Also known as mescal bean, this small, slow-growing tree is drought tolerant and thrives in rocky, limestone soils. Mature Size: Up to 25 feet tall. Tree is about two feet high. Avoid over-watering, as this is more likely to damage the plant than under-watering. CARE Thrives in average to lean, loose, fast-draining, slightly alkaline soil with gravel mulch. They grow VERY slowly. Texas mountain laurel prefers alkaline, well-drained rocky soils, including those that contain limestone. Decide on where to plant your mountain laurel. I purchased a Texas Mountain Laurel. Never prune … Establishment can take up to three years, as it does with many trees. Texas Mountain Laurel is exceptionally hardy, tolerates arid climates, and requires very little maintenance. Positive. She has lectured on tree care and the horticultural arts at places like Bayou Bend, River Oaks Garden Club, and Houston Garden Club. Water Texas mountain laurel trees infrequently to prevent the soil around them from drying out completely. Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is flowering broadleaf evergreen shrub with a multi-stemmed growth habit. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension: Sophora Secundiflora (Texas Mountain Laurel). That said, there are always exceptions to the rules. Houston Chronicle: How Should I Prune My Texas Mountain Laurel? Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Insecticides containing Spinosad formulations are useful for larger caterpillars o… Plant in a sunny location with good soil … The Texas Mountain Laurel, Sophora secundiflora, is an excellent landscaping shrub. Water Texas mountain laurel trees infrequently to prevent the soil around them from drying out completely. Although it can survive on annual rainfall, supplemental irrigation is usually required in central and southern Arizona. Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School. Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) If you’ve recently caught a whiff of something grape-flavored (mmmmm…) while walking your dog, riding your bike, or taking your mail to the box, you smelled Texas mountain laurel. Use 2 level cups for a Texas mountain laurel with a 1-inch-trunk diameter. It has become poor in appearance, leaves are falling off. The tree is prized for its drought-resistance and glossy, dark-green foliage. It is essential to cover both the upper and lower sides of all the leaves. They’ll do well in clay, loam, and sand, and will tolerate being planted in or near turf. Keep pets and children away from the poisonous seed of the Texas mountain laurel. Learn more about Moon Valley Nurseries trees and best practices for outstanding plant performance. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." The aroma from these blooms is quite pleasant and is very similar to the smell of the artificial grape flavoring found in drinks and gums. Texas mountain laurel is a very hardy plant that requires little care, making it a perfect choice for novice and experienced gardeners alike. Newly planted Texas mountain laurel needs watering every 3-4 days for the first few weeks. Water in thoroughly after transplanting to settle the soil around the root system. Upon germination, transfer the seedling to the ground in the spring when the soil is warm. In south-central Texas, mountain laurel is commonly found on well-drained Hill Country limestone. D. secundiflorum will also tolerate light shade for … Provide the trees with 1 inch of supplemental irrigation in the absence of rain for three or more weeks. Whether you are digging up an existing mountain laurel to replant in a different space or buying one from a nursery, make sure it is less than 2-1/2 feet in height. Then, water every 4-7 days for the first year. Young trees benefit from afternoon shade in hot climates. At the first sight of caterpillars (when they are still small), use a foliar spray of Bt – Bacillus thurengiensis. For best results, fertilize the tree with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer according to label directions. Nick the seeds with a nail file and soak them in water for 24 hours before planting them in a prepared planting location. This slow growing evergreen may be grown as a medium to large shrub or trained to a single or multi-trunk tree. Fertilize with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer in the spring. Texas mountain laurel grows in limestone soils in Central and Southwest Texas and to 5000 feet in the Chisos and Davis Mountains. Likewise, when planting the laurel, you should ensure that it has soil that drains properly and does … Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. Remove any dead or damaged limbs at the same time. Some people find the fragrance overwhelming. Contact your local agricultural extension office for additional prevention and treatment information. Water regularly during first few growing seasons to establish the root system. This shade-loving shrub produces clusters of rose, pink, or white flowers with purple markings in late May to early June. Although slow-growing and difficult to transplant, mountain laurel is one of the best small trees for any landscape. Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora Secundiflora. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Sophora Secundiflora (Ortega), Fine Gardening: Sophora Secundiflora (Mescal Bean, Texas Mountain Laurel), North Carolina State University: Overcoming Seed Dormancy: Trees and Shrubs, San Antonio Express News: Texas Mountain Laurel. Choose a planting site in an area that gets full sun. This is a member of the pea family and the relationship can be seen with the fragrant clusters of blue sweet pea-like flowers produced in the spring. For instance, a #15 Texas Mountain Laurel will be very short…perhaps 4 feet tall. Rub seeds against sand paper or cut an “x” into them with a sharp knife to scarify the hard shell, then plant them in a pot to propagate. If you prune after blossoming to preserve the bloom for next year, you may find pruning stimulates increased blossoming. This tree thrives in rocky, limestone soil but does not grow well in compacted soil. So there you have the story of a native Texas plant with the inappropriate name of Mountain Laurel making it big in landscapes. Treat affected trees with an insecticidal spray if necessary to restore their health. Texas mountain laurels produce seedpods that contain poisonous red berries, which can cause hallucinations when ingested. Water lightly as needed during prolonged dry periods; Texas mountain laurel is highly heat and drought tolerant but will need occasional attention if it starts to look droopy during drought. Apply the first fertilizer application in the early spring, before new growth is observed; apply the second fertilizer application in the early summer. Space Texas mountain laurel saplings 10 to 12 feet apart, and water regularly during the first year so that the soil is constantly moist but never sodden. If you prune off caterpillar-infested branches, you may lose some of the shape or blooms for a while. It grows narrow and upright and has dense foliage which can be pruned well in to tree form. Despite its lavish beauty, caring for your Texas mountain laurel is simple. Monitor Texas mountain laurel trees for problems with common insect pests such as borers and Uresiphita reversalis caterpillars. However, it’s a very popular landscape specimen can be used in both Blackland clays and sandy soils. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Texas Mountain Laurel usually bloom in March, and the blooming period may last 3-4 weeks. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates seasonal drought. Moon Valley Nurseries has a great selection of Texas Mountain Laurel trees that are grown only from our best specimens. The seeds are red, about one-half inch in length and cased inside a silvery gray pod which opens after the plant flowers. Why is this tree not fluorishing? The classic rule on pruning is … Texas mountain laurel; Texas persimmon; About Us. The hole and dirt were adequate to directions. Store seeds in a cool, dry place until they are ready for planting. In the spring, Texas mountain laurel puts on a show for the senses with its pendulous clusters of fragrant purple flowers. If the flowers are not deadheaded, nondescri… All Rights Reserved. Start a new Texas mountain laurel tree from seed. Shiny evergreen leaves and drooping clusters of lavender flowers make Texas mountain laurel popular in warm regions. The shrub likes full sun and well-drained, rocky limestone soil. "The Gardener's Guide to Planting and Growing Trees"; Mike Buffi; 2007. Texas mountain laurel, known botanically as Sophora secundiflora, is an ornamental evergreen tree that is native to North America. Suzanne Longley, ... she is well qualified to advise her nursery clients on how her trees and roses work in Texas landscapes. I have given additional water in the first few weeks. Wizzie Brown, an insect specialist with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office, says genista caterpillars are easy to spot on your blooming Texas mountain laurel plants. Fertilize the plant twice each growing season to ensure a growth rate of up to 2 feet per year. Grow Texas mountain laurel in full sun or partial shade in neutral to alkaline, well-drained soil. Texas mountain laurel has high drought tolerance w… It’s glossy, dark […] These evergreen shrubs have glossy green leaves of about 5inches in length. The Texas mountain laurel is a small evergreen tree that matures between 15 to 25 feet tall with a 10 to 12 foot spread. Texas mountain laurel is a very hardy plant that requires little care, making it a perfect choice for novice and experienced gardeners alike. Houseplants / Ornamental / Shrubs / / 8 Types of Laurel Flowers (Care Guides & Photos) 8 Types of Laurel Flowers (Care Guides & Photos) ... Texas Mountain Laurel. While this is a slow growing plant, they eventually can grow up to 35-feet tall; however you typically find them in the 15-foot range in urban environments. Texas mountain laurel trees usually perform best when watered just once a month. