En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Transplant shock in Chinkapin oak from Copperas Cove TX
June 18, 2012 - I have a newly planted chinkapin oak, appx 14' tall, in the Copperas Cove TX area. It has done great for the first two weeks. Now the leaves are yellowing (June) and beginning to dry up. I water it ...
view the full question and answer

Trees for shade in Austin
May 20, 2012 - I live in Austin and I am looking for a good tree to plant under a large live oak I have in my backyard. Something slow-growing of course and, the garden only gets late day sun for about an hour. Filt...
view the full question and answer

Selection of native trees to replace trees lost in hurricane
September 28, 2008 - Hello, I have a tree replacement list I must choose from as I live in a HOA deeded area. I lost 2 pines to the hurricane. And according to them I need to replace with 2 large trees. The pines were 15 ...
view the full question and answer

Native flowering aromatic trees for Frisco, Texas
June 21, 2015 - Dear Smartplants, I live in Frisco, Texas. Could you please suggest me good native flowering aromatic trees from 12 to 50 feet. Thank you so much
view the full question and answer

Need source for seeds or plants of Pinus remota in Johnson City, TX..
October 18, 2011 - I cannot seem to find a source for Pinus remota or papershell pinyon pine. Who Grows this? I understand it is rare and would love to try it here in Johnson City. Thanks
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center