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
8 ratings

Saturday - May 28, 2011

From: Clermont, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Growing Mountain Laurel in Georgia
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

While in Texas a few months ago I saw your beautiful Sophora Secundiflora blooming and decided to bring one home to Gainesville, GA and try my luck. I have not planted it yet and it is doing well in its container. What suggestions do you have for planting it in my yard? We have a lot of clay. Do you have any other suggestions on how to keep this plant alive? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is very sad that you have taken our beautiful mountain laurel so far from its native habitat. Please return it back home!

Our mission at the Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.   As Lady Bird Johnson said, native plants "give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours, I want Texas to look like Texas and Vermont to look like Vermont and every state to look like itself."

I agree that Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) is beautiful.  However it is native to only a limited area of Texas and New Mexico.  In it's National Plant Information Network record [the link above] there is a description of its preferred growing conditions.  The soil component is listed as "Dry, rocky, well-drained, preferably calcareous soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay". A clay soil can be OK - but is it well drained?  If not, it may be safer in it's pot! 

Other than that, with my teeth gritted a bit,  I recommend that you check all of the growing conditions listed in that record.  That will give you the best shot at keeping the Mountain Laurel healthy.

                   
Sophora secundiflora
          Sophora secundiflora                Sophora secundiflora

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

What do wildflower seeds look like from Westlake Village CA
February 23, 2014 - I collect seeds from my wild flower garden but can't always tell what part of the dried flower is the actual seed that will reproduce. Is there a resource that shows the seed part of flowers? Than...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for a wedding in Memphis MO
October 13, 2009 - I am pretty new at this landscaping flower thing, but I love it. We just moved out to the country in NE Missouri from Colorado (Huge difference, but love it). We have decided to have our wedding at o...
view the full question and answer

When to plant wildflower spring mix seeds in Ashburn VA
March 15, 2011 - I just bought wildflower springmix and want to know when to plant them, is there a specific temperature?
view the full question and answer

Native Backyard for Lakewood OH
December 24, 2013 - I would like to do away with the lawn in my backyard in favor of native plants that would require minimal maintenance, including flowering plants that would encourage pollinators.
view the full question and answer

Possible locations of fields of Forget-Me-Nots, Myosotis
March 04, 2006 - This might be kind of a weird question but me and my girlfriend have a really special thing with the forget me not wild flowers, and I will be asking her to marry me soon and would love to do it in a...
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