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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 25, 2010

From: Snellville, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Can I grow Texas bluebonnets in Georgia?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Being a native Texan, my mom loves bluebonnets. We live in Georgia, however so I am wondering if I planted some bluebonnets in her yard would they grow? What are the best conditions for bluebonnets (if I need to prep her soil or create a raised bed for the bluebonnets). Thanks!

ANSWER:

Being a native Georgian living in Texas, I understand.

First, I have to say that growing plants outside their native range is in direct opposition to the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  And there are very good reasons for discouraging the importation of exotic species, weed and pest, and disease issues probably top the list.  We know that Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) will not become an invasive species or even a weed in Georgia, but that is not necessarily the case with all species.  Pests and diseases are another matter.  We would be mortified to learn that a serious pest or disease made its way to Georgia from Texas carried by native wildflowers.

Now that I've described some of the reasons why it's not a very good idea to grow bluebonnets in Georgia, I'm going to tell you what will happen if you actually do.  My father, who lives in Georgia, took some seeds back home from a visit to Texas, prepared a bed by adding LOTS of lime and sowed the seeds.  The first year after sowing no bluebonnets appeared, but for the next two years he had a nice display of them from the seed sown that first year.  Bluebonnet seeds can remain viable in the soil for years.  Eventually the little patch of bluebonnets died out as the soil became more and more acidic.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Growing Texas wildflowers indoors for a March wedding from Austin
October 01, 2013 - I have learned so much from this site! Thank you! I am getting Married this March and I am hoping to use Texas wildflowers for the centerpieces. I hope to grow them in containers indoors and have the ...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds affected by mulch in Austin
October 24, 2010 - I have a small wildflower garden in my central Austin yard. In early summer, I had some extra mulch and put it in this garden. Now I'm thinking that was a mistake. The bed has re-seeded itself for se...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID–maybe a lupine?
February 02, 2015 - We have a strange plant growing in our flowerbed that we did not knowingly plant. It sprang up last summer and has continued to grow throughout the winter in spite of several freezes. We live just eas...
view the full question and answer

Bleeding Heart-Like Plant Identification in PA
May 09, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. We have a plant that looks almost like the bleeding heart, as in the way the bell shaped (not heart) white flowers hang downward on the stem. However, the leaves are broader and...
view the full question and answer

Alternative names for Aquilegia Sanguinaria
May 03, 2006 - I am looking for the common name for a flower called Aquilegia Sanguinaria. Can you help? Does this even exist?
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