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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - March 13, 2009

From: Cleveland, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Texas Mountain Laurel in Florida
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty, This is more a comment than a question about Barbara Medford's (Estero, FL) question of whether you can grow Texas Mountain Laurel in Ft. Myers, FL. About 4 yrs. ago, I purchased a 2 ft. tall plant from Fredericksburg, TX and gave it to my friend in Deerfield Beach, FL which is about the same latitude as Ft. Myers but on the Atlantic side. Now it's about 15 ft. tall, appears healthy and trained like a tree but hasn't bloomed yet although it had racemes last year and more this year. It's not very far from a water sprinkler so it's probably getting more water than in its natural habitat. Hopefully the racemes will turn into flowers this spring.

ANSWER:

If there is one rule Mr. Smarty Plants has to keep always in mind, it is that there are always going to be exceptions. In this case, a plant totally adapted to dry, rocky, hot West Texas often languishes in its native habitat, but is flourishing in a very non-native habitat. All we can do is make recommendations based on the best information we have. When we discourage planting something because it is not native to that area, it's because we hate to see time and resources wasted. Also, of course, there is always the possibility of a non-native plant becoming invasive in an area where it doesn't belong. Nevertheless, a determined gardener and a survivor plant will inevitably make us look like we don't know what we're talking about. We're happy it worked out, and thank you for letting us know. As a side note, don't worry too much about the delay in blooming in the Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel); even in their native Texas and New Mexico, they are often reluctant bloomers, for no apparent reason. 


Sophora secundiflora

Sophora secundiflora

Sophora secundiflora

Sophora secundiflora

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Identification of tree or shrub in Massachusetts
May 16, 2013 - Good morning, We are in Zone 5 and have a tree/shrub I cannot identify in the backyard of our new home. Tall (6')and growing, green stems,and when the stems are broken the branches smell of lemon o...
view the full question and answer

Looking for native plants for a rain garden in Arlington, TX.
March 12, 2012 - I am looking for native Texas plants that would do well in rain gardens. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Could lilacs grow in Georgia?
April 27, 2010 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants, First off, I want to commend you on your promotion of native plants. I am passionately anti-invasive plants (in fact, it was the subject of my master's thesis). That being said...
view the full question and answer

Recovering neglected garden space from Grapevine TX
March 22, 2014 - I live in Grapevine TX (Dallas). I just moved into a house where almost the entire large backyard is covered by oak trees that shed tons of leaves throughout our mild falls/winters. The yard has not...
view the full question and answer

Tree with stilt roots for Louisiana bog garden
February 07, 2013 - Does Louisiana have any native trees with stilt roots? I would like one to go with my cypress and tupelo bog garden. I have several native plants such as spider lilies and blue flag irises, but I'm...
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