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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - October 05, 2011

From: Llano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Trees
Title: Planting Anacacho orchid tree in Llano, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Re Bauhinia lunarioides: I'm trying to pick a good site in Llano Co for a 5 gal tree I received as a gift. Your plant database says part shade. The arid zone trees publication you reference in a Smarty Plants answer about this plant says full sun. I can supply a south-facing stone wall - protection from winter winds, as recommended, but it would have full sun there except for about a month of summer. Will it get fried? Also, our soil is granite (acidic) rather than limestone in Llano Co. Will it hate that?

ANSWER:

This USDA Plant Profile map on  Bauhinia lunarioides (Anacacho orchid tree) does, indeed, show that it grows natively somewhat south and west of Llano County. On the other hand, on our Native Plant Database page on this tree, we found this information:

"Native Habitat: Canyons & arroyos in limestone hills. Known only from canyons and arroyos in limestone hills in Kinney, Presidio, and Gillespie or Llano counties. Well-drained sand, loam, limestone." We didn't find the previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer to which you referred, but several other websites we looked at specified full sun, reflected sun or part shade.

Since you already have the plant, and since there seems to be more danger of frost damage than of too much sun, we would suggest you go ahead and use your described area. We consider part shade to be 2 to 6 hours of sun a day, so if there are a few hours of shade in the area, the tree should be all right.

As with all desert plants, the most important thing to consider about this plant is good drainage. In Texas, we recommend that woody plants not be put in the ground until cooler weather, to help prevent transplant shock. Since you already have your plant, we hope you are giving it some shade every day, and watering in a well draining pot. Those black plastic nursery pots in the sun can really heat up the soil and roots inside! It is best to prepare the hole ahead of the actual planting, add a good mix of compost to the resident soil to help with drainage and assist the tiny hair-like rootlets that access nutrients and water in the soil for the whole plant. When you remove the tree from its pot, check to make sure the roots are not wrapped around, threatening to strangle the tree. Some fairly vicious root clipping may be required before the tree goes into the ground, so the roots will start growing outward again. After it is in the ground, water by sticking a hose down in that nice soft soil you have made, and let the hose dribble for half an hour or so. As long as we continue to get no rain, this should be repeated weekly. No fertilizer. This plant does not particularly like fertilizer anyway, and it can shock those newly sprouting roots.

 

From the Image Gallery


Anacacho orchid tree
Bauhinia lunarioides

Anacacho orchid tree
Bauhinia lunarioides

Anacacho orchid tree
Bauhinia lunarioides

More Transplants Questions

Laurel oak tree not leafing out in Pasadena TX
April 13, 2010 - Hurricane Ike blew down our red bud in the backyard. Had a large 25' laurel oak planted early March 2010. When it was put in the ground, the leaves were on it, but they were all brown and dried. T...
view the full question and answer

Transplant of non-native Lathyrus tuberosus in North Carolina
June 13, 2006 - I have a tuberous sweetpea vine that grows wild on our property. When would be a good time to move this plant to a better location?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting honeysuckle bush in Illinois
April 18, 2009 - Want to transplant 3 honeysuckle shrubs 10 to 12' tall this month, although not the best time. Please advise.
view the full question and answer

Replacing a Mexican ash with a live oak in Rockport TX
April 25, 2010 - I live in the Texas Coastal Bend (Rockport, TX). I recently lost a huge Mexican Ash, probably 45 years old. The trunk measures 11'6" at ground level, and gets progressively larger from there up. Its...
view the full question and answer

Problems with transplanted Texas Madrones from Junction TX
May 13, 2014 - We planted 3 little Texas madrones last year 9 - 12 inches high. 2 of them seem to have some kind of black blight along the edges of the leaves that I don't think was the result of our late freezes. ...
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