Category Archives: Volunteer Plants

The Bluebonnets That I Seeded Last Fall Are Sprouting

Last fall I collected several dozen Bluebonnet seeds from 2 Bluebonnets that popped up in the yard last summer.  I watched the flowers and kept them out of danger until the seed pods turned brown and were safe to pick.  I planted half of the seeds around the giant Turkey oak that they sprouted by.  The other day I found 2 of the dozen and half or so seeds had sprouted!

sprouting bluebonnets

They’re tough little sprouts.  They survived the freeze, rain and whatever else.  Now I need to protect them until they grow up and produce even more seeds.

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A Freebie Hanging Basket Filler

This odd little ivy sprouts all over my garden beds.  I believe it can be a perennial since I think a few plants came back in the same spot in the garden.

hanging pot of wild ivy

I have to dig it out of the vegetable garden because, as you can see, it grows all over the place and I can’t have it growing and twisting all over my vegetable plants.  It really is an interesting plant and I don’t want to kill it.  I got the idea last year to put some in a hanging basket and see what happens.  It happened very nicely so this year I have filled about a half dozen hanging baskets with ivy plants that I dug out of the garden beds.  Very prolific.

This lower basket has been growing for about a month, the top basket was planted with 3 sprouts a few weeks ago.  You can see how this ivy grows and puts its leaves outward toward the sun.  It gets the late afternoon sun and seems happy enough.  As the growing ends get jammed up against the porch roof, I pull them down and wrap them around the basket hangers and they go from there.  By the end of the summer, it should be a jumbo wad of ivy.
wild ivy in a hanging pot

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What Is This Plant?

I don’t know what this plant is.  It’s leaves are the spittin-image of giant ragweed, but this one is sprouting from a cut down, 6″ diameter tree stump.  Several of these shoots are growing out of the ground right next to the stump, as you can see.  I know giant ragweed has been described as a lot of biomass, but I think this is an actual tree, not just a weed.  These things grow all over the place – all very large, but I can’t say that I have actually seen a ‘tree’ of this leaf.  I will make a point of monitoring them this season to see if they ever develop a seed/flower head.

what is this plant?  friend or foe?

The closest tree that I could find with some what similar leaves is the sassafras tree.  I have lots of short plants that look like sasafras, but these leaves in question are different – they are leaner and have 5 lobes.

A mystery.  I do have regular ragweed sprouting all over bull-dozed areas.

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2 Types of Pine Tree Seedlings

I dig up pine tree seedlings that sprout in unfortunate places where they won’t survive long.  I have seen 2 basic types of seedlings.  I don’t know how to tell what variety of pines these seedlings are.  I have a few of the type in the round pot.  It grows slower and has shorter needles.  The tree in the square pot is the predominant type of tree seedling that I find.  It has longer needles and grows much faster.
2 types of pine tree seedlings

They both seem happy once they adjusted to their new surroundings.  I may have to pot them up a time or 2 before they are ready to go into the ground in the woods – about 18 inches tall.

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We planted the Bermuda lawn from seed last spring.  It is planted in solid red clay.  We have fertilized and watered the lawn, but it still has a ways to go.  This means that it is ripe for weeds to take over.  Among the weeds growing in the lawn, I have found lots of dichondra.  This vile little weed is near impossible to pull up – it roots at every leaf junction.


At first I thought it was Creeping Charlie, but this weed has smooth, not fluted, leaf edges.

It rapidly spreads and crowds out Bermuda.  I have sprayed Bayer weed killer herbicide on it even though dichondra is not listed on it’s label.  If it doesn’t start to yellow soon, I will have to try something else – maybe vinegar.  Last choice will be to buy another commercial herbicide.

I haven’t seen any flowers so I don’t know how this stuff is spreading all over the place.  All over the place.

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Johnny-Jump-Up Over Population

This spring I have found dozens and dozens of Johnny Jump Ups all over the place.  They are popping up all thru the grass, under trees, in pots – all over the yard.  Last year I had just a couple of them pop up in a flower pot that I brought from my Father’s place.  I left the couple of plants to grow and some how they obviously scattered their seeds all over my yard.  I have dug up dozens from the middle of the grassy yard – planting them in small pots.  This created pots full of flowers and saved them from being mowed over.

johnny jump ups

This big green pot just sprouted all of these Johnny Jump Ups.  I was going to plant a much bigger flower in this large pot, but I didn’t want to dig up and transplant all of these Johnnys.  I can hardly believe how prolific this plant is – last year 2 or so plants scattered a hundred seeds all over the place.  I plan to try to collect seeds from these flowers.

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Pine Tree Seedlings

I am addicted to propagating plants by cuttings and seeds.  Pine trees abound.  I finally figured out that these are pine seedlings.  Duh!  Now I dig them up when they sprout in a dangerous spot – under foot, in the driveway, or some other place where they won’t be able to grow and survive.
pine tree seedlings

This little guy spent a few weeks adjusting to this pot, but has since taken off.  He (pine trees come male & female but I don’t know what this seedling is so I am just using this pronoun).  This guy has a good 2″ of new growth on him.  I have over 2 dozen little seedlings in my pine tree nursery.

This fall I need to make a special effort to try to gather pine seeds from the pine cones.  I plan to start about a hundred seedlings.  I have seen 2 distinct different seedling types.  I’m sure one is Loblolly, but can’t guess what the other is.  Once they are about 18 inches, I plant them out in our woods.

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This Blue Bonnet just popped up this spring.  This is the largest and strongest of the few Blue Bonnets that popped up.  Have to let it mature and go to seed.  Hopefully next year there will be more Blue Bonnets.

wild blue bonnets popped up

That is a scrawny Red Clover next to the Blue Bonnet.  Red Clover popped up all over.  The largest plants popped up in the freshly just composted open beds – interesting.  It is truly amazing how wild seeds find their way all over the place.  I do believe that blue bonnet seeds are too big to be blown by the wind . . . birds?

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Morning Glories In Full Bloom In The Cooler Fall

These morning glories slowly and steadily grew their vines throughout the summer.  They didn’t set many flowers in the Spring because with our move, I was so late in getting them planted.  However, with the cooler Fall temperatures, they are now in full bloom.  Just a half dozen vines yield dozens of beautiful blue blooms every morning.

morning glories wide shot

Closeup – notice the blooms ready to flower the next day:
morning glories

Each bloom area has at least half a dozen blooms that mature one or 2 at a time.
morning glories

Beautiful blooms!  These are heirloom Clarks Heavenly Blue Morning Glories.
morning glories

Look at all those blooms!  These vines should bloom until the first frost kills the leaves.
morning glories

I should get plenty of seeds for next year.  One problem: there are smaller purple morning glories that spread their seeds all over the place.  I am forever pulling them out of my garden.  I am sure there has been some crossing, so I might have some unpleasant surprises next year!

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Oak Tree Seedlings

Little oak tree seedlings are all over.  I wish I could save them all, but can’t.  This is a clump of about 3 or 4 seedlings.  I will have to separate the strongest seedlings out and move them.  Even if they aren’t transplanted, the weakest seedlings will have to be cut out otherwise the strongest doesn’t have a chance of survival.

oak tree seedlings

I am considering transplanting some of the healthy oak and pine seedlings this fall.  They pop up all over and I would like to move them to areas less traversed.

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