Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 - April 15, 2010

From: Round Rock , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: What blueberry cultivar is best for Austin, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

How do I know what blueberry bush to purchase for the best tasting variety that will grow in the Austin, TX area?

ANSWER:

Most of the commercially produced blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) known ot American consumers are grown on plants native to the eastern 1/3 of the US.  Parts of the Rocky Mountain states, the Pacific Northwest and most of Canada are also known for their own beloved indigenous species of blueberries and the closely-related huckleberries. 

 

No blueberrry species are native to nor suitable for Austin.  Unfortunately, the soil and climate in Austin, Texas is not conducive to growing blueberries.  One characteristic that every species of North American Vacciniums has in common, whether it's blueberries, huckleberries, cranberries, lingonberries or bilberries is its requirement for acid soil.  The soil in Austin, being very, very alkaline is nearly impossible for blueberries.  It is possible to amend the soil to make it more acid, but keeping the soil from reverting to its natural, basic state requires ongoing effort that you will probably find to be too much trouble.

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Dead or Dormant Chile Pequins in Corpus Christi
November 12, 2010 - We have 4 chile pequin and 5 chiltepin plants growing our yard. All were thriving beautifully until we took a 12-day vacation in late July. There was little rain during that time but overall this y...
view the full question and answer

Petals of flowers on cake from London
August 28, 2010 - Hi could you please confirm whether it is safe to position an amaryllis on top of a fresh cream cake (it will not be eaten, nor will the stem touch the cream, it will be positioned in a non toxic vial...
view the full question and answer

Digging sassafras roots in Oklahoma
March 11, 2009 - When should I dig sassafras roots in eastern Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Can poisonous seed of wild plum be safely removed after steaming from Seymour IA
June 20, 2013 - I read on a related questions that you said the pit/seeds of all wild plums are poisonous. My question is this, can I juice the entire fruit for making jelly without removing the pit first? I have a s...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Georgia
September 14, 2011 - I saw the same question that I was going to ask about the plant that folds its leaves at dusk, with sparse branches, rapid growth, small yellow flowers and long (whisker-like, but do not appear to be ...
view the full question and answer

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