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Bountiful bluebonnet season in 2023

The 2023 bluebonnet season is expected to be better than usual thanks to fall and winter rains. Photo by Ronnie Madrid/Divine Radiance Photography

Experts at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in South Austin are predicting a better-than-usual bluebonnet crop in the spring of 2023 due to a dry summer and a wet enough fall last year.

“We had good fall rains, which resulted in good germination,” said Andrea DeLong-Amaya, the center’s director of horticulture. “Winter rain was spaced out enough to keep those seedlings hydrated and keep them going. We are seeing a lot of rosettes around.”


Last summer’s drought might actually have helped when it comes to Central Texas wildflowers.

“A lot of times, drought will knock back plants that compete with spring-blooming wildflowers, giving the bluebonnets more habitat to take over,” DeLong-Amaya said.

The effects of an ice storm that hit the region in late January and early February will be minimal, she said.

“Wildflowers are adapted to freezing weather,” she explained. “And it really wasn’t that cold. The weight of the ice did all the damage. Bluebonnets weren’t fazed by it at all.”

All the ice storm might have done was slow the blooming process.

“We had some really warm weather in January and then the ice,” DeLong-Amaya said. “The ice didn’t damage them, but it did slow them down.”

That also proved true after the major snowstorm that covered Texas in February 2021.

“The snow acted as an isolating blanket,” DeLong-Amaya said. “Everything under the snow was protected.”

Now at the end of February in 2023, the weather is warming after a stretch of cold and rain. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and in the Highland Lakes, bluebonnets are beginning to pop up.

“It definitely feels like spring,” DeLong-Amaya said. “Everything is starting to bloom.”

For what else blooms in the Highland Lakes, check out the Wildflowers Guide.

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