Texas Bluebonnet seeds grow best in soils that are alkaline, moderate in fertility, and most important of all, well drained. Full sun is also required for best growth. Seed may be planted September 1 through December 15; however, for best results, plant seeds no later than mid-November.
This allows seed time to germinate and grow throughout the winter months, during which time a heavy root system and a sturdy plant is developed to produce an abundance of spring flowers.
Bluebonnets produce large, hard-coated seeds that may cause them to have a low germination rate the first year or two. As the hard seed coats wear down by rain, abrasion and decay, the seedlings begin to sprout.
Soil preparation is not necessary; the seed can be broadcast over undisturbed soil. However, seed to soil contact is essential. When sowing seed in turf areas, make sure to scalp the grass as low as possible with a mower and rake up any thatch which may prevent the seed from contacting the soil.
Small areas can be sown by hand or with a mechanical hand device. Large areas require a seed drill (1/4") or other mechanical means that can be calibrated for the seeding rate. For small areas, or places where you want a good display more quickly, we recommend using 8 to 10 seeds per square foot. At that rate an ounce will cover approximately 135 square feet, and 1/2 a pound covers 1,000 square feet. An acre will require 20-30 pounds of seeds. Germination can be slow, but worth the wait for the beautiful flowers!
After seeding, it is best to cover the seed with soil no more than one-quarter inch deep. This protects the seed from being eaten by birds or "baked" by the sun. Water thoroughly but gently. Follow the first watering with additional light waterings every three days for about three weeks if rain is not present.
Do not soak bluebonnet seed or prick it with pins or in any way disturb the seed coat. Although these methods can speed up germination, they can also damage the seed so that it is really better to let nature take its course.
In general, the first flowers open about March 15 in the southern part of the state, and in the more northern part of the state, first flowers may not show before May 1. The length of the flowering period is about a month. Allow two weeks after the full bloom period has passed for the seeds to mature.