From:Austin, TX Region: Southwest Topic: Propagation Title: Germination and propagation of bluebonnets Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus
I live in Austin. Last fall I spread a load of dirt on my lawn to provide soil contact for the 2 pounds of bluebonnet seeds I subsequently spread (this was in early November). The germination rate appears to have been very low. Other than seed scarification (which I did not do) what else can I try to get better results? Was the load of dirt a reasonable thing to try?
First of all, bluebonnet seeds naturally germinate over a period of several years. This is a common survival strategy for plants living in difficult climates. If the weather is not suitable for bluebonnet success this year, there will be seeds next year and the next to try and try again. In newly sown meadows it is normal to see a gradual increase in the number of bluebonnets over several years. This past year, was not a particularly good year for bluebonnets in many areas due to high rainfall rates at critical times that led to a fungal outbreak. The dirt was a reasonable thing to try, but it may also have been a boon for pillbugs. Although they tend to feed on decaying organic matter, they can decimate germinating bluebonnet seeds. Having said all that, scarifying the seeds would have probably given you better germination. One method is to put sand in a large jar with a small amount of water to make a slurry, add the bluebonnet seeds and shake vigorously. Pour the mixture out on a fine screen and rinse the sand away. Planting the seeds a little earlier in the fall might also insure better germination
More Propagation Questions
Student wants pointers to increase germination rate of Salvia farinacea in Lubbock, Texas October 06, 2010 - I am a student at Texas Tech, studying environmental horticulture. I have been doing research on Salvia farinacea as well as a number of other natives. I've just been assigned a project to increase t... view the full question and answer
Will my Lisianthus survive the winter in Minnesota for another growing season? March 09, 2009 - Do you know if Lisianthus plants planted one year, will come back the next year? We bought 6 gorgeous healthy plants last summer from a MN grower. We enjoyed them all last Summer and are wondering if ... view the full question and answer
Propagation of skunk cabbage December 18, 2003 - Where can I purchase root stock for a start of skunk cabbage to plant?
in my wetland? view the full question and answer
Propagation of mountain laurel seeds June 20, 2008 - My Texas Mountain Laurel this year finally produced seed pods. How do I go about planting the seeds for a new tree? A few of my co-workers love my tree and I would like to give them either the seeds ... view the full question and answer
Do pecans and bluebonnets only bloom every other year from New Braunfels TX November 03, 2010 - Is it true that bluebonnets only seed every other year? I know we see bluebonnets every year, so this is quite a mystery to us.
Also, is it the same with pecan trees? view the full question and answer