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

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

Bluebonnets and weeds in Burleson TX
March 31, 2010 - I have lots of blue bonnets growing in my yard but they are overcome with weeds. What can I use to eliminate the weeds without killing the bluebonnets?
view the full question and answer

Wildflower gardening for Citrus Co., Florida
March 07, 2008 - I live in Citrus County Florida, on the north central, west side of the state. I hope to start a wildflower meadow in my natural back yard. Can you recommend good wildflowers to grow, and where to g...
view the full question and answer

Native trees and wildflowers for acreage near San Marcos, TX
February 19, 2007 - We are moving to 4 acres between Lockhart & San Marcos TX. The soil is a kind of gummy black clay. Elms, mesquite and grasses seem to grow well in it. What native trees and wildflowers would do wel...
view the full question and answer

Late Blooming Wildflowers for Round Rock
August 06, 2014 - I thought this would be a previously answered question but found nothing in the data base. My question is: in Central Texas what can be grown for some color or interest in a wildflower area when the w...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeding for hurricane-damaged areas of New Orleans
January 05, 2007 - I need some information. I am going to be traveling to New Orleans in two weeks to visit a relative. They are in an area that was decimated by the hurricane. Though they have rebuilt the neighborho...
view the full question and answer

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