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

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 Trees Questions

Fruit-bearing crabapple for Austin, TX
January 07, 2007 - Is there a fruitbearing crabapple that will live in Austin. If so, what soil type is required?
view the full question and answer

Effects of patio under large tree
July 17, 2008 - I would like to put in a patio under a fairly large tree. I understand a tree needs some open ground around it for air and water. Can I use flagstone leaving 6-10 inches of space between the stones?...
view the full question and answer

Area under live oaks from Austin
October 08, 2012 - We have many live oaks in our mostly shaded half acre. While I have tried to plant mostly native plants, often beneath them, the plants are showered with leathery leaves, acorns and sap, while oak sp...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental plants for under live oaks
September 08, 2008 - What ornamental plant will do well under Live Oak trees?
view the full question and answer

Can hackberry twigs and leaves be safely used in compost?
March 05, 2009 - If Hackberry trees and leaves have growth inhibiting compounds, should they not be used in compost piles?
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