in a bit of a drought but that's not unusual for us. Got any ideas? Thanks.

ANSWER:

The drought can be blamed for a lot of things, but this problem could have other causes. Are all of the plants turning brown, or only a few? Insect pests may be a possibility.

Mr. Smarty Plants suggests that you carefully dig up some plants, both affected and seemingly healthy, and take them along with the worms that you found to the Nueces County Extension Office in Robstown. This link has contact information so that you might schedule an appointment before your visit.

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

How do I preserve bluebonnet seeds for planting in another area?
May 20, 2010 - How do I preserve Bluebonnet pods or seeds for replanting in another location?
view the full question and answer

What happens to wildflower seeds planted before a heavy rain in Cedar Creek TX
November 23, 2009 - I planted tx wildflower seeds yesterday--November 19th. It has rained all day with water standing in the places that I planted. Do you think that they will take? Am I going to have to plant more seeds...
view the full question and answer

Annual Native Plants for Interplanting in Iowa
January 20, 2015 - I'm looking for suggestions for annuals that will flower from seed or from spring plants. I want to use them to fill in the space around newly planted coneflowers and asters that I fear will look spa...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers for an Asheville, NC garden.
March 30, 2015 - I live in Asheville. I just bought a small home for the first time with a .22 acre yard. It's extremely sunny on the east side and gets good sun most of the day. Like most WNC area yards it's on a s...
view the full question and answer

Information on Mrs. Johnsons efforts in highway beautification
January 11, 2006 - Perhaps you can help. I am trying to unearth a little history of Lady Bird and her involvement in the beautification of our highways, especially as it relates to using native plants. This is for a p...
view the full question and answer

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