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
2 ratings

Thursday - May 06, 2010

From: Damon, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: When to plant bluebonnet seeds in Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live south of Houston and have purchased 1lb. of bluebonnet seeds. The seed company told me I could put them out in June-when mother nature does it, however I have read several answers that say to see in the fall. So my question is June or Fall? Also if I wait until fall do I keep them in the freezer?

ANSWER:

First, please read our How-To Article How to Grow Bluebonnets. It will answer just about all your questions, except the one about freezing the seeds. Couldn't hurt, especially as you are in Houston where the humidity might cause some problems. When you get ready to seed, take them out of the freezer and proceed as the article says. Please be aware they will germinate and begin to bloom in their own sweet time. The article discusses scarifying the seed, which seems pretty tedious. One method being talked about at the Wildflower Center is to put the seeds in a  big pot of water, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and let them sit in the water for several hours. This is something you do when you are ready to plant. Even that is not necessary, but it might help to get more blooms the first year. Many seeds will never germinate at all, some will bloom and make seeds and drop them the first year, and many seeds will wait in the ground and then germinate, years later. As long as they are not mowed or pulled out before the seed pods mature, they will continue to re-seed and make more bluebonnets every year.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Smarty Plants on Bluebells
August 26, 2004 - Do you have Bluebells growing at the Wildflower center and if so how much longer will they be blooming ?
view the full question and answer

Why did my Prairie Flax plant die in Austin, TX?
April 27, 2012 - Hello, We planted 4 prairie flax last fall in garden. They were all growing nicely until last month when I found that one of them has completely dried up and died. The plants are planted together a...
view the full question and answer

Seeding wildflowers in Dallas
June 30, 2009 - What is the best way to establish seed for wildflowers in Dallas, TX? The area does get some irrigation from rotors. Would hydromulch be the most effective option?
view the full question and answer

Will Texas Bluebonnets grow in Gardiner, NY
May 06, 2010 - Will Texas bluebonnets grow in the Mid Hudson Valley New York? If so when and how is the best time to plant.
view the full question and answer

Help for Collapsing Tradescantia
August 14, 2013 - My tradescantia has completely collapsed at the crown. The stems are yellowish. This happened once before when I had it planted in full sun and I just had to discard it. This time I have one plante...
view the full question and answer

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