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

Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
March 04, 2008 - I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants w...
view the full question and answer

Noise buffering by native plants in Austin, TX
March 30, 2008 - I live in Austin in a neighborhood that is bordered on one side by highway 183 and on the other by MoPac and the train tracks. Even though I am least a three blocks from the closest highway, the traf...
view the full question and answer

Trimming of Pineapple Sage and Salvia Greggii
October 07, 2007 - I live in Central Austin. My question is: When is the best time to trim back Pineapple Sage and Salvia Gregii? How far back should these plants be trimmed?
view the full question and answer

Vines and shrubs for wildlife cover and food
December 14, 2007 - I own property in Stephens County about 10 miles north of Breckenridge, TX along the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. I have 45 acres that is open field and I want to provide cover and food for wildli...
view the full question and answer

Small drought-resistant shrub for northeast Texas
June 23, 2009 - I am replacing the formal hedge of hollies along the front of my house and was planning to use mostly Inidan Hawthornes, but now I'm reading that they are very prone to disease, are there any low gro...
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