Guide to Growing and Caring for Texas Bluebonnets

texas bluebonnets

Type of Flower: Annual

Lupinus texensis

Texas Bluebonnet

There are six varieties of bluebonnets that thrive throughout the southwestern part of the United States.

In this article we are covering the Texas bluebonnet, Lupinus texensis, which is native to Texas and is also the official state flower of Texas.

It is an annual flower, but self seeds vigorously enough to grow every year.

How to Identify

The Texas bluebonnet is easily identified by its stunning blue flowers that grow in a cluster on tall stems.

The leaves are usually in groups of three to seven and the seed pods which initially start out green turn brown when they are ready to fall off.

In addition, Texas bluebonnets are not usually found alone, they are often in fields or on the side of roads taking over large chunks of the landscape.

How to Grow

The Texas bluebonnet is a hardy flower that is also poisonous if ingested by people or animals. It can grow well in many places, but needs full sun and soil that drains water quickly like chalk, sand, or loam. Texas bluebonnet is heat and drought tolerant.

Texas bluebonnets are annuals that need to be planted 12 to 18 inches apart because they can grow to a height of one to two feet. Store bought seeds will germinate usually within two weeks of being planted only about a ¼ of an inch deep in soil. Hand picked seeds, however, may take longer if they are not scarified first.

The best time to plant Texas bluebonnets is in the fall since they are cold hardy and it will give them time to germinate and grow. Although Texas bluebonnets are annuals, they reseed themselves at a high rate and will grow year after year if taken care of and allowed to go to seed.

Quick Facts

How to Care

Texas bluebonnet is actually fairly disease and pest resistant. The largest concern in terms of diseases is root rot. Root rot happens when the plant is grown in soil that doesn’t drain well or is being overwatered.

This is an easy problem to prevent by making sure to plant Texas bluebonnet in sandy or chalky soil and not water it excessively. It is also a good idea to make sure the plants are receiving enough sun and air flow to prevent powdery mildew or other similar diseases from occurring.

Since Texas bluebonnets are toxic, they do not suffer from a lot of pests either. However, pill bugs are a common threat. Pill bugs will open the seed pods to eat the seeds and will also eat the young plants. The best way to prevent pill bugs from being a problem is to not overwater the new plants and, if the situation is bad enough, use pill bug bait.

Aphids are commonly found on Texas bluebonnets when there is an extended period of drought and the plants are struggling. Aphids are easily dealt with by spraying them off the plant with a hose.

Quick Facts

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