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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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.

 

 

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