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?


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


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


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 Transplants Questions

Failure to bud out of nuttall oak in Albany GA
April 26, 2010 - We planted a nutall oak in the fall of 09. It seemed to fare well during the winter. It is now spring and all of our other trees are budding out. The limbs are flexible. Not breaking off easily like t...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming climbing rose in Conroe, TX
October 09, 2009 - I have a climbing rose and it has never bloomed and has no thorns, it was a cutting from another rose bush. I have given it water and fertilize and have mulch around it also.
view the full question and answer

Newly planted Burford Holly doing poorly in Austin, TX.
July 25, 2011 - About a month ago I bought dwarf burford holly. Now they have slowly started getting brown leaves that eventually fall off. Some of the plants have white spots on the ends. I usually check my plant...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Gay Feather
September 22, 2005 - Can I transplant the flower Gay Feather any time or should I wait until the plant dies this winter?
view the full question and answer

Non-native house plants stressed from Allen TX
July 30, 2011 - I have three house plants that were plants I received from my father's funeral services. They were healthy for about two years and then we added some soil and now they are turning brown and appear t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center