En Español

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?


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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 10, 2013

From: El Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Shrubs
Title: Time of year to plant Texas Mountain Laurel in El Paso, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


When is the best time of year to plant a Mountain Laurel tree in El Paso?


As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, the desert shrub or small tree Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) grows natively pretty far into West Texas and the Big Bend area, but not quite as far as El Paso County, so you will need to follow the plant link above to our webpage on that plant to make sure you have growing conditions appropriate to the plant.

As for the best time, the best time to plant any woody (trees or shrubs) plant in the hot Southwest is in cool weather, November to January when the plants are semi-dormant. Don't buy it now and plant it then. You won't even have to dig a hole if you do that, because the tree will already be dead.


From the Image Gallery

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Planting Questions

Damage to yucca in San Marcos TX
October 18, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, thank you for helping me with my buffalo grass is San Marcos TX back in the spring, my lawn is gorgeous thanks to you! I really need your help as someone sabotaged my beauti...
view the full question and answer

Removal of burned tree stump from Weir TX
September 24, 2012 - Hello, I am the community manager for Country Glen, LLC In Weir, Texas 5 miles north east of Georgetown Texas. Simple question I need to remove a large Arizona Ash that was burned buy fire I need th...
view the full question and answer

Eastern redcedar uprooted by snow in Arlington, TX
February 14, 2010 - During the recent snowstorm one of our juniperus virginiana fell over with the rootball looking intact and with a lot of soil all around it.Should we try to save it? It is approximately 20 feet tall ...
view the full question and answer

Competition between peony and bulbs
November 06, 2015 - I am planting 3 herbaceous peony bare roots 3 feet apart from each other. I am told it will take 3 years before I get blooms. In the meantime, can i safely plant springtime flowering bulbs in th...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant low shrub for Houston
September 28, 2013 - Please suggest a shade loving shrub that doesn't get more than 3' tall for a foundation planting along a front porch in Houston, TX. I prefer native, drought resistant if possible. No nursery person...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center