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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 17, 2010

From: Farmville, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Transplants, Wildflowers
Title: Volunteer bluebonnets in Farmville VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have two small Texas bluebonnet plants that came with no instructions as to how to plant them regarding soil or sun. Everything I read has to do with seeds, can you please help me? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Did you plant seeds of Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) and those came up, or are they really volunteer? It's more likely they are either Lupinus perennis ssp. gracilis (sundial lupine) or Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine),  both of which are native to both Texas and Virginia. They are perennial and don't like to be transplanted because of a long taproot, but will spread from the ones that came up or drop their seeds, or you can harvest and plant the seeds. The Lupinus likes full sun, which we consider to be 6 or more hours of sun a day. 

Propagation Instructions:

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Best propagated from dry, treated seed in spring. Fresh-sown seed does not need treatment. Do not plant more than 3/4 in. deep. Does not transplant well due to deep tap root
Seed Collection: Fruit is a hairy pod. Collect in late Jun. to early Jul. Seedhead explodes.
Seed Treatment: Scarification, inoculation, moist stratification for 10 days. Soil should be inoculated before sowing seed. 

Since both L. texensis and L. perennis are considered state flowers of Texas, we sometimes recommend L. Perennis to displaced, homesick  Texans as a Texas bluebonnet they can have not in Texas. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus perennis

Lupinus perennis ssp. gracilis

 

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Time to transplant an Eastern Redbud in Pearland, TX
November 17, 2010 - When is the best time in the fall to transplant an Eastern Redbud tree in Pearland, TX? We have one approximately 6 feet tall in the back yard and want to move it to the front ASAP.
view the full question and answer

How to Propagate Mexican Bush Sage in Marble Falls, Texas
September 14, 2010 - I need advice on when, how to separate Mexican bush sage. Ours is happy and HUGE but is now sprouting from the roots at the base. Since we've been so successful with this plant, we want to divide it...
view the full question and answer

Leaves falling off live oak tree in Eureka TX
August 22, 2009 - I have the same question; it is in Navarro County in August. The leaves are falling off my live oak tree, they are brownish yellow, but it is not oak wilt. What might it be? This year I put mulch arou...
view the full question and answer

Sumacs under live oaks dying in Austin
August 08, 2010 - Converted my yard to native plants last fall. All of the fragrant and evergreen sumacs are dying off one by one - they have never thrived. I ensure they get a good soaking at least once a week. I w...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Indian Hawthorn and Abelia resistance to deer from Ackerman MS
January 16, 2010 - I recently landscaped my yard. I have a large variety of bushes and trees. They have been planted for about a month. Yesterday, while out in the yard, I noticed that about half of my Indian hawthorn...
view the full question and answer

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