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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 25, 2010

From: Snellville, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Can I grow Texas bluebonnets in Georgia?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Being a native Texan, my mom loves bluebonnets. We live in Georgia, however so I am wondering if I planted some bluebonnets in her yard would they grow? What are the best conditions for bluebonnets (if I need to prep her soil or create a raised bed for the bluebonnets). Thanks!

ANSWER:

Being a native Georgian living in Texas, I understand.

First, I have to say that growing plants outside their native range is in direct opposition to the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  And there are very good reasons for discouraging the importation of exotic species, weed and pest, and disease issues probably top the list.  We know that Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) will not become an invasive species or even a weed in Georgia, but that is not necessarily the case with all species.  Pests and diseases are another matter.  We would be mortified to learn that a serious pest or disease made its way to Georgia from Texas carried by native wildflowers.

Now that I've described some of the reasons why it's not a very good idea to grow bluebonnets in Georgia, I'm going to tell you what will happen if you actually do.  My father, who lives in Georgia, took some seeds back home from a visit to Texas, prepared a bed by adding LOTS of lime and sowed the seeds.  The first year after sowing no bluebonnets appeared, but for the next two years he had a nice display of them from the seed sown that first year.  Bluebonnet seeds can remain viable in the soil for years.  Eventually the little patch of bluebonnets died out as the soil became more and more acidic.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Transplanting wildflowers slated for destruction in Buda, TX.
June 16, 2015 - TXDOT has recently informed our church that they will be taking a sizeable amount of natural area fronting a ranch road for lane expansion. We are devastated to lose an are we have planted and nurtur...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
November 29, 2004 - We would like to know if the bluebonnet wildflowers are suitable for New Orleans and, if so, which months should they be seeded. Otherwise what can you suggest for our humid climate. We like blue, lav...
view the full question and answer

Survival of bluebonnets in extreme heat from Tioga TX
September 03, 2011 - Is there anything I can do for my bluebonnet patch in this extreme drought for the rest of the summer and fall? Should I have watered this summer? I had a good show and think seeding was fairly normal...
view the full question and answer

What happens to wildflower seeds planted before a heavy rain in Cedar Creek TX
November 23, 2009 - I planted tx wildflower seeds yesterday--November 19th. It has rained all day with water standing in the places that I planted. Do you think that they will take? Am I going to have to plant more seeds...
view the full question and answer

Slope Erosion control for Fairview NC
August 19, 2012 - Please recommend plants to help with soil erosion on a slope. The soil is red clay and area gets full sun. The slope is approximately 12' x 12'. I live in Fairview, NC
view the full question and answer

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