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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - December 05, 2009

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Turf
Title: Eliminating bluebonnets from lawn
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need to know the best way to eliminate bluebonnets which are growing in my yard. My HOA is pursuing legal action against me to prevent me growing the plants. I can't afford to "resod" my yard. Can you offer me a different solution. Please understand that I am not in favor of this, but have no choice as I am "out of compliance" with HOA guidelines for how a "lawn" should look. Thank you.

ANSWER:

What a shame to lose your beautiful bluebonnets!

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is an annual that grows from seed each year, the seeds that most likely fell from your plants in late May and June.  By now you probably can see the rosettes of the seedlings already growing for the plants that should bloom in March and April  (see photos below). These will be very easy to dig out since they should still have very shallow roots.  This will eliminate any bluebonnets next spring.  You will need to keep checking during the spring to be sure that you have dug them all out.  This doesn't mean, however, that you won't have new plants emerge next fall/winter since not all seeds will germinate the first year.  Indeed, you may have several plants show up for several years, but those plants won't produce new plants unless you let them go to seed.

Mr. Smarty Plants is very sorry for your loss!


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

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