8 Bluebonnet Care Tips
The state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet grows abundantly in the wild there. These flowers are mostly blue by nature, but species of pink, white and red bluebonnets that have been developed are also quite popular. Below are some tips to grow and take care of bluebonnet plants.
1. Buy Scarified Seeds
You can buy seeds or seedlings to start your bluebonnet patch. However, seedlings cost much more and will not give you a good yield. Bluebonnet seeds have a very hard cover, and have a low rate of germination. It is therefore advisable to buy scarified seeds, which are seeds that have been chemically treated so that they have a higher chance of germinating.
2. Provide Well-drained Soil
Bluebonnets require well-drained soil that does not retain water. If you have heavy, clay-like soil, you can increase its drainage properties by adding sand, mature compost and manure. Heavy soil that retains water can cause the development of fungal infections, which are one of the common ailments that afflict bluebonnets. You can also sow the seeds on raised beds to improve drainage.
3. Provide Plenty of Sunlight
Bluebonnets will do well in a location where they get plenty of direct sunlight. Lack of sunlight will cause inferior development, and can also promote infections and disease. A shaded location will also lead to spindly growth and very few flowers.
4. Sow Seeds at the Right Time
The best time to sow bluebonnet seeds is in the fall. Avoid postponing sowing time till winter, because the plants may not develop well. If you sow the seeds in the fall, you can expect a larger patch of spectacular bluebonnets.
5. Sow Seeds at the Correct Depth
It is important to sow bluebonnet seeds at an optimal depth. If you scatter the seeds on the ground, animals and pests will just devour them. If you sow the seeds too deep in the soil, they may rot and never germinate. The ideal depth to sow bluebonnet seeds is about 1/8 inch. Spread the seeds on the soil, and then add a light covering of soil that is about 1/8 inch in height.
6. Water in Moderation
Bluebonnets are highly resistant to drought. Water them regularly during the growing phase. After sowing the seeds, the plants will continue to develop through the winter. For 3 to 4 weeks after sowing the seeds, make sure you water the planting spot regularly. Avoid excessive watering, as too much water is the biggest enemy of this plant. In addition to causing fungal problems and other diseases, it can also kill the plant.
7. Keep Pests Away
Animals usually find the tender seedlings a good source of food, so you must protect young bluebonnet seedlings from foraging animals. Create a small fence around the patch, or cover the seedlings with lightweight mesh, held aloft between stakes.
8. Pluck Bloomed Flowers Regularly
Pluck old flowers regularly. This stops the production of seeds, which causes the plant to stop blooming. It also causes the production of newer shoots and more profuse blooms.