En Español

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

Trimming back wildflower beds in Cody Wyoming
February 20, 2011 - I live in Cody Wyoming and I have some wildflower beds in front of my house that didn't get trimmed back this summer...they look like swamp plants now, super nasty. Should I trim them now?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Rain-lily
April 12, 2005 - What is the common lily (I think) that grows in the ditches and especially this year because of all the rain. The flower is trumpet shaped and has red stripes in the petals? Very common everywhere t...
view the full question and answer

Autumn flowering Texas wildflowers
May 07, 2008 - Where might I get a list of autumn flowering Texas wildflowers?
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of wildflowers in Frankfort IL
September 02, 2009 - Can you tell us how to get rid of wildflowers? We have wildflowers on the side of our pond and we want to plant sod next year.Should we cut them down this year and use a vegetation killer? We have fi...
view the full question and answer

Fourth-grade research on Texas Wildflowers from Dallas, TX
January 06, 2014 - Mr. Smarty Plants, Hello, I am a fourth grade teacher and my students are about to begin a project on Texas Wildflowers. Some of the information they will require is the scientific name of the plant...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center