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

Thursday - April 18, 2013

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Planting, Trees
Title: Anacacho orchid not leafing out in Georgetown TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

February 2012 I planted 2 4-ft anacacho orchids which did well. This spring, they have yet to leaf out or even bud. There is green, however, when I scratch the stems and some suckers at the bottom of both trees. At least one of the trees briefly got blossoms in December 2012! Could they just be confused about the season? Everything else I planted at the same time has fully leafed out. What should I do?

ANSWER:

First, please note from this USDA Plant Profile Map that Bauhinia lunarioides (Anacacho orchid tree) is native in Texas only to a few southwestern counties in Texas.  If you follow the plant link to our webpage on that plant, you will note this statement:

"Anacacho orchid tree makes a gorgeous display with its silvery gray bark and fragrant white flowers that resemble orchids. It is a relatively rapid-growing tree after its first year when placed in a favorable location, but should be planted on the south side of buildings in areas with harsh winters." Another website we visited said: 

"Temperature: Avoid western exposures having high reflected light conditions."

We are not sure we would go so far as to say we had a "harsh" winter in Central Texas this past year, but there have been frequent temperature swings. If you did not have it in a sheltered spot as mentioned above, that could have contributed to the problem. Also, this is a plant that needs good drainage, so that water does not stand on its roots. There is so much clay soil in Central Texas, and adding some decomposed granite or even sand to the native soil can help. This article from Aggie Horticulture adds some more insights on the tree.

And, finally, your tree may be suffering from transplant shock, which can show up in a plant anywhere from a few months to 5 years after transplanting. You planted it in cold weather, which we always recommend for woody plants; planting in the heat of summer is frequently fatal. We have no way of knowing for sure, and it probably would not be practical to move the tree to a more favorable location, but we do think your tree has a good chance of pulling out, since it still has a green under-bark layer. Try watering it by pushing the hose down in the soil around it and letting the water drip slowly until the surface is wet. This could help keep from drowning the roots if the soil does not have good drainage. This is a desert plant and should be deep watered like this only about once a month.

 

From the Image Gallery


Anacacho orchid tree
Bauhinia lunarioides

More Planting Questions

Restoring fire damage in Bastrop TX
November 03, 2011 - I live in the Bastrop State Park area. We were severely affected by the wildfire and as we are trying to rebuild our home, we are being very aware of the particularities of the recovery process. We lo...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental grasses under desert willows from Dallas, TX
September 06, 2013 - I am planning on planting 3 desert willows in full sun, below the power lines at the back of my back yard in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas. I would like to plant some ornamental grasses in the be...
view the full question and answer

Failure to come up of blackeyed susans in Lancaster PA
June 28, 2009 - My blackeyed susans have been blooming for ten years. All of a sudden this year they didn't come up at all..why?
view the full question and answer

Selecting a tree for a backyard in San Antonio, TX
May 11, 2013 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently moved into a home in West San Antonio right outside Loop 1604..my treeless backyard is fairly small at about 55 ft long and 15 ft wide. I am torn because I can't ...
view the full question and answer

Need advice ab out raspberry root in Merced CA
February 14, 2015 - I planted a raspberry root the day that it started raining hard. I was just concerned about the root rotting since there is so much rain going on lately. Will I need to replace it or will the root...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center