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

Monday - January 24, 2011

From: Smithville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Trees
Title: Conditions for growing Anacacho Orchid in Smithville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What conditions (soil type, sun/shade, understory? etc.) to grow a healthy Anacacho Orchid tree? And what is the best size tree to plant?

ANSWER:

According to this USDA Plant ProfileBauhinia lunarioides (Anacacho orchid tree) does not grow natively anywhere near Bastrop County.

From our Native Plant Database, here are the Growing Conditions for this plant:

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rocky, limestone soils. Sandy, sandy loam, medium loam, limestone-based
Conditions Comments: Does best when planted on the south side of a building, protected from winter winds.

From the Texas A&M Native Plant Database, here is an article on the Anacacho Orchid tree with still more information and pictures.

We would suggest you get your plant in the ground soon, as most woody plants are semi-dormant now and the chance of damaging the tree in transplanting is less. However, please note that this is a desert tree, and it needs good drainage for its roots. In clay soils, any water applied to the tree (and it does need watering in its early years) will tend to stand on the roots of the tree, with the danger of rotting. Prepare that hole for your tree by mixing in a good amount of compost before planting. Dig a larger hole than you need for your tree roots and, since this tree will grow fairly rapidly after the first year, we think it best to plant a smaller tree. After it is planted, mulch it with shredded bark mulch, but not up against the trunk of the tree. Watering should be done by sticking the hose in the ground and letting it run in a slow dribble. The compost in the soil will help drainage and assist the tiny rootlets in reaching nutrients in the soil. The mulch will not only protect the roots from extreme heat and cold but will decompose to continue amending the soil.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Bauhinia lunarioides


Bauhinia lunarioides


Bauhinia lunarioides

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Time to Plant Trees and Shrubs in the Dallas Area
February 13, 2015 - Is it OK to plant evergreen shrubs-trees in January or February in the Dallas, Texas area?
view the full question and answer

Trees suited for rocky, caliche soil of Central Texas
September 20, 2011 - I need to replace aging ashes. I have planted 2 Monterey oaks, but I would like to know what else I could plant whose roots will grow well in NW Austin caliche, rocky soil? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Reducing the Height of a Redbud Tree
January 23, 2016 - We have a very large, about 15-year old, Redbud tree that is growing so tall it's obstructing our view of the river. How and when can we prune this tree back so it does not hurt the tree.
view the full question and answer

Why do conifers kill Texas hummingbird sage from Gray GA
April 15, 2014 - Why do conifers kill Texas hummingbird sage?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of growing a Lacey Oak in Katy, TX
April 04, 2011 - I live in Katy, TX - west of Houston and would like to place a Lacey Oak tree in my yard. We enjoyed this tree in our former home south of Dallas - and I understand it does better in alkaline soils; ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center