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

Sowing additional wildflower and grass seeds on steep hillside
January 30, 2006 - Mr. Smarty, we recently moved to Hot Springs, AR. We have about a 1000 sf hillside area too steep to plant with shrubs etc. We had wildflower seeds scattered last May in this area and the flowers we...
view the full question and answer

What insect eats Alamo Fire blue bonnets from League City TX
June 10, 2013 - What insect eats Alamo Fire blue bonnets? Something seems to be eating new seedpods.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for limestone ledge with thin soil in Austin, TX
February 14, 2007 - My back yard is essentially a limestone ledge with less than an inch of soil on the top in full sun. What native plants can live in this environment? Since I can't really dig a hole, maybe I should...
view the full question and answer

Color of Englemann's daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)
April 11, 2010 - I'm in Austin and just bought some Engelmann's Daisies at the plant sale on Fri. The picture had them with white petals, and your plant database has them with yellow petals. I specifically wanted wh...
view the full question and answer

Native trees and wildflowers for acreage near San Marcos, TX
February 19, 2007 - We are moving to 4 acres between Lockhart & San Marcos TX. The soil is a kind of gummy black clay. Elms, mesquite and grasses seem to grow well in it. What native trees and wildflowers would do wel...
view the full question and answer

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