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

Tuesday - October 20, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Should I thin my bluebonnet seedlings in Austin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

It is October, and we have hundreds, maybe thousands, of bluebonnets sprouting at Eilers Park. The seeds are from plants we installed last year. They look like they should be thinned. Should we thin them or just let them alone?

ANSWER:

First of all, let me refer you to our "How To" article on growing bluebonnets. Actually, there are three articles, so once you get to the How to Articles page, scroll down the page to the heading; All About Bluebonnets. The three articles there can tell you a lot about growing bluebonnets.

As to thinning bluebonnets, there are two schools of thought here at the Wildflower Center. I am of the opinion that you should leave well enough alone. However, our senior horticulturist, Julie Krosley, says that she has had good success with doing some thinning at this time. In fact, after the first true leaves appear you can carefully dig some out and transplant to areas with no seedlings.


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

When to mow after bluebonnets bloom in Brenham, TX
May 04, 2009 - I live in Brenham, TX, and thanks to spreading 80 pounds of bluebonnet seeds last fall, we had a very small but promising showing of bluebonnets this March and April. The bluebonnets still appear to b...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars on Milkweed in MA
January 23, 2016 - I have found every year a black/red caterpillars on my milkweed. They eat everything! I have never been able to find out what they are or how to get rid of them.
view the full question and answer

Preparing for planting wildflower meadow in Austin
January 02, 2012 - We are in the midst of prepping beds for wildflower plantings in the spring. We spent the last month pulling up our existing lawn and invasive grasses so we are now wondering how to secure the beds f...
view the full question and answer

Spreading bluebonnets in pasture from Ledbetter TX
April 29, 2013 - I've found a small patch of bluebonnets in my back pasture in Ledbetter, tx. What is the best method of encouraging their spread across the pasture? I've heard that one can pull up the plants and ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants that do not attract any kind of wildlife.
October 19, 2015 - Hi I live in Bexar County, Texas and I was wondering what would be some good NATIVE plants that could be planted in yards that do not attract any kind of wildlife (so no berries, nuts, fruits, thick c...
view the full question and answer

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