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
3 ratings

Sunday - November 22, 2009

From: Claremore, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wintering over Bluebonnets in a pot in Oklahoma
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

I live near Tulsa, OK, and I have spent the last year trying to grow bluebonnets in a container. I have been very successful in this process and they are so beautiful and full, but now I am worried about the winter and it totally destroying them. I am not sure what I should do with them, do I cover them to protect them from freezing, or do I just let them be and they will come back next spring? What should I do? Thank you for all your help. Jennifer

ANSWER:

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is planted as a roadside flower throughout Texas and Oklahoma, and winters well, growing through the winter months – through freezing temperatures and snow – to bloom in the spring. Plants in pots can be a little more vulnerable, because cold weather can chill the soil in a pot to freezing, where roots in the ground are protected. You may need to cover or move your plants to prevent this from happening. Our article on Container Gardening with Native Plants has this to say about protecting plants in pots from the cold:

"In freezing weather, plants in containers are more vulnerable than plants in the ground. They can be shielded on the south side of a wall with leaves, blankets, or given extra warmth with strings of holiday lights. Particularly tender plants should be brought inside. Remember to uncover your plants after a few days when the weather warms up and avoid over-watering dormant plants to prevent rotting."

You may also want to read our article on How to Grow Bluebonnets.

 


Lupinus texensis

 


Lupinus texensis
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflower gardening in Leander , TX
September 02, 2009 - I live in Leander, Texas. I bought a couple of seed mixes last fall, and had wonderful wildflowers growing all along our fences, all spring and into the first part of the summer before it got way too ...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife uses of wildflowers in Central Texas
May 01, 2006 - How are wildflowers in Central Texas used by wildlife?
view the full question and answer

Time for planting wildflower seeds in East Texas
August 06, 2007 - I live in northeast Texas, and we have had abundant rains here. Can I plant some wildflower seeds now, and if so, what plants would be appropriate?
view the full question and answer

Wildflower garden for a drain field in Olivet MI
June 27, 2010 - I have a large area that is currently lawn over a drain field. I would like to turn this area into a wild flower garden. Will the wild flower roots, etc. cause any concerns or damages to a drain fie...
view the full question and answer

Native Wildflowers and Grasses for Texas Acreage
April 15, 2015 - I recently purchased about 36 acres in Somervell County, Texas where cedar had been bulldozed and burned (many large spots). What would be the best native flowers or grasses to replant in that area? L...
view the full question and answer

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