En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Non blooming Texas Mountain Laurel from Las Vegas NV

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

Tuesday - September 04, 2012

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Non blooming Texas Mountain Laurel from Las Vegas NV
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and have a Texas Laurel and have had it for 2 years and still no purple flowers on it. Why won't it bloom ? Thank you.

ANSWER:

You will note from this USDA Plant Profile Map that Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) does not grow natively to Nevada but only to Texas and New Mexico. If you will follow the plant link above to our webpage on Texas Mountain Laurel, you will learn that it is a very slow-growing plant and difficult to transplant. If you have just had the tree for 2 years because you raised it from a seed two years ago, it may simply not be old enough to begin blooming. If you transplanted it from the wild or from a nursery pot, it may be in transplant shock because it really hates transplanting. Or, it simply may not be happy with the conditions in Nevada. From that page:

Distribution

USA: NM , TX
Native Distribution: S. & c. TX, w. to mts. of s. NM and s. to San Luis Potosi in Mexico
Native Habitat: Brushy slopes; open plains. Common in limestone soils. Well-drained sand, loam, clay, caliche, limestone.
USDA Native Status: L48(N)

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.

Note particularly the need for good drainage. If the plant is not growing in a soil that permits good drainage, perhaps with some compost or decomposed granite in the hole, its roots may be drowning. Also, many people make the mistake of fertilizing a native plant to help it bloom. Fertilizers, especially high nitrogen fertilizers, tend to force a plant to leaf, at the expense of blooming. High nitrogen fertilizers are really to help grasses to green up.

Finally, let's put a good twist on the answer; let's assume that all your plant needs is patience. It just may not be ready to bloom yet, and we doubt there is anything you can put on it to make it bloom before it is ready.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Shrubs Questions

Replacement of barberry hedge with native, bird-friendly plants
August 30, 2006 - I am looking to replace an existing barberry hedge with a deciduous hedge, using a plant that is native to the northeast. I am in zone 6. The site is sun/part sun with decent drainage. The mature si...
view the full question and answer

Non-native daylilies and pachysandra in same area from New York City
April 07, 2012 - Will daylilies and pachysandra thrive if planted in the same bed, or will they harm each other?
view the full question and answer

Pruning of Grape Kool Aid Plant in California
August 03, 2008 - I have a Grape Kool Aid plant and was told it would grow to 6 or 7 feet tall, but it is well over that and I need to know if I can prune it and if so how?
view the full question and answer

Planting Candelilla from Austin
July 12, 2013 - Good Morning and thank you for answering my question!! I am interested in planting a Candelilla plant (it looks like small bamboo plants growing only a 2-3 feet tall. I heard it is supposed to be ver...
view the full question and answer

Age at which native agarita produces berries
July 28, 2004 - At what age does agarita produce berries? Is this plant self pollinating?
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