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
3 ratings

Tuesday - November 01, 2011

From: Flower Mound, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Seeds and Seeding, Soils, Wildflowers
Title: Growing bluebonnets in pot in Flower Mound TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We received a package of bluebonnet seeds along with the DVD Wildflowers: Seeds of History as a gift. In the film, Andrea DeLong mentions that bluebonnets did not grow well in a rich organic soil. What type of soil do you recommend we use to grow bluebonnets in small pots? When do you recommend the seeds be planted?

ANSWER:

As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile MapLupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) grows naturally in Denton and Tarrant Counties,so we are betting the dirt where you are would work just fine. We believe your area could be considered the Cross Timbers and Prairies. We used to garden there, and we can tell you, there is a very confusing mix of soils in that area. Here is the description from our webpage on the Texas Bluebonnet of the soils in which it will grow:

"Limestone/chalky, Sandy Loam, Limestone-based, Calcareous, Sandy, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche"

We agree with the statement made by our Director of Horticulture that the bluebonnet neither requires nor likes rich soils, which is probably why it does so well in Texas. This means that buying potting soil at the nursery for your containers of bluebonnets is going to be counter-productive. We are guessing that at least some of your soil is clay, which can mean poor drainage, so we suggest you mix up your own potting soil. Dig enough out of the ground to fill however many pots you plan to use. Mix in some decomposed granite, sand, even compost to improve the drainage in the pot. And don't fertilize, native plants don't need fertilizer because they are accustomed to the climate and dirt in which they already grow. Then, read our How-To Articles: How to Articles How to Grow Bluebonnets and Container Gardening with Native Plants.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More Wildflowers Questions

Bluebonnet trip planning from Searcy AR
February 10, 2013 - We are planning a Spring Bluebonnet trip to east, central and south Texas. Is there an average timetable for Blubonnet blooming in the areas of San Antonio, Hill Country, Austin and east, and Northea...
view the full question and answer

Making Tea from Croton monanthogynus
August 13, 2013 - Do you have any other information on the value of croton monanthogynus as a tea? Nutritive value? Possible adverse reactions?
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Can you produce hay and bluebonnets on the same field?
March 03, 2010 - Hi - We have a field that produces wild bluebonnets every spring. Is it possible to grow and bail hay in this field and not kill off our bluebonnets? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Autumn flowering Texas wildflowers
May 07, 2008 - Where might I get a list of autumn flowering Texas wildflowers?
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