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
4 ratings

Friday - March 25, 2011

From: Humble, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Need advice for growing Texas Mountain Laurel from seed in Humble, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We live in Humble, Texas 77396 and would like to grow some Texas Mountain Laurel trees from seed. I recently read that they may not grow well in this area because they prefer the Texas Hill country and rocky soils. Do you think they would grow well here if we added a lot of crushed rock to the planting medium? Please advise. And thanks for all you do! We recently visited your Center and I will never look at a wildflower in the same way again!!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is glad that you enjoyed your visit to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Please come again soon.

Growing Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) from seed is an interesting project that can be frustrating or rewarding, or both. My first caveat is that the seeds are toxic, so if you have children involved, use caution to make sure that none of the seeds are ingested!

I'm providing several links with information that should help make this project a success. The first is the NPIN Database Page for Sophora secundiflora (click link above). Under growing conditions, you see that the plant prefers, among other things, full sun and well drained alkaline soils with a pH<7.2. The paragraph on Plant Propagation describes procedures for scarifying the seed and conditions for planting.

Here are some other links with a brief description of contents:

Plantanswers.com   good description of plant, and germination procedures

Bob Harms, UT Austin   good discussion on germination

Paul's Blog  good general information, use of limestone gravel to raise pH

Texas Gardener  (scroll down to Mountain Laurel)   talks about growing the plant in East Texas

Aridzonetrees.com   good general information

In summary, if you give the plants full sun, provide them with well drained alkaline soil, and don't over water them, they should grow in Harris County. The hardest part may be getting the seeds to germinate.


 


Sophora secundiflora

 

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Problems with a Hackberry tree in San Antonio.
September 23, 2010 - Our old hackberry tree fell over last year. Now we have dozens of new ones popping up in the same area. We want to transplant a few to another area of the yard, but they aren't surviving. It appears ...
view the full question and answer

transplanting Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
October 25, 2011 - Behind our house is a huge grotto with a spring flowing through it that runs into a creek. Because of the constant flow of water, there are many of the Maidenhair Ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris). I ...
view the full question and answer

Need some information about wild native grapes in Gatlinburg, TN.
August 13, 2010 - We have some wild grapevines growing on a southern exposure eroded bank. They are providing assistance in reducing erosion with rapid growth. Do these plants develop ground contact as they grow? In...
view the full question and answer

Tx Mt. Laurel and Mex. Buckeye seed propagation in drought
July 01, 2011 - I live in the Hill Country near New Braunfels. Since I am only at my house in July and August, I would like to plant both Texas Mountain Laurel and Mexican Buckeye from the seeds harvested from mothe...
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