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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - September 26, 2007

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Fertilizing wild bluebonnets
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you fertilize wild bluebonnets? If so, with what and when?

ANSWER:

Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The reason those wild bluebonnets are out there doing just fine is that they've been out there doing just fine for millions of years before human beings came along trying to improve on Nature. Read this article on Bluebonnets, which is really written about planting them in your landscape. However, note especially the line that says: "Fertilizing is not recommended and may encourage leggy and weak plants with more leaves than flowers." Protect them from mowing, yes, keep them from being stepped on by picture takers, if you can, yes, enjoy them while they bloom, absolutely, but don't mess with them! And thank you for being interested in the preservation of native plants, especially bluebonnets, from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which is interested in the same thing.

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Native Texas plants that will grow in sandy soil and salt tolerant
June 08, 2005 - I am in the US Coast Guard and we are looking to plant some wildflowers. The plants will be near saltwater and may get exposed if the area floods during a tropical storm or hurricane. Being on the Gul...
view the full question and answer

Is Fern-like Plant with White Flower Poison Hemlock?
May 06, 2014 - I have a fern-like plant which produces white flowers that uncurl from the stem as the plant starts to grow. Is this poison hemlock?
view the full question and answer

Trees and wildflowers for Matagorda County, Texas
January 06, 2012 - My family has a fish farm in Palacios, Matagorda county. I would like to plant trees and wild flowers on the property. Can you suggest the appropriate kind that can withstand the salt water around an...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 05, 2006 - Hello: We have been told that the sparse Bluebonnet appearance this Spring is due to sparse rainfall at the appropriate times. Were there fewer seeds to sprout and grow? Or are the seeds still ...
view the full question and answer

Germinating Penstemon tenuis, Monarda citriodora and Machaeranthera tanacetifolia Seed
June 03, 2013 - I am a graduate student at Texas Tech (UT Austin alumni), studying horticulture. I will be researching several wildflowers found in west Texas including Penstemon tenuis, Monarda citriodora, and Macha...
view the full question and answer

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