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?


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
5 ratings

Thursday - January 02, 2003

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: How to Propagate Mountain Laurel by Seed
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff


How do I propagate mountain laurel by seed?


The seed of Mountain Laurel (taxonomic name: Sophora secundiflora (mescal bean) requires scarification to ensure germination. This can be performed by "knicking" the seed coat with a knife, or uniformly abrading the seed-coat with sandpaper. Combine this with boiling some water, then letting it cool to a warm temperature and soaking the scarified seed overnight. Jill Nokes, author of "How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest", recommends: "Pretreated seeds will germinate within two weeks in a greenhouse or outdoors after the soil has warmed". She also suggests accommodating the long initial root with a longer container, as well as utilizing a well-draining media. She advises that the plants do not transplant well from the flat and are also sensitive to overhead watering. Make sure that you place the seedlings (or pre-treated seed) in an area that receives direct sunlight to encourage strong, upright growth.


From the Image Gallery

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Propagation Questions

Survival of bluebonnets in extreme heat from Tioga TX
September 03, 2011 - Is there anything I can do for my bluebonnet patch in this extreme drought for the rest of the summer and fall? Should I have watered this summer? I had a good show and think seeding was fairly normal...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting wildflowers slated for destruction in Buda, TX.
June 16, 2015 - TXDOT has recently informed our church that they will be taking a sizeable amount of natural area fronting a ranch road for lane expansion. We are devastated to lose an are we have planted and nurtur...
view the full question and answer

I have a plant with plantlets on its leaves. What is it?
April 14, 2008 - Pardon my inexperience. I received a plant as a gift, that is quite similar to aloe, yet smaller. It "bloomed" with tiny paired leaves sprouting from each of the serrations along the larger leav...
view the full question and answer

Seed collection from rain lilies
May 14, 2008 - Hello, I have some rain lilies growing in our yard. I've collected some seed heads, but am not sure what steps to take now. They were all off of broken stems (the dogs are not as cautious as I am...
view the full question and answer

Source of Berlandiera pumila seeds from Coral Gables FL
June 07, 2012 - Where can I buy plants or seeds of Berlandiera pumila?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center