A great flowering small to a medium-sized evergreen tree. Deer leave this one alone, so nothing to worry about there. TEXAS’ MOUNTAIN LAUREL ... Mt. Glossy dark leaves up to 5 inches long are divided into seven to nine 1-inch rounded leaflets. Though these slow-growing plants can be kept pruned to a shrub size, most often they are allowed to mature into small treelike forms 10 feet wide and 15 feet high, multi- or single-trunked. Previously known interchangeably as Sophora secundiflora and Calia secundiflora, recent phylogenetic studies have led to the reclassification of certain members of the Sophora genus into Dermatophyllum – a taxonomic synonym for Calia. Shore Fly: How To Tell Fungus Gnats And Shore Flies Apart, Growing Bushes In Zone 9: Choosing Shrubs For Zone 9 Gardens, Growing Mint From Seed: Learn How To Plant Mint Seeds, No Flowers On A Dove Tree – Tips For Getting Blooms On Dove Trees, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables, Gratitude For The Garden – Being Grateful For Each Growing Season, 7 Reasons To Do Your Garden Shopping Locally, Thankful Beyond Words – What Represents Gratefulness In My Garden. Growing Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) and Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea) from Seed Cynthia W. Mueller, Galveston County Master Gardener Two of Texas' most spectacular native plants, Texas Mountain Laurel and Coral Bean, are fairly easy to grow from seed, and difficult to transplant as they become larger and more entrenched in the landscape. They’ll do well in clay, loam, and sand, and will tolerate being planted in or near turf. Texas mountain laurel likes rocky soils, but it will tolerate planting in or near turf, as long as the soil is deep and drains well. Remember that container plants always dry out more quickly than plants in the ground. For a more shrub-like appearance, trim the upper branches. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. We take great pride in knowing that we are selling you the highest quality Texas Mountain Laurel on the market. Famed TV chef Emeril Lagasse used to lament the non-invention of “smell-o-vision.” I wish for “smell-o-website” so I could share with you the heavenly scent produced by the pretty purple flowers of these shrubs. Older specimens in their natural habitat can reach 30 to 50 feet tall at maturity. This shade-loving shrub produces clusters of rose, pink, or white flowers with purple markings in late May to early June. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. If the flowers are not d… If you’d like to learn more about growing other shrubs, check out these articles: © Ask the Experts, LLC. With both donated and purchased seeds, chances are they’re more mature. Transplant it in the spring or fall. When the brutal heat strikes, like many of us, these plants will go dormant. The 'Texas mountain laurel' grows in poor soil with good drainage. They’ll do well in clay, loam, and sand, and will tolerate being planted in or near turf. There are dwarf varieties available, however, that are much more suited to container life. Select a variety that will wor… Texas Mountain Laurel makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Share your tips and thoughts in the comments section. It will produce very fragrant purple hanging flowers in early spring, usually around late March to early April. How to Grow and Care for Gaillardia (Blanket Flowers), How to Diagnose and Prevent Phony Peach Disease, Your Guide to Growing Chicken Scratch Greens for Healthy Chickens, 11 of the Best Double Hellebore Varieties for the Late Winter Garden, Seeds: 1/2 inch; transplant: same depth as root ball, Soil should be alkaline and well-draining. How to Grow Mountain Laurels From Seed. They like to grow in a location that gets plenty of full sun exposure, and they're water-wise too, so once established they will have little to moderate watering needs. The pest is the genista caterpillar. Mountain laurel shrubs are eastern North American natives with beautiful, unique, cup-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring and summer in shades of white to pink. Last updated: March 9, 2020 at 17:16 pm. As you would with morning glories, scratch them up with a knife, for example, or use sandpaper. Sow these in gallon-sized containers with holes in the bottom filled with well-draining potting mix. You’ll get two newly sprouted plants. Because of some innovative work in propagating native plants of Texas by Lone Star Growers (now Color Spot) in San Antonio, Mt. These plants grow slowly, so if you’re looking for an immediate statement in the landscape, you might consider purchasing a well-established specimen in a large container from a local nursery. But, Texas being Texas, we had to stamp it with our own name, of course. Some of these are reflective of the plant’s native territory, which in addition to central, southern, and western Texas, also includes New Mexico and northern Mexico. Laurels are now available