En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - April 09, 2014

From: Cordoba, Argentina
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives, Planting, Soils, Transplants, Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Planting Mountain Laurel grown from seeds in Argentina
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, I was transferred to Cordoba, Argentina 2 years ago from San Antonio, the climate hereis similar to S. TX, anyway I brought some mountain laurel seeds with me and they have been in 2 gallon pots for a year now and are doing great. They are about 8 inches tall with multiple branches, it is fall here now, and I wanted to know if it was a good time to transplant them. Thanks in advance for your advice

ANSWER:

Since our specialty is plants native to North America, planted in North America, we're a little uncertain about this but we'll wing it. Plus, you are gardening south of the Equator, which is going to confuse us even more. You can follow this plant link, Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)  to our webpage in the Native Plant Database and compare the growing conditions on that webpage with those in your present garden.

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, rocky, well-drained, preferably calcareous soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Needs good drainage."

In particular, we would question the soil type in which you will be asking those seedlings to grow. If your soil is acidic or does not drain well, those are going to be problems.

However, if you already have the seedlings up, nothing ventured, nothing gained. We ordinarily recommend that woody plants be planted in cool weather, i.e., December and January in Texas. So, would that be June and July where you are?

We also have an aversion to introducing a non-native into any country, especially in North America, but that applies to South America, too. We could find no literature on whether Mountain Laurel could become an invasive pest in South America, and there may be insects there that will adore Mounrtain Laurel flowers. Please also note this from that webpage:

"Warning: The brilliant red seeds contain the highly poisonous alkaloid cytisine (or sophorine) - this substance is related to nicotine and is widely cited as a narcotic and hallucinogen."

We don't want to be blamed for something bad that comes of a beautiful plant native to Central Texas, so please consider your actions very carefully.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Transplants Questions

Transplanting non-native mimosas in Braintree MA
August 10, 2010 - I want to transplant some baby mimosa trees. Have tried in past and they just die.
view the full question and answer

Time to transplant shade tree seedlings from San Antonio
September 28, 2013 - What month do you transplant shade tree seedlings in San Antonio, TX<
view the full question and answer

Lantana isn't blooming in Leander, TX.
August 03, 2011 - I bought a small potted New Gold Lantana about 2-1/2 weeks ago. I planted it in full sun and covered it with mulch. The few original flowers have fallen off. Although, I see a couple of new buds, ...
view the full question and answer

Optimal time to separate and transplant black-eyed Susan
May 26, 2007 - When is the optimal time to separate or transplant black eyed Susan. I have some in a planter on my patio, but it has multiplied and become too crowded for the pot; it needs water daily.
view the full question and answer

Dwarf golden cypress outgrowing their space
December 28, 2008 - I planted two dwarf golden cypress on opposite sides of a dwarf alberta spruce in a small bed by the front door. After 4 years I have to severely prune back the dwarf cypress in spring as they will sp...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center