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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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.

 

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