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
1 rating

Thursday - September 23, 2010

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Should Bluebonnets Be Planted in Mulch in Spring Branch, TX
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus

QUESTION:

I would like to plant bluebonnet seeds in my flower bed. The bed has a layer of shredded cedar mulch. Do I need to remove the mulch where the seeds will be planted, or will the plants grow up through the mulch?

ANSWER:

Bluebonnet seeds need to be in close contact with the soil to germinate properly. Also, they don't like to stay wet.  And a lot of wildflower seeds need light to germinate.  For all of these reasons, you need to remove the mulch where you plan to plant the bluebonnets.

Also be sure you are planting them in a well-drained area.  You have heavy clay, and, unless you have already amended your beds,you might need to add some decomposed granite to the soil and till it in Then lightly rake the soil, add the seeds and step them tightly against the ground. Be sure and water them lightly right after you plant them.  They should be fine on their own once they start growing unless we have a long dry spell.  I think that you will have more problems keeping them dry than wet enough in Spring Branch.  I think I would be inclilned to put them in their own area, with 4- 5 inches of decomposed gravel worked into the soil, unless you have already built a bed for plants that like dry conditons. Otherwise that gumbo soil is likely to drown them this winter.

Here is a useful article from our How To Articles on How to Grow Bluebonnets.

I hope your beds are ready to plant your seeds. Early October is the prime time to plant bluebonnets.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Bluebonnets to bloom in September in Harlingen, TX
April 30, 2008 - How can I get bluebonnets to bloom in the first week of September? I need them for my daughter's wedding! We live in Harlingen. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Varieties of lupines that will grow in Zone 7, Alabama
October 27, 2006 - I have just found you and read 500 plus questions, fascinated. My question concerns plants in Alabama, is there a variety of lupine that will grow is zone 7, sun or shade? Also, we purchased acreage t...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet Seeds
March 20, 2004 - Where can I get bulk quantities of Bluebonnet seeds?
view the full question and answer

Butterfly Plants for Chicago
September 13, 2014 - I live near Chicago, IL and am interested in planting a butterfly garden. Not sure when to start, but I want all native plants that would attract butterflies. Can you please let me know which plants ...
view the full question and answer

Perennial native wildflowers in Delaware
July 14, 2007 - I'd like to plant some perennial wildflowers around a fresh water pond near the beach in southern Delaware. Do you have some suggestions for native species that will grow in full sun? Thank you...
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