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
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

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

Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
view the full question and answer

Best planting time for wildflower seeds in Austin, TX
February 13, 2007 - When would be the best time to plant wild flower seeds and mow an area where we want to grow wild flowers in Austin Texas?
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers and grasses for sunny field in Nashville, TN
October 09, 2005 - I want to plant wildflowers in a sunny field (old pasture land) in Nashville, Tennessee. I plan on killing the existing weeds and tall grasses with roundup this fall and planting native grasses (wha...
view the full question and answer

Starting Antelope Horn Milkweed Seeds
March 08, 2013 - I recently found a sealed plastic bag containing milkweed seeds in a cabinet drawer that I had gathered more than a year ago, (maybe two years ago). These are the "antelope horn" milkweed I think it...
view the full question and answer

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