Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
1 rating

Thursday - January 23, 2014

From: Lockhart, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Bluebonnet Planting in January in Lockhart
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

My husband has yet again failed for the second year straight to put out the bluebonnet seeds in our backyard back in October. Is it too late now that it's mid January for me to get them in the ground or started inside?

ANSWER:

  You sound a lot like Mrs. Smarty Plants - - She'd be reading this and nodding uh-huh, uh-huh.

  But, sadly, I have to admit that your expectations are right.  It is REALLY late to be putting seeds out, or even trying to force germination indoors.  If you take a close look where they grow naturally, you'll see that they are germinated and likely grown to 1-3".  Pretty much just waiting for the spring rains to spur their big growth spurt and flowering.  Actually, just to get a bit of color and get this going, getting a few from a native nursery or transplanting a few of those you found [from where you can take them legally of course] may be your best course of action.  I bet the Mr. would remember then next fall to do the planting also!

   Mr Smarty Plants has also taken a variety of similar questions.  If you read these, the answer won’t change very much but there is a variety of addition information you might find interesting:
MSP on Transplanting Bluebonnets
Planting wildflowers in spring for spring bloom
Another January question:  Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
Planting wildflower seeds in Texas in February
Is it illegal in Texas to pick bluebonnets? No

 I also found for you a “How-to Article on Planting and Caring for Bluebonnets”.   In the same list of How-to articles there are also separate articles on Rhizobium and on seed scarification.

In the meantime - May I offer you some Bluebonnet pictures?

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More Planting Questions

Live oak leaves not dropping from Austin
April 29, 2014 - We had a 65 gallon live oak planted last October. We watered it regularly and it was green all through the winter. In March the leaves started to turn brown but never dropped, as they should have. ...
view the full question and answer

Need a shade tree to plant in Houston, TX
November 18, 2013 - Hi, i'm looking for a shade tree to plant on the southwest side of our house, both to make our backyard more enjoyable and to improve energy efficiency. We really like Live Oaks, but they just take t...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in pecan tree in Garner NC
July 19, 2012 - I transplanted a pecan tree about 3 weeks ago & been watering it 3 times a day. The leaves are turning brown & crumbly before I water it. After I water it, the leaves are brown but I can scratch the t...
view the full question and answer

Submerged paving under lawn
September 07, 2008 - I had 4 patches of rectangular areas (about 4'x6'or more) in my lawn where the grass is fine in spring but totally dies in summer. I decided to till these bare patches so that grass may grow better...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for shade in Ennis TX
August 26, 2011 - My house faces south. The southwest side of the front yard has a Pride of Houston, Japanese Barberry, 2 crape myrtles and some dwarf yaupon hollies. The other section, divided by a stairway to the p...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.