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
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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 30, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Wildflowers
Title: Bluebonnet rosettes in July from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr S.P.: Please solve my bluebonnet summer mystery! I established about 1500 sq feet of bluebonnets starting four years ago by scavenging seeds here and there and just scattering in the spring. I live just a few miles West of the Wildflower center, btw. My bluebonnet patch has performed nicely and I had an epic bloom this spring. Here’s my puzzle: I have hundreds of them that have germinated into rosettes here this July. In the past few years the germination has been on schedule in September and October as you’d expect. Can you tell me what’s going on and what hope these plants have of surviving? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Fear not! Nature and your bluebonnets have not lost their minds. Central Texas got no rain and few bluebonnets last year, Winter rain and zillions of bluebonnets this year. Bluebonnets are survivors; some of those rosettes that you are seeing now will very likely put on a few blooms because their First Directive is to go forth and propagate. Leaves, blooms and seeds. But still in the ground, and still viable, are many, many more seeds that have been waiting their chance, sometimes for several years, to come up and do their thing. Even if those rosettes don't manage to produce some seeds before it gets too cold for them, you will still get more rosettes, seeds and flowers beginning in late December or early January. Bluebonnets have graced Texas through droughts and floods and fires for thousands of years, with no help from anxious gardeners or Mr. Smarty Plants. Darn it, we do love to be needed.

Please read our How-To Article on How to Grow Bluebonnets, just for reassurance, but it sounds like you're doing just fine. You know what you've been doing? Keep doing it.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More Propagation Questions

Which seeds need to be scarified from Marble Falls TX
November 08, 2013 - Can I find out which seeds need to be scarified?
view the full question and answer

Obtaining seeds for mutant white bluebonnet
April 18, 2007 - I have seen a white bluebonnet in Brenham on Easter and wondered how rare the white ones are and how you get seeds for those. Are there any special directions on collecting seeds for planting next fa...
view the full question and answer

Planting iris rhizomes in Wisconsin
October 10, 2008 - I live in central WI and was given some iris bulbs (think they are called Rhizomes) and have no idea how to go about planting them. I am very new to planting so step by step instructions with good de...
view the full question and answer

Buffaloberry from Grandma
June 25, 2008 - I have a "BUFFALO BERRY" that my Grandma brought back from South Dakota.It is approx.8yrs.old.All was well until this spring.It was budding out when we had a very hard freeze and got 3" of snow.Now...
view the full question and answer

Propagating a new tree from a magnolia in Johnsburg IL
September 22, 2009 - My friend would like to reroot her magnolia tree in her front yard to bring it with her to Memphis. The tree is huge and easiest to reroot if possible. Does she trim branches to root, or dry the seeds...
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