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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Wednesday - March 02, 2016

From: Mesquite, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Are Bluebonnet seeds still viable after storage for a year?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I bought a pouch of Bluebonnets a year ago and now found them and have to wait to Fall to plant. Too old? Start over in purchase?

ANSWER:

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) seed are viable for several years if kept in a dry place at room temperature or, better, in the refrigerator.  

Before planting the seed they should be treated to allow water to enter through the hard outer coat.  As stated in our Bluebonnet description "Scarification will hasten germination. Put seeds in the freezer overnight and then douse with boiling water to crack seedcoats. Soaking seeds overnight is also effective. Drain water, add rhizobium, and plant."

 Additional tips for planting Bluebonnets can be found at this web site.

 

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