Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Sunday - September 16, 2012

From: Hallettsville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Mountain Laurel not growing in Hallettesville, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Mountain laurel has been planted over 2 years. Well drained,sandy soil, full sun. They have not grown or set blooms despite occasional all purpose fertilizers. What is wrong?

ANSWER:

Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) is a handsome Texas native that by most accounts is very slow growing, and it is way too early to be be looking for blooms. (maybe in three more years). Checking on its plant profile page we see the following 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 seem to be doing things right if your pH is high enough. However, fertilizing a new transplant is generally not recommended.

Since your plant has been planted only two years, it could be suffering from transplant shock. I’m going to provide  you with several links that have information starting with planting techniques, transplant shock  (also see), and ideas about proper watering.

This distribution map for Mountain Laurel shows that it doesn’t occur in Lavaca County, but if you are providing the right growning conditions, that may not be a problem.

Plantanswers.com

Texas Gardener  (scroll down to Mountain Laurel)

Aridzonetrees.com

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Shrubs Questions

Need suggestions for a small tree for cemetery in NH.
August 30, 2012 - I would like suggestions for picking a SMALL tree for a rural cemetery in Winchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Would the delicate Japanese Elm be suitable for the weather, etc?
view the full question and answer

How to combat weeds growing in mulch
September 12, 2008 - Trying to decide on either ground cover plants, or some type of gravel. We have a new house where the builder has planted small shrubs in the full sun flower bed next to house. The bed has mulch at th...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Esperanza in Houston
July 07, 2009 - Esperanza plant. I have 3 of these plant in my flower bed for the last 10 years. They get west sun. Over the last three years they have bloomed initially but then the new growth is deformed. The best...
view the full question and answer

Will wax myrtle (Morella cerifera) grow in Roswell NM?
September 29, 2011 - We live in Roswell, NM. Will a wax myrtle tree live in our climate and soil?
view the full question and answer

Non-native gardenias in Southampton Ontario
July 31, 2012 - I purchased 3 gardenias this year for the garden. Now I'm told that I can't leave them out all year round here in mid/western Ontario. Is this true, and if so, how do I keep them over the winter i...
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.