Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - May 20, 2010

From: Tucson, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagating Texas Mountain Laurel by seed from Tucson AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Propagation of Texas Mountain Laurel from seed

ANSWER:

From our page on Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) in our Native Plant Database:

Propagation

Description: Sow scarified seed after the soil has warmed in spring or fresh seed still swollen in pod in fall. Lightly cover the seed in a pot large enough to allow good root development the first year. A light dusting with a general fungicide is a good precaution to prevent a fungal infection. Mountain laurel seedlings grow slowly the first two years. Cuttings from juvenile trees may root. Since S. secundiflora is a slow growing plant, most specimen sized shrubs are made commercially available by digging them from the wild, and then balling and burlapping. It is difficult for S. secundiflora to survive this kind of transplant because it has a sparse root system with a deep taproot. Because it is impossible to dig up the entire root, the plant often goes into shock and dies.
Seed Collection: Fruit maturation occurs mid to late summer, but the fruit will remain on the plant through the winter, finally releasing the seed the next summer. Young fruit are large thick, leathery pods that appear brownish gray because of a layer of silky pubescence, which gives the pods a silvery luster. In their second year, the pods weather to become black and thin walled, and soon fall from the plant and deteriorate, eventually releasing the seed. The seed are usually deep red but can be orangish red to almost maroon. They are also very hard. Collect seeds when the pod begins to dry and the seeds turn red
Seed Treatment: Separate seeds from pod and store in bags or containers in a cool dry place. Soaking the hard pods in warm water will soften them and make seed removal easier. Seeds must be filed or mechanically scarified with a knife.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Prune to avoid a dense shrubby appearance.

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Twist-leaf Yucca flowering in Burnet County, TX.
June 16, 2015 - I recently moved to Burnet County and our property is full of twist leaf yuccas which are now blooming, but not all are blooming. Why do some twist leaf yuccas bloom and others don't? Are they m...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of blackberry from Williamsport PA
January 18, 2014 - I have been told that if you cut a branch off of a black berry bush and stick it in water for a few days, and then put it in the ground it will grow into another bush. Please tell me if this is true a...
view the full question and answer

Tall Evergreens for Pennsylvania
January 06, 2011 - I want to plant tall evergreen trees that grow really tall in deep shade or that I can plant already fairly large and withstand the shock of planting in a mature state and live in deep shade. I thank ...
view the full question and answer

Research on Atriplex confertifolia in Austin
January 21, 2010 - I have heard a lot about Atriplex confertifolia (Shadscale). Has the Center done any research/trial growing of this plant for possible adaptability to Hill Country (west Austin) area? If this is a ca...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Texas madrone (Arbutus xalapensis)
October 08, 2008 - I have seeds from a madrone tree and would like to know if you have had success propagating a madrone and if so, could you give me some tips, because I hear it can be tricky.
view the full question and answer

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