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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 29, 2012

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Seeds and Seeding, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Planting Texas Mountain Laurel to transplant to Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My daughter would like to incorporate a tree planting ceremony in her wedding in Texas. The seedling would be planted in a pot for a few years and later transplanted in a yard when they buy a home. Would you recommend the Texas Mountain Laurel? If not, what would you recommend. She lives in Dallas.

ANSWER:

According to the USDA Plant Profile Map the Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) is not a plant that grows naturally in North Central Texas. The closest it is shown growing natively is Travis County, where Austin is. That would indicate to us that the soils and climate are not totally hospitable to this plant. If you follow the plant link above to our webpage on that plant, especially pay attention to the Propagation Instructions, from which we extracted this information:

"Because it is impossible to dig up the entire root, the plant often goes into shock and dies."

So, it's a lovely idea, and perhaps some sort of ceremonial planting in a decorative container could be done, even just planting a seed, or several seeds, just to make sure one takes root. But it would probably be better to let it live out its life in the container, so it could be moved wherever and given appropriate soil in the pot. According to our webpage, here are its growing conditions that could be observed in a container plant. See our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants.

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, rocky, well-drained, preferably calcareous soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Needs good drainage."

You would need to use a cactus/succulent potting mix, perhaps adding some decomposed granite to up the alkaline content in the soil and contribute to good drainage. You didn't say when the wedding was scheduled, but this shrub blooms purple in February and March. Transplanting a little bare stick bush wouldn't be too glamorous but the sentimentality of planting seeds would be appropriate and if those seeds never sprouted or grew into a garden plant, who's going to know?

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Growing a Swamp Oak from Seed
July 02, 2014 - I have a swamp oak that I started from an acorn. Someone at a nursery stated that after 4 years I should cut it off at ground level and then allow one of the suckers to grow while keep removing the ot...
view the full question and answer

Does Chilopsis linearis, var.Bubba produce seed pods? No.
October 01, 2007 - We have a really beautiful 2-year old Bubba, Desert Willow. It is already about 12 feet tall. I really have two questions. One does the Bubba form the seed pods like the other types of Desert Willows?...
view the full question and answer

Starting Venus Flytrap From Seed
September 05, 2013 - I am a high school student doing a project on the Venus flytrap and would like you to help me by answering the following questions: What are the Venus flytrap predators and prey? How to raise a Venus ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on seed harvesting
August 09, 2004 - I am interested in learning more about harvesting native seeds. I manage a number of sites where restoration projects will involve planting, and we would like to use native seed stocks. Could you te...
view the full question and answer

Seeding the banks of a large pond
October 18, 2011 - I have a 2 acre surface pond that is mostly a hard clay bank all around. The water level is way down and I will begin filling it very soon. I need to somehow being affordable, plant something or thing...
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