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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

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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Monday - March 22, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: More on bluebonnets
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My Bluebonnets have taken over my flowerbed. Are there plants that can be planted along with Bluebonnets in a flowerbed?

ANSWER:

There are several possible reasons that your Bluebonnets have become overly successful in your flowerbed: competition (a plant species successfully increasing its population by out-competing other species for existing resources) or allelopathy (lupines produce alkaloids that are released into the soil and can inhibit germination and growth in other plants). Try incorporating plants that you might see growing amongst the Bluebonnets in their natural habitat, plants that can co-exist and are possibly resistant to their allelopathic effects. Some suggestions for your eco-region (North Texas): Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa), Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella), Mexican hats (Ratabida columnaris), golden-wave (Coreopsis basilis), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Drummond phlox (Phlox drummondii).

 

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