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
1 rating

Monday - July 02, 2012

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Shrubs
Title: Is slow growth of young Tx mountain laurel normal?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

My Texas mountain laurel is 2 or 3 years old and is about 4 feet tall. It seems quite healthy but has grown very little, if any, and has never bloomed. Is this normal? Although I don't want it to grow fast, I would like to see it bloom. Thanks, Jamie D

ANSWER:

 

Yes, it is normal for Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) to grow very slowly for the first 2-3 years.  I believe that if you keep the soil somewhat moist and fertilize the shrub in late winter it will begin to show stronger growth next year.  It may not bloom for another year of so.  Once it reaches 5-6 feet in height its growth rate and bloom production will be noticeably greater.  Texas mountain laurel is such a beautiful plant that the wait will be well worthwhile.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Death of Tecoma stans after heavy rain
July 21, 2008 - I had two esperanza plants. They have been planted for about four months, this spring. They were blooming and growing. We had six inches of rain in five days and they began to wilt - and then they d...
view the full question and answer

Plants for shade, poor soil in Park Ridge NJ
June 17, 2010 - Hello! I live in far northeast New Jersey, by the New York state border. I am looking for plants for areas of my lawn that nothing currently grows in - due to shade and poor soil quality - very rocky,...
view the full question and answer

White blooms on Rose Pavonia from Austin
May 02, 2012 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I've planted my entire South Austin garden with natives from your excellent recommendations and I wanted to thank you, the garden is just beautiful! So here is my questio...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Esperanza in Houston
July 07, 2009 - Esperanza plant. I have 3 of these plant in my flower bed for the last 10 years. They get west sun. Over the last three years they have bloomed initially but then the new growth is deformed. The best...
view the full question and answer

Native shrubs that can be pruned to shape in Austin, TX
March 31, 2008 - We have some shrubs in our NE facing front yard in Austin in the Steiner Ranch Area. The shrubs are native, and give good flowers in spring and summer, but are not trimmable and I want something like ...
view the full question and answer

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