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Thursday - May 13, 2010

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Planting time and method for bluebonnets in Leander, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What month is the right month to plant the bluebonnet seeds? September or October? Is the correct way to plant is by "throwing" them on top of the ground? I have a grassy area and I like them there. If I "push" them a little in the ground --- will it take them longer to come up thru the grass? Thank you, JoAnn

ANSWER:

Begin by reading our How-To Article. How to Grow Bluebonnets. It answers many basic questions about Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet), which, of course, is native to Central Texas. Also, here is some information we extracted from a question similar to yours:

"Well, see, it doesn't work like that. "Lawn" and "wildflowers" tend to be self-exclusive. A lawn is grasses that are expected to be mowed about every week during heavy growing season. Wildflowers must be given a chance to bloom, mature, set seed and drop it before they get mowed. Plus, many of the favorite Texas wildflowers are annuals, not perennials. For instance, Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is a winter annual, dropping its seeds from the legume pods in Fall, the seeds gradually work their way down into the soil (which could take two or three years), the soil and rainfall "weather" the seeds until their seed coverings permit them to germinate, and then they pop up, showing rosettes in January that you might mistake for weeds, and only beginning to look like a bluebonnet in mid-March. Most wildflower seeds need good soil contact, which they certainly won't get in a thatch of lawn. You could "throw out" a whole bunch of seeds, and might get only two or three blooms. A tiny seedling trying to get up through that lawn barrier is going to struggle, at best. The rest of the seeds will have been consumed by rodents, carried off  by birds to bloom somewhere else, rotted or finally have soaked down into some dirt. Then, in their own good time, those members of the last class will begin to show up, years later."  

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