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
1 rating

Thursday - March 22, 2012

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Shrubs
Title: Mountain laurel planting over Frederickburg limestone
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

We have rocky limestone shelves on our property. We want to plant a mountain laurel. Are the roots strong enough to break through the limestone or should we try to find another location? The limestone is about 14-16 inches under regular soil.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants thinks your chances of the Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) rooting and thriving over a limestone shelf are pretty good.  The plant record has that "It is drought-tolerant, prefers rocky limestone soil, and is native from Central Texas west to New Mexico and south to San Luis Potosi in Mexico."  Even in shelves, the limestone tends to have cracks, holes or separations and the Texas mountain laurel roots are adapted to find and penetrate these opportunities.    14-16 inches of soil is quite a bit when compared the pure rocky soil of the Hill Country where they are known to thrive.  This write-up in a Aggie Horticulture record has similar comments.

  To that end, here are previous Mr Smarty Plants answers where Mountain laurel was recommended for a shrub in Frederickburg and as a candidate as a screen plant in Comfort.

I'd give it a try!

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Planting Questions

Drought resistant small tree for Ft. Worth TX
May 22, 2013 - I am looking for suggestions for a small tree (no more than 25 feet max)that is drought resistant but can handle a little irrigation and a lot of wind. Something showy is a plus. Grouped with salvias ...
view the full question and answer

Planting non-native sago palm and philodendron from Pflugerville TX
September 15, 2012 - I have a small/young sago palm and philodendron I'd like to plant. Do you advise to plant them now with fall/winter approaching or wait until next spring.
view the full question and answer

Damage to yucca in San Marcos TX
October 18, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, thank you for helping me with my buffalo grass is San Marcos TX back in the spring, my lawn is gorgeous thanks to you! I really need your help as someone sabotaged my beauti...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a small tree for cemetery in NH.
August 30, 2012 - I would like suggestions for picking a SMALL tree for a rural cemetery in Winchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Would the delicate Japanese Elm be suitable for the weather, etc?
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Texas Star hibiscus
July 31, 2008 - Why is my Texas star plant wilting and now is starting to turn yellow? I just bought it from a nursery and put it in a new pot.
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