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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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Thursday - January 02, 2003

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

QUESTION:

How do I propagate mountain laurel by seed?

ANSWER:

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

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