En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

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

Wildflowers for sunny garden in Bedford TX
February 27, 2011 - I live in North Central Texas around Bedford. I have clay soil which I have been building with soil to enrich the soil foundation. I need a wildflower garden that receives at least 6 hours of su...
view the full question and answer

When is best time to plant seeds of Texas Nightshade in San Antonio, TX?
September 20, 2014 - I need to know the time to plant seeds of Texas Nightshade. Can I plant them now ( August ), or wait till fall or spring?
view the full question and answer

Current forecast for wildflowers from Colorado Springs
February 24, 2012 - What is your current forecast for wildflowers this spring?
view the full question and answer

Will native plants become invasive from Grapevine TX
February 23, 2013 - Main Question - I want to convert my front and back yards into a native plant sanctuary but worry about if these plants growing out of control/invasive and if neighbors will complain about these "wee...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Lupinus havardii seeds from Elmendorf TX
April 25, 2014 - I have been able to grow several Lupinus havardii (Big Bend Bluebonnet) and they are now making seed. Is there anyway to determine if a seed is good or bad for this plant?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center