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
7 ratings

Friday - July 01, 2011

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Tx Mt. Laurel and Mex. Buckeye seed propagation in drought
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

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 mother plants on my property at that time. Am I correct in assuming that I must scarify and then soak the seeds of both plants for about a day before planting?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants would not recommend that you soak your Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) and Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye) seeds as you propose.  Fracturing the seed coat is necessary with Texas mountain laurel, but Mexican buckeye germinates without such treatment.  Germination is initiated in Texas mountain laurel only when water enters the fractured seed coat. If you will not be on hand to tend seedlings during the heat and often drought in September the plants may well expire.  I suggest that you scarify the seeds and plant them where you wish but leave it to the fall rains to provide the moisture needed to hasten germination.  By that time cooler weather will protect the young plants from drying out.

If you have not scarified hard-coated seeds before check out this web site.  I recommend the use of a file if you have only a few seeds, sandpaper for a few dozens, and perhaps sulphuric acid for a bucketfull.  Beware, sulphuric acid can cause serious burns!

 

More Propagation Questions

Variety of colors in bluebonnet seeds from Houston
November 18, 2013 - Bluebonnet seeds I have collected are a variety of colors, from the sandy/tan color to a grayish color and black color. Are all variations viable? Are they equally viable?
view the full question and answer

Growing native trees from seeds
March 25, 2011 - I'm trying to let large empty sections of my property revert back to woods by means of natural seeding. I have existing White Oaks, Water Oaks, Yaupon Hollies, Sweet Gums, Loblolly Pines, American E...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of skunk cabbage
December 18, 2003 - Where can I purchase root stock for a start of skunk cabbage to plant? in my wetland?
view the full question and answer

How to propagate milkweed from root cuttings
June 08, 2009 - I am interested in propagating Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed). Your info page for this species says it can be propagated via root cuttings. Does this mean I can lop off a chunk of the root/tuber ...
view the full question and answer

Repotting from 4-inch pots
April 18, 2006 - Hello. A week ago I purchased some native plants at the wildflower center plant sale. I would like to know how to repot these seedlling native plants. They are in 4" pots right now. I have as follows...
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
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center