as container-grown plants and are very affordable. Gardeners looking for a tough evergreen tree or shrub that perfumes the air each spring with a floral scent that stops traffic should consider Texas mountain laurel. TREES 10 Top Trees to Grow in Containers. Evidence of their use can be found in numerous archaeological sites in Texas and Mexico, and shows that these cultures also used the colorful seeds decoratively. Otherwise, they have a tendency to rot in the soil (which obviously isn’t very good for the plant). Sophora secundiflora Texas Mountain Laurel The slow-growing Texas Mountain Laurel is native to desert environments and generally thrives in sunny, arid locations, where it can make an excellent scenic hedge with proper pruning. Laurel Bay leaf is a tree, but it can be grown in containers as well. Texas Mountain Laurel is a native evergreen shrub that can be trained as a multi-trunked small tree. Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is a large shrub that can reach as much as 20 feet (6 m.) in height. These bushes have very shallow root systems. If you’d like to start with seeds, you can get packets of five seeds via Amazon. Mountain laurel is easy to grow from transplants. They are usually used as landscape plants, and can often be seen blooming in dappled shade under trees and taller shrubs. Lovely as they are, the flowers of Texas mountain laurel are toxic to humans and animals, as are the plant’s seed pods and leaves. Mountain laurel is a gorgeous species of flowering shrub which may prove difficult to propagate.However, with time and patience, propagation is feasible and more rewarding than simply buying a shrub from the nursery. It prefers poor, rocky soil, but i… Most mountain laurels are hardy down to USDA zone 5, but container plants are much less resistant to cold. Email Save Comment 6. When I lived in the high altitudes of Las Cruces, New Mexico, I grew a few Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora ) trees in my xeriscape. They are not drought tolerant and require regular watering, especially during periods of drought. They also do perfectly well with no fertilization, but in areas with very poor soil you can add a small amount of a balanced fertilizer such as NPK 10-10-10 in springtime. If you live in zone 7 or below, you should provide winter protection by moving your container grown mountain laurels to an unheated garage or shed, or submerging their pots in the ground for the winter. When transplanting into the ground, mix some extra calcium into the soil at the planting site to help plants get established. Texas mountain laurel prefers alkaline, well-drained rocky soils, including those that contain limestone. It will probably not be cold hardy north of Interstate 20. Keep reading to learn more about caring for mountain laurel in containers. I've been growing the Mountain Laurels for a few years now in mass quantity via containers. No problem. If someone hands you some hard, older pods, soak them in water to make it easier to break them apart and get at the seeds. It has taken a few years to get the proper recipe for growing them,but this year looks good. The bad news is that this plant is plagued by Uresiphita reversalis, aka genista caterpillar or sephora worm. Alternatively, you can direct sow in the garden. In south-central Texas, mountain laurel is commonly found on well-drained Hill Country limestone. Toxic mescal beans were used ritually by indigenous peoples of the Central and Southern plains tribes for their psychoactive properties. The root had already reached the bottom of the 1-gallon container in which it germinated. The flowers are the most interesting feature of the plant. While many plants that you might run across in the wild will not transplant well, young mountain laurels are highly adaptable. Follow. No rain for weeks? I have a young texas mountain laurel that I’m curious will be fine in the cold winters of West Texas. D. secundiflorum takes it all and comes out smelling like a… glass of grape Kool-Aid? It is hardy down to 10 degree F. A frugal water user once established, but if thoroughly soaked several times a month during the summer, you can increase this plant's rate of growth. Texas mountain laurel prefers alkaline, well-drained rocky soils, including those that contain limestone. Dermatophyllum secundiflorum The intoxicating fragrance of Texas mountain laurel is enough to cause drivers to slam on the brakes or dog walkers to … But can you grow mountain laurel in a pot? There's no doubt that the Texas Mountain Laurel tree is an ornamental beauty and it gets bonus points because it's an evergreen with a sturdy structure that can keep its leaves all year long. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Growing Texas Mountain Laurel. