Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Tuesday - May 09, 2006

From: Brady, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Mountain Laurel and Desert Willow in pots or ground in Brady, TX
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would really appreciate your advice if a Texas Mountain Laurel (now a 1 gal. size) and a Desert Willow (now a 3 gal.) are good candidates for planting in containers and, if so, what size for each? Any other input would certainly be helpful! Thanks...

ANSWER:

Both Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) and Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) can be grown in very large containers in Brady, TX. Considering the the size of the pots your plants are now in, you probably want to go up to something in the range of 8-10 gallon pots. There are certainly problems with growing trees in containers, though. Among the most difficult issues is the problem of watering. Potted plants are far more prone to drying than those in the soil. Fertilizer and mineral salt build-up is another issue. Finally, potted plants are far more prone to freeze damage than those rooted in the earth. All of these are issues to consider.

It should also be possible to grow Mountain Laurel, at least, in the ground. The Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas shows it occurring in your neighboring county, San Saba. Desert Willow, however, has not been recorded as occurring near McCulloch County (i.e, in a neighboring county).
 

More Trees Questions

Desert Willow size question from Austin, TX
June 12, 2015 - Dear MSP, I have a desert willow named Edith. We got her from the CoA a couple of years ago for recycling our Chirstmas tree. She's doing well except her three little trunks are teeny-tiny. We wan...
view the full question and answer

Correction of tree name from Bay Point CA
October 16, 2013 - The tree should of been Mulberry don't know how it was changed!! Tuesday - October 15, 2013 From: Bay Point, CA Region: California Topic: Non-Natives, Cacti and Succulents, Trees Title: Non-...
view the full question and answer

Bird-friendly plants for the Texas coast
July 13, 2012 - I'm interested in starting a native plant garden, specifically with an eye towards providing food (either from the plants or insects that are attracted to the plants) for migratory birds. However, s...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of Bauhinia lunarioides
May 29, 2008 - I have a Bauhinia variegata..when is the best time to prune it? it tends to grow horizontally..where do you clip off the limbs?
view the full question and answer

Space between trees from Blythewood SC
April 05, 2013 - I'm planting 4 green giants in a back corner of my yard. I also have a kumquat tree to plant. I have somewhat limited space. What is the minimum spacing between the four green giants and the green gi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.