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
2 ratings

Thursday - April 12, 2012

From: Smithville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Time to mow bluebonnets from Smithville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When is the best time to mow the seeded Bluebonnets? I have them and Drummond Phlox in my front yard. I need to clean and trim to start pulling the large numbers of Purple Hooked Sandburr.

ANSWER:

If you want the plants to reseed themselves or to harvest the ripened seeds, the answer is: not yet. Read our article How to Grow Bluebonnets that will explain at what stage the seeds will be ready. You can harvest them or let them fall on the ground naturally, or "explode"  them out of the dried pod to several feet away. In any case, they should not be removed from the plant until the pod is dry and ready to let go. See pictures below. From that article:

"Do not mow until the plants have formed mature seedpods. Bluebonnet seeds usually mature six to eight weeks after flowering. When mature, the pods turn yellow or brown and start to dry. By mowing after the seeds have matured, you will allow the plants to reseed for next year."

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Seeds and seed pods of bluejacket (Tradescantia ohiensis or Hyacinthus orientalis
March 26, 2015 - I have lots of bluejacket flowers in my yard. I keep looking for the seed pods but can't find any seeds. Where are the seed pods located on the bluejacket flower? Thanks. Lew Dallas
view the full question and answer

Seeds for India from Guilderland NY
August 15, 2010 - I have Green Cross “Non Profitable” trust in TamilNadu India. We are looking for free seeds from Government and other NGO foundations. Moto: Global Vowing awareness program and our volunteers help ...
view the full question and answer

Source for Ashe Juniper seeds from Blanco Co., TX
March 10, 2014 - I'm trying to find Ashe Juniper seeds to plant in bare areas of my property in central Texas. I understand they grow well in rockier soil and have many other benefits for native animal species. Unfo...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower garden for Driftwood, TX
August 20, 2013 - I would like to plant wildflowers in a fairly large field on a slope. The slope is a little rocky and is located in Driftwood, TX. I have been thinking about a mixture of Bluebonnets and Indian Blank...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Baptisia from Lancaster OH
August 24, 2012 - My Baptisia has gone to seed. When can I plant these seeds? Do they need strat? (zone 5)
view the full question and answer

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