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

Wildflowers for West Texas Permian Basin area
March 19, 2007 - What wild flowers grow out here in West Texas (Permian Basin Area)? I know a lot of the wild flowers from other parts of the state will not grow out here in the dry heat and poor soil. Thanks for you...
view the full question and answer

Starting Venus Flytrap From Seed
September 05, 2013 - I am a high school student doing a project on the Venus flytrap and would like you to help me by answering the following questions: What are the Venus flytrap predators and prey? How to raise a Venus ...
view the full question and answer

Cutting back annual wildflowers after going to seed
August 16, 2006 - I purchased some wildflower seeds from the center last year, planted them in Nov-Dec and they have done fairly well this year despite our fairly dry winter. My question is now that they are done bloom...
view the full question and answer

List of native perennial Texas flowers
March 13, 2006 - Good day, I am searching for a list of native Texas flowers (preferably perennials) for a flower garden. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Repairing damage to perennials from hailstorm
May 15, 2006 - We just had a tremendous hailstorm north of Georgetown. The hail was being blown horizontally and my perennials were sheared off at the ground. Is there any advice as to how to help these plants reg...
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