Dry Fall Could Affect Spring Bluebonnets

Our beloved Texas bluebonnets are a fan-favorite in the spring for roadside selfies and frolicking families.

But if we don’t get more rain soon, the bluebonnet blooms may be in jeopardy.

“Most of the wildflowers that bloom in the spring are dependent on fall precipitation followed by sustaining winter rains, according to the,” the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

This is not good news, considering that dust is the only thing collecting in the rain gauge these days. It’s been bone dry in DFW for weeks, with the last measurable rain recorded on Aug. 27. The result has been nearly a two inch rain deficit for the month of September.

“The trick is to have continued, well-spaced rain that will sustain plants through the winter,” Director of Horticulture Andrea DeLong-Amaya said.

In addition, recent news of a possible La Niña pattern developing points toward the possibility of more dry weather this winter.

A drier than normal winter will likely have an adverse effect on the wildflowers next spring, but it’s difficult to know to what extent the bluebonnets will be affected. If rain returns by late fall or winter, the effects will be minimal. Too much rain, on the other hand, also presents a problem.

“If it’s too wet, things can start to rot,” DeLong-Amaya said.

Who knew that bluebonnets required such a delicate balance?

Only time will tell if the bluebonnets will produce those beautiful waves of blue across the Texas prairie next spring. Either way, we’ll be ready to feature your pictures once they start to appear!

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