Each year sometime around January or February, the same question begins to form on every Texan’s lips as sightings of bluebonnet seedlings begin to appear, when will the bluebonnets bloom? Bluebonnets are as free-willed and independent as the people who love them. Though it’s easy to say that between March and April is when bluebonnets raise their little violet-blue heads to salute the sky above. Bluebonnets are not only our state flower; they are a symbol of the Texas Sprit. Leave it to a Texan to write songs about them, Sprinkle bluebonnet seeds along every Texas highway and bluebonnet trail, have festivals that showcase them, designate entire cities to bluebonnets. Yes there is no doubt that both the Texas bluebonnet and Texans alike to do things in such a rebellious way.
Many gardeners have either mastered the art of growing bluebonnets and others well I’m sure could use a few pointers
Basic Principles for Planting and Growing Bluebonnets
- Plant in full sun, in soil which drains well and doesn’t stay wet for long periods of time.
- Barely cover seeds with soil, don’t bury the crown of transplants
- Water seeds only on the day of planting and transplants only when the top one inch of soil dries
- No applications of fertilizer are required but are helpful and will cause more abundant bloom
- The best time to plant seed is in August or when already established bluebonnets go to seed
For those that have had trouble growing bluebonnets are those who simply try too hard by overwatering and not choosing a location that meets then needs of bluebonnets. Over the years I’ve heard my fair share of interesting bluebonnet facts. Did you know that there are five different varieties that grow in the state of Texas, they include:
Lupinus texensis – grows in central Texas, has blue flowers with bits of white and occasionally has a tinge of pink, has 5-7 leaflets and grows 20-40cm tall *only grows in Texas* Is the easiest variety to grow and is the same variety that the state distributes along Texas highways.
Lupinus havardii – aka Big Bend Bluebonnet can reach up to 4ft tall and has approx. 7 leaflets its bluish/purplish in color with a white tip
Lupinus subcarnosus – aka Buffalo clover or the sandyland bluebonnet grows in the sandy, rolling hills of coastal and southern Texas with sheets of royal-blue in the early spring *only grows in Texas*
Lupinus plattensis – is the only perennial species in the state and grows to about two feet tall. It normally blooms in mid to late spring and is also known as the dune bluebonnet, the plains bluebonnet and the Nebraska Lupine
Lupinus concinnus – is an inconspicuous variety of bluebonnet, growing from 2 to 7 inches, with flowers which combine elements of white, rosy purple and lavender. Commonly known as the annual lupine, it is found sparingly in the Trans-Pecos region, blooming in early spring.