How to Plant Texas Bluebonnet Seeds

Overview

The Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) is one of five Lupinus varieties standing as the state flower of Texas since 1901. This cold-hardy annual grows wild along roadsides and covers prairies with a striking carpet of bright blue each spring throughout Texas. Growing 8 to 24 inches tall, Texas bluebonnets blooms from March through May, providing densely packed, stunning blue blooms that end in a white terminal bud at the tip. Texas bluebonnets are excellent for mass plantings, borders and raised beds.

Step 1

Choose a planting location that provides full sunlight (eight to 10 hours per day) and well-draining soil.

Step 2

Test soil at the chosen planting location to determine pH levels. Texas bluebonnets require a pH of at least 7.5 or higher.

Step 3

Amend soil with agricultural lime, per manufacturer's directions, if the pH level falls below 7.5. Along with the lime, work in a layer of organic compost and sand to improve drainage and raise the nutrient levels of the site.

Step 4

Plant seeds in the fall (September through October) for spring blooms. Texas bluebonnets need the cold months of winter to develop their intense root system and drought tolerance.

Step 5

Sow seeds at a depth of 1/8 inch. For mass plantings, scatter seeds evenly over the bed surface. For individual or border plantings, sow eight to 10 seeds per square foot.

Step 6

Lightly rake the planting area to incorporate seeds into the soil. For smaller distributions, seeds can be pressed into the soil with hands or by walking over the area gently.

Step 7

Water the planting site gently to set seeds for germination. Germination occurs between seven and 30 days, at temperatures of 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil moist throughout the germination period but do not saturate it.

Tips and Warnings

  • Untreated Texas bluebonnet seed has less than a 20-percent germination success rate. Overwatering will kill Texas bluebonnets. Texas bluebonnets will not flourish in heavy or clay soil types. These soils must be amended with organic compost and sand to improve drainage and texture.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil testing kit
  • Agricultural lime (if soil pH is too low)
  • Organic compost
  • Sand
  • Chemically-treated (scarified) Texas bluebonnet seed
  • Rake
  • Water

References

  • Texas Bluebonnet Seed Company: Texas Bluebonnet
  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System: Texas Bluebonnets-Texas Pride
  • Your Healthy Gardens: How to Amend Soil
  • Wildflower: How to Grow Bluebonnets
Keywords: Lupinus texensis, Texas state flower, Growing Texas Bluebonnet

About this Author

Deborah Waltenburg has been a freelance writer since 2002. In addition to her work for Demand Studios, Waltenburg has written for websites such as Freelance Writerville and Constant Content, and has worked as a ghostwriter for travel/tourism websites and numerous financial/debt reduction blogs.