En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Planting Mountain Laurel grown from seeds in Argentina

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 Planting Questions

Native Desert Willow and bunchgrass for Lubbock TX
July 29, 2013 - We live in Lubbock and have decided to try to make our front yard as native as possible. It has been a very difficult process finding native species locally (even the local Aggie nursery sells a lot ...
view the full question and answer

Propagating plant cuttings in cut potato from Columbia MO
June 26, 2012 - Hello. I belong to a garden group and one of the members posted a "tip" she found in an early 2000 garden magazine. I wanted to see if there was any truth to the tip? Basically the tip was to use...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting crabapples in NJ
October 25, 2010 - I purchased a mature Red Baron crabapple in march of this year from a reputable nursery here in southern NJ. The tree was in the ground when I first viewed it, and since it was march and hadn't bloom...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a replacement tree for Hackberry tree in Austin, TX in Austin TX.
May 25, 2013 - We have a large hackberry tree in our front yard. We are cutting it down this fall. I would like to replace it with a tree native to this area..preferably something fast growing. What are your reco...
view the full question and answer

Native sun plants for Bastrop TX
April 05, 2011 - We live in the Bastrop area and have a 21 ft. by 15 ft. sunny area. We also need help with a list of native plants and want to start planting from tallest to short. Can you please advise?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center