Rent Shop 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
2 ratings

Monday - January 04, 2010

From: Kerrville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Need help with pruning my Anacacho Orchid tree.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We have an Anacacho Orchid Tree which has done so well in its location that we will need to prune it back. Please advise how much we can prune it and what time of year to do so. Thank you

ANSWER:

The Anacacho Orchid tree Bauhinia lunarioides (Texasplume) is a rapid grower that makes a gorgeous display with its silvery-gray bark and white flowers that resemble orchids. Flowers occur primarily in March, April, May and sporadically through the warm months.  Its nectar attracts butterflies and bees.

The timing of pruning is explained in this article from Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and one of its points is that spring-flowering shrubs bloom on last season's growth and should be pruned soon after they bloom. This allows for vigorous summertime growth and results in plenty of flower buds the following year.  Pruning these shrubs in the fall would remove the buds, and diminish spring flowering.

This article from Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service  offers a comprehensive discussion of the pruning of trees and shrubs.

 

From the Image Gallery


Anacacho orchid tree
Bauhinia lunarioides

More Pruning Questions

What to do about volunteer trees growing beneath a large live oak tree in Austin, TX
January 08, 2013 - We have a large live oak tree. Several volunteer trees are growing directly underneath it and into its branches. I want to cut them down if they are going to hurt the long term health of the live oak....
view the full question and answer

Pruning Texas Mountain Laurel
November 12, 2009 - How much can I prune a 10 year old mountain laurel to re-shape it and when?
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Martha Gonzales rose
January 20, 2016 - How much should I prune back an established Martha Gonzales Rose to keep healthy?
view the full question and answer

Fruit on Jasmines
March 13, 2013 - My jasmines have grown some small purple fruits and she is about to get her full bloom soon. Should I cut them off to help the plants out? What are they?
view the full question and answer

Time for pruning wax myrtle in Texas
January 31, 2015 - We live in Houston. Can we prune back our southern wax myrtle now?
view the full question and answer

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