Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport 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
6 ratings

Thursday - January 02, 2003

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: How to Propagate Mountain Laurel by Seed
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

How do I propagate mountain laurel by seed?

ANSWER:

The seed of Mountain Laurel (taxonomic name: Sophora secundiflora (mescal bean) requires scarification to ensure germination. This can be performed by "knicking" the seed coat with a knife, or uniformly abrading the seed-coat with sandpaper. Combine this with boiling some water, then letting it cool to a warm temperature and soaking the scarified seed overnight. Jill Nokes, author of "How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest", recommends: "Pretreated seeds will germinate within two weeks in a greenhouse or outdoors after the soil has warmed". She also suggests accommodating the long initial root with a longer container, as well as utilizing a well-draining media. She advises that the plants do not transplant well from the flat and are also sensitive to overhead watering. Make sure that you place the seedlings (or pre-treated seed) in an area that receives direct sunlight to encourage strong, upright growth.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Propagation Questions

Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) frost tolerance, making cuttings
October 08, 2007 - Dear Madam or Sir, It would be very kind, if you could answer my questions about the “Thuja Plicata atrovirens” alias “Western Red Cedar”. I need the information because a good friend of mine ...
view the full question and answer

Gathering Purple Coneflower seeds in Burnet TX
October 10, 2009 - I have grown some Purple Coneflower and now am trying to save the seeds to plant next spring. I have a bucket full of dried tops and I know there is a lot of seeds. Is there an easy way to separate ...
view the full question and answer

Sophora seeds to give away
April 13, 2016 - When we moved to TX years ago we bought a mountain laurel so we could have the beautiful purple flowers and were disappointed when the flowers every year were white (with a few purple ones here and th...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Arisaema dracontium
May 25, 2008 - We are fortunate enough to own an 8-acre drainage next to Bull Creek preserve, and it has several stands of Green Dragon (Arisaema Dracontium) growing in it. How can we propagate this plant and share...
view the full question and answer

At what age does Possumhaw (Ilex decidua) begin to flower in Pflugerville, TX?
January 13, 2011 - At what age does a female possumhaw (Ilex decidua) usually bloom and set fruit? Or is there a way to identify the female other than by the presence of berries? I grew a number from seed and want to ...
view the full question and answer

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