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

Disappearance of leaves on desert willow in Tucson AZ
August 08, 2009 - We have a Lois Adams Desert Willow (Tucson, Az). The leaves will pump out and then a day or so later, all of the leaves are gone. The only bugs we've seen on it are very, very small ants. Could this ...
view the full question and answer

Conditions for growing Anacacho Orchid in Smithville TX
January 24, 2011 - What conditions (soil type, sun/shade, understory? etc.) to grow a healthy Anacacho Orchid tree? And what is the best size tree to plant?
view the full question and answer

Trees for cutout in driveway in Houston
November 12, 2010 - I live in central Houston. I have a new driveway with a cutout of 4' x 8'. I would like to plant a shade tree that will not break up the concrete. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

Disposal of Ashe juniper from Austin
March 07, 2013 - I am in western Travis County and we have been clearing our land of some of the Ashe Juniper. When there is not a burn ban, we burn them because there are just too many to shred. I was wondering if ...
view the full question and answer

Replacing mature Arizona Ash trees in Austin
August 26, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 2 very large, very old Arizona Ash trees in my yard. I want to remove them and replace them with something like Cedar Elm or Chinquapin Oak. The problem is that they are t...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center