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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 17, 2010

From: Farmville, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Transplants, Wildflowers
Title: Volunteer bluebonnets in Farmville VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have two small Texas bluebonnet plants that came with no instructions as to how to plant them regarding soil or sun. Everything I read has to do with seeds, can you please help me? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Did you plant seeds of Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) and those came up, or are they really volunteer? It's more likely they are either Lupinus perennis ssp. gracilis (sundial lupine) or Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine),  both of which are native to both Texas and Virginia. They are perennial and don't like to be transplanted because of a long taproot, but will spread from the ones that came up or drop their seeds, or you can harvest and plant the seeds. The Lupinus likes full sun, which we consider to be 6 or more hours of sun a day. 

Propagation Instructions:

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Best propagated from dry, treated seed in spring. Fresh-sown seed does not need treatment. Do not plant more than 3/4 in. deep. Does not transplant well due to deep tap root
Seed Collection: Fruit is a hairy pod. Collect in late Jun. to early Jul. Seedhead explodes.
Seed Treatment: Scarification, inoculation, moist stratification for 10 days. Soil should be inoculated before sowing seed. 

Since both L. texensis and L. perennis are considered state flowers of Texas, we sometimes recommend L. Perennis to displaced, homesick  Texans as a Texas bluebonnet they can have not in Texas. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus perennis

Lupinus perennis ssp. gracilis

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Purchase of Galphimia angustifolia from Austin
June 08, 2014 - I have a Thryallis, Galphimia augustifolia, or Thryallis autustifolia, growing from a limestone ledge in my yard in west Austin TX. I have tried unsuccessfully to buy this native. Do you sell it at t...
view the full question and answer

Hardiness of Mexican bush sage in USDA Zone 7
September 25, 2006 - I have a Mexican Sage (salvia). I need to know the care of it especially because it is a gift and the plant is about 5 ft. With the weather and the red clay I don't know if I could plant it or just ...
view the full question and answer

When do bluebonnets bloom in Austin
January 03, 2008 - When do Blue Bonnets bloom in Austin? We have someone who wants to come visit and see the Blue Bonnets and I want to tell them the right time of year.. Thanks!!
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers tolerant of lower water and lots of sun
April 17, 2007 - I live in Austin Texas and have a small bed in the front of the house which faces the east with no shade. I am not much of a yard person so would like to plant some Native plants that don't need a lo...
view the full question and answer

How to make a lawn into a prairie in Arlington, Texas
September 15, 2010 - I am removing lawn grasses in order to start a native prairie meadow. After grass removal, I'll put down 1/2" of compost. I will broadcast wildflower seeds on the compost. If I mulch after broadcas...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center