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

Sunday - April 12, 2009

From: Waller, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Creating a bluebonnet patch between Brenham and Houston.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I am creating a Bluebonnet patch in a well-drained section of my flowerbed. I just planted the plants (it is now early April and I'm between Houston and Brenham, TX). I plan to let them go to seed and hope to have beautiful blooms every year from now on! My question is this: What, if anything, should I do with that portion of the flowerbed?

ANSWER:

There are several ways to approach this situation. The first is to do nothing; let the bluebonnets bloom and  release their seed and then wait until fall when the seed start to germinate. Since you are a gardener, doing nothing is probably not your thing. So you can add a light coat of mulch or compost to the bed after the seed have been released that will help retain soil moisture and help with germination later on. In either case, you will need to be vigilant to keep out the things you don't want in your flower bed, and be on the look out for those little bluebonnet rosettes when they appear. The third alternative is more interesting and entertaining: put summer annuals in the bed.

Go to our Recommended Species page  and select Central Texas on the map. Click on NARROW YOUR SEARCH, and make the following selections: select Texas under state, herb under Habit, Annual under Duration, Sun under Light Requirement, and check May June July under Bloom time. Click on the Narrow you Search button and you will get a list of thirteen plants to choose from for your flower bed. You can alter the list by changing the selected items.

Mr. Smarty Plants chose four plants from the list.

Indian Blanket  Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Phlox Phlox drummondii (annual phlox)

Prairie Verbena  Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Blood Sage Salvia coccinea (blood sage)


Gaillardia pulchella

Phlox drummondii

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Salvia coccinea

 

 

 

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Holding bare soil before sowing native grasses in spring.
November 03, 2009 - I want to try your buffalo/bluegrama/curly mesquite. Right now my yard is ploughed. What should I do until spring? I assume I should add living compost to the top 3", plant bluegrass for now, and ...
view the full question and answer

Seeding wildflowers in Dallas
June 30, 2009 - What is the best way to establish seed for wildflowers in Dallas, TX? The area does get some irrigation from rotors. Would hydromulch be the most effective option?
view the full question and answer

Damaged oaks from Hurricane Ike in League City, TX
August 25, 2009 - After hurricane IKE, one of our oak trees (in front yard) was partially uprooted from the ground. We did place it back, and tie it down with supports. Further, we inserted fertilizer spikes, and give ...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping in Austin
August 24, 2009 - I am planning to convert a pretty large portion (app. 500 sq feet) of my front yard from St. Augustine to an area with native and well-adapted plants. I have solarized the area to kill off grass and ...
view the full question and answer

Removal of live oaks leaves on lawn in Austin
October 11, 2011 - We have about a half inch or so of mostly live oak leaves still on the ground which I thought was good root protection and also holds in moisture. There is a small group of people in our condo subdi...
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