Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Wednesday - July 02, 2008

From: Italy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Wildflowers
Title: Transplanting native bluebells in Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello Smarty, Italy TX here again! Your advice on crape myrtles has inspired me to try harder, but now I have a question about a TRUE native wildflower,the Texas Bluebell, growing in my pasture. I can't believe they are growing. We've had NO RAIN for nearly 2 months. Our corn is already drying up. So, I want to know how I can transplant some bluebells into my wildflower patch in my yard. I tried this before but I was not very careful with the roots. Also, are bluebells one of those flowers that has no pattern of when or where it will appear? Some of the fields I've seen in previous years were lush with the purple (and some white!) flowers, but this year the field is bare.BUT I have some in my pasture where I've never had any growing before.How does that work?

ANSWER:

According to our Native Plant Database, Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum (showy prairie gentian) is best propagated by seed. Unfortunately, the seed is about the size of black pepper, and slow to germinate. There are propagation instructions on the webpage we have linked you to. In terms of transplant, we have always suspected that this is a soil specific plant, because it seems to come back in the wild only in certain patches. However, we also noticed (in Brenham, the home of you-know-what ice cream) that it tended to grow in the sides of ditches, where more moisture, and perhaps some shelter from sun and wind, were available. You are very fortunate to have wild stands of this flower, as it seems to be growing more rare in the wild, and the plants that can be purchased often don't survive, either. We would suggest that, with patience, you might try propagating by seed. In addition, study the conditions and the type of soil your wild bluebells are in, and try to emulate them in your garden.


Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Problems with new transplant non-native weeping willow from Washington DC
September 10, 2012 - I replanted a very young BABY weeping willow tree and now it looks as if the leaves are drying up like it is dying. I know that it could also be in shock from the new transplant or it can be dying ...
view the full question and answer

Source for supplier of cedar plants in Pennsylvania
January 20, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Pants - please disregard a stupid question I asked a little earlier today about sourcing cedar plants near Easton, PA. I figured out looking up "Nurseries" could lead to Yellow Pages ent...
view the full question and answer

What is the best time of year to transplant a young pecan tree?
May 29, 2009 - What is the best time of year to transplant a young pecan tree?
view the full question and answer

Southern Woodferns in TX
May 06, 2010 - I have recently bought some 3 gallon southern woodferns, and have planted them in the shade in a low spot with clay soil. It seems to be a good location for the ferns, but a week or two after transpla...
view the full question and answer

Planting Texas Mountain Laurel to transplant to Dallas
August 29, 2012 - My daughter would like to incorporate a tree planting ceremony in her wedding in Texas. The seedling would be planted in a pot for a few years and later transplanted in a yard when they buy a home. Wo...
view the full question and answer

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