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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.

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Tuesday - December 02, 2014

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Xeriscapes, Planting, Drought Tolerant, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Will Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri thrive in caliche soil?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I live on a high hill in the Hamilton Pool area outside of Austin. I am looking to plant a Dasylirion wheeleri that I grew from seed collected in New Mexico aria East Of Soccoro. I am wondering if these plants will take some caliche soil . I have dug the hole and it is butter yellow with no top soil to speak of. Or if Ishould give up and go and find some limestone marl to plant it in. Thank you.

ANSWER:

I have Dasylirion wheeleri (Common sotol) plants that have thrived in caliche soil for years.  Mine are growing on a well drained slope.  This is important since sotol roots can rot if kept wet for days.  It would be good for you to put your plant in a well drained location and place some porous soil in the planting hole to get the plant off to a good start.  Once established, it will take care of itself in your caliche.

 

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