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. It can be pruned to keep it shrub-like. Product photo via Amazon. Mountain laurel tends to sell out early in the season, so plan ahead and beat the crowd. These and other dwarf varieties are usually compact enough to live happily for years in large containers. “Minuet” is one such variety, a very small shrub that reaches only 3 feet (0.9 m.) in height and breadth and produces pink flowers with a bright red ring through the middle. Dig a hole slightly bigger than the root ball, then carefully place the root ball into the hole, and backfill with planting site soil. This article will describe how to propagate the mountain laurel shrub using seed propagation and propagation from cuttings. Mountain Laurel Calico Bush Kalmia latifolia ERICACEAE features description habit rate of growth how to grow shrubs growing shrubs planting shrubs how to plant shrubs how to care for shrubs care soil needs of shrubs soil medium sun light sunlight growing conditions for shrubs flowers and blooms hardiness region climate irrigating shrubs watering shrubs fertilize fertilizing shrubs … An alternative pruning time is in the summer, after it has finished flowering. D. secundiflorum will also tolerate light shade for part of the day. The intoxicating fragrance of Texas mountain laurel is enough to cause drivers to slam on the brakes or dog walkers to abruptly stop short, giving poor Fido whiplash. I've found that container grown Mountain Laurels are aesthetically pleasing. Click here to learn more about caring for mountain laurel in containers. Bury the seed about 1/2 inch deep. A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus): English laurel in a container makes a dense, glossy evergreen screen or backdrop for shady spots. This is the story of how I discovered 3 easy ways to control Texas mountain laurel pests that can quickly destroy new, tender leaf growth. Then cut out thin, spindly branches. Hungry deer? Once established, these drought-tolerant shrubs require little to no irrigation. While it’s true that they will tolerate shade, they actually perform best in dappled to partial sunlight, where they will produce the most blooms. However, it’s a very popular landscape specimen can be used in both Blackland clays and sandy soils. The green portion of the plant was above ground, ... Obviously one should not crowd 7 or 8 mountain laurels into a single small pot. But can you grow mountain laurel in a pot? This yellow-bodied immature moth can strip the leaves off a Texas mountain laurel in no time flat, though the foliage almost always grows back and the plant suffers no permanent damage. Keep in mind that the blossoms only appear on year-old wood. Purchase a 15-gallon specimen from a nursery to enjoy its immediate beauty. Most of us will probably not find one in the wild though, so we’ll have to hunt for our mountain laurel at our local nurseries. Mountain Laurels often do better when the crown (where the stems meet the roots) is a little above ground and covered with mulch. The mescal beans contain a number of poisonous quinolizidine alkaloids, including cystine, a narcotic alkaloid with a similar molecular structure to that of nicotine. And it’s definitely time for a happy dance when she’s able to beat the squirrels to the peaches, figs, or loquats. To Gretchen, nothing is more rewarding than a quick dash to the garden to pluck herbs to season the evening meal. Mountain Laurel Transplant Tips – How To Transplant Mountain Laurel Bushes, Mountain Laurel Cold Hardiness: How To Care For Mountain Laurels In Winter, Texas Mountain Laurel Won’t Bloom: Troubleshooting A Flowerless Texas Mountain Laurel, Plant Donation Info: Giving Away Plants To Others, Easy Garden Gifts: Choosing Gifts For New Gardeners, Mixed Container With Succulents: Succulents For Thriller, Filler, and Spiller Designs, Fungus Gnat Vs. Learn more about Monrovia plants and best practices for best possible plant performance. To begin, choose a pot of at least 12 inches deep and wide. A quick note: those of us here in Texas understand there’s another plant that calls itself “mountain laurel.” Nevertheless, our laurel is unrelated to Kalmia latifolia, a member of the heather family, Ericaceae, whereas ours is in the pea family, Fabaceae. Texas Mountain Laurels are generally disease and pest-free, and tolerate a wide range of well-drained soils. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! But the breathtaking bouquet is just one of the charms of this Texas native, which is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 7b. The short answer is: yes. Since 2003, we have been growing strong and healthy Texas Mountain Laurels from seed in containers. The seeds will be pale pink and their shells will be relatively soft. The Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) is a desirable landscape shrub popular in the alkaline soils around Interstate 35, which cuts through the middle of the state, and areas westward. You can try soaking the seeds in warm water for 2-3 days, changing the water regularly to keep it tepid. 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2020 growing texas mountain laurel in container