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Glossy dark leaves up to 5 inches long are divided into seven to nine 1-inch rounded leaflets. When pruning, keep in mind that Texas mountain laurels are slow-growing trees and that blooms will only appear on wood that is over a year old. The tree is often mistaken for the bay laurel tree, due to the similarity of their foliage. It requires little care and is very hearty. Growing the Texas Mountain Laurel in Mesa, AZ – These desert tress love full sun and a soil that is rocky and chalked with limestone. Texas Mountain Laurels are not bothered by many pests; however, the Genista moth larvae can decimate the foliage on a full-grown tree in a few days. The tree is prized for its drought-resistance and glossy, dark-green foliage. Its lush purple flowers have a strong grapelike fragrance that permeates the area around the plant. For best results, fertilize the tree with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer according to label directions. They bloom in Southwest zones in early spring and their flowers are deep blue to purple. Scientific Name: Sophora secundiflora. Texas Mountain Laurel – Elgin Nursery & Tree Farm: Phoenix, AZ. Get a head start by planting as large of a specimen as you can find. It is a gift for my neighbor and I planted it at a western exposure with one drip. Best offers for your Garden - https://amzn.to/2InnD0w-----How to Grow a Texas Mountain Laurel Tree. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude. First, be sure the plants are as healthy as possible by planting them in a site with some shade and some sun in well-draining, acidic soil. The Texas Mountain Laurel is an evergreen native tree that is quite drought tolerant, once established. “They have black and white dots on their body, and they have these little spiky hairs that come off. It does best when planted in full sun locations and given deep, regular irrigations. Understanding the nature of the variety you’re looking at, is important. The Texas Mountain Laurel is a host plant for gentista broom moth caterpillars. In the spring, Texas mountain laurel puts on a show for the senses with its pendulous clusters of fragrant purple flowers. Make a circular dam around the hole (this makes watering easier). In fact it only requires a little water if it starts to look droopy and it’s easier to over water this tree than under water it. This slow growing evergreen may be grown as a medium to large shrub or trained to a single or multi-trunk tree. Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora), also known as mescal bean, is an attractive evergreen shrub that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 11. Texas mountain laurel, known botanically as Sophora secundiflora, is an ornamental evergreen tree that is native to North America. The Texas Mountain Laurel blooms in spring and displays dense clusters of … How to Grow Japanese Magnolia in Containers. Prune Texas mountain laurel in the winter if you plan to grow it as a tree rather than a shrub by removing any unwanted trunks at ground level. Collect the seedpods when they fall from your tree. It has beautiful spring blooms, and its elliptical, glossy deep-green leaves (resembling those of rhododendrons) and gnarled stems make it attractive in all seasons. Note that it may take up to a year for the seeds to germinate and sprout. Prune your Texas mountain laurel trees only when it is necessary to remove diseased, damaged or dead branches and foliage. “They’re going to be usually a yellowish but sometimes a yellowish green,” she says. Bt has a short residual time on a plant, so it may be necessary to spray repeatedly to destroy an infestation. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. Foliage is an attractive dark green color and large, purple flowers reminiscent of wisteria bloom from February to April. Fertilize the plant twice each growing season to ensure a growth rate of up to 2 feet per year. Texas mountain laurel grows to a height of 15 to 25 feet. In early spring and middle of the fall, the freshest growth is defoliated by these caterpillars which form a silk-like tent around the ends of the branches. Commonly grown as a shrub, it also can be pruned into a small tree. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Sunset Western Garden Book; Editors of Sunset Magazine. Mature mountain laurels do not transplant well. Texas mountain laurel, known botanically as Sophora secundiflora, is an ornamental evergreen tree that is native to North America. When applying fertilizer, spread it carefully over the soil, keeping it away from the trunk. If the tree is far under these standards, you may not be getting what you paid for. A typical mature size is 15 feet high and 10 feet wide. Mountain Laurel Winter Care You can prevent mountain laurel winter injury with just a little effort. 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