Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

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
1 rating

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.

 

More Planting Questions

Planting time for non-natives in Irving TX
February 07, 2012 - Have dwarf nandinas and two lorapetalums that I want to transplant. Can I do it now February 6th 2012?
view the full question and answer

Pecan trees too close together in Austin
August 14, 2012 - There are two pecan trees in my central Austin yard. Each is four or five inches diameter at chest height and maybe 15 feet tall. They are within six feet of each other and their canopies interfere wi...
view the full question and answer

Sumacs under live oaks dying in Austin
August 08, 2010 - Converted my yard to native plants last fall. All of the fragrant and evergreen sumacs are dying off one by one - they have never thrived. I ensure they get a good soaking at least once a week. I w...
view the full question and answer

When is the best time to transplant Esperanza bushe in Buda, TX?
September 04, 2013 - When is the best time to transplant an Esperanza bush? I want to move it because it is overwhelming my front yard. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

High water table in Glewood Springs CO
March 03, 2012 - We are considering the purchase of a home in Glenwood Springs, CO (elev. Approximately 5,000 ft) and find it strange that while neighboring properties in the subdivision have beautiful landscaping wit...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.