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

Friday - July 01, 2005

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: More on bluebonnets
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I've seen several recommendtions for using a Bluebonnet Inoculant when planting Bluebonnets. "For best success, we strongly suggest using Bluebonnet inoculant (to assist in fixing nitrogen into soil and making a healthier plant)." Where can I find this inoculant? I don't see any reference to it in seed catalogs etc.

ANSWER:

First, if you bought your bluebonnet seeds, they may have already been inoculated. If so, then you don't need to apply more. The bacterium Rhizobium is the inoculant specific for bluebonnets and other members of the genus Lupinus. Some soils already have naturally occurring Rhizobium present. If that is so, then you wouldn't need to inoculate your seeds. You can determine if your soil has Rhizobium by looking at the roots of one of the bluebonnets growing there. If the bacterium is present, the roots will have rounded bumps, called nodules, growing on them that contain the bacterium.

You may be able to find the inoculant at local nurseries. To find a list of local nurseries that specialize in native plants in your area, visit the National Suppliers Directory on the Wildflower Center web page. The Native Plant Society of Texas on their web page also has a list of native plant nurseries as does the Texas Parks & Wildlife web page. If you can't find any locally, you might try other cities or other areas. For instance, checking the nurseries in the Midwest, I found one, Prairie Moon Nursery in Winona, Minnesota, that has Lupinus (bluebonnet) inoculant for sale in its online store.

If you haven't already found it, there is a 2-page PDF article pertaining to growing bluebonnets in the Native Plant Library on the Wildflower Center web page that you might find useful.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Greenhouse bluebonnets for July wedding from Denver CO
August 19, 2013 - Would it possible for my daughter's florist to get bluebonnets for her late July wedding? Are they propagated in greenhouses?
view the full question and answer

Identification of Texas bluebell (Eustoma exaltatum)
June 27, 2006 - Very recently on the 6 o'clock news there was a report about The Center joining UT. There was a picture of a large, purple lily-like/trumpet flower with a yellow pistil. I recall my Grandmother call...
view the full question and answer

Grass in mixed wildflowers in Gloucester VA
September 02, 2009 - I have a acre of mixed wildflowers which is in its 3rd season. I now have some grass issues. I have sprayed for just the grass but still have too much. Should I bush hog, disk and replant ??
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers native to Pennsylvania
April 02, 2008 - Please provide the names of a few wildflowers that are native to Pennsylvania.
view the full question and answer

Eliminating weeds from seeded wildflower stands
June 25, 2007 - We live in Eastern Central Texas in a small community on Texas Highway 7. Last fall, we went to the Wildseed Flower Farm near Fredricksburg and purchased a bag of mixed wildflower seeds and planted...
view the full question and answer

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