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. When the brutal heat strikes, like many of us, these plants will go dormant. Product photo via Amazon. Once established, these drought-tolerant shrubs require little to no irrigation. I Have A Texas Mountain Laurel, My Dad got is 15 years ago and has produced alot of Flowers and attract a bunch of those fat black bees :-P the seeds sprout quick for me, if i put them in potting soil about an inch deep will germinate between 2-3 weeks if not less, also i have tried peat moss and have had good germation rates also um well im just posting to see if any one wants germinate … Germination of Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) ... photographed several days earlier. 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. Texas mountain laurel’s glossy, dark green leaves are evergreen and leathery. Dermatophyllum secundiflorum The intoxicating fragrance of Texas mountain laurel is enough to cause drivers to slam on the brakes or dog walkers to … An alternative pruning time is in the summer, after it has finished flowering. To begin, choose a pot of at least 12 inches deep and wide. Nor should they be confused with the alcoholic beverage mezcal, which is made from the agave plant. To learn how to prune mountain laurel shrubs, click on this article for more information. 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. 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. Lousy soil? Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! For years these plants were described as “slow growing” and impossible to grow economically in containers. Mountain laurel is easy to grow from transplants. You’ll get two newly sprouted plants. 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. Share your tips and thoughts in the comments section. I've found that container grown Mountain Laurels are aesthetically pleasing. 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. This shade-loving shrub produces clusters of rose, pink, or white flowers with purple markings in late May to early June. Keep reading to learn more about caring for mountain laurel in containers. 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. 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. These bushes have very shallow root systems. To encourage height, prune out lower branches and leave just one, two, or three trunks. This plant has several common-name aliases, including coral bean, hot bean, mescal bean, mescal bean sophora, frigolito, frijollito, frijolillo, coral bean, big-drunk bean, and colorin. For years these plants were described as "slow growing" and impossible to grow economically in containers. Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is flowering broadleaf evergreen shrub with a multi-stemmed growth habit. With both donated and purchased seeds, chances are they’re more mature. Originally published on January 23, 2020. It will produce very fragrant purple hanging flowers in early spring, usually around late March to early April. But if you want to change its form, say, into more of a traditional tree shape, or into a more compact bush, you can do so. Sow these in gallon-sized containers with holes in the bottom filled with well-draining potting mix. Click here to learn more about caring for mountain laurel in containers. The mescal beans contain a number of poisonous quinolizidine alkaloids, including cystine, a narcotic alkaloid with a similar molecular structure to that of nicotine. Here is more about what we do. A typical mature size is 15 feet high and 10 feet wide. 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 … GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. As you would with morning glories, scratch them up with a knife, for example, or use sandpaper. You can also create a tall screen with these, by planting several in a row and letting them bush out. 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. They’ll do well in clay, loam, and sand, and will tolerate being planted in or near turf. Plant Texas Mountain Laurel in full sun or light shade. Then cut out thin, spindly branches. Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’): As robust as it is attractive, the container-grown Laurel may need a stake or two to keep its shape; Leylandii (Cupressocyparis Leylandii): Grown in a container, the Leylandii’s growth can easily be kept in check 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. Each spring, it produces fragrant clusters of violet-blue flowers which create a wonderful display Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. 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. Growing 3- or 4-feet tall, it produces sweet flowers in spring. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. A great flowering small to a medium-sized evergreen tree. She’s never met a succulent she didn’t like and gets really irritated every 3-4 years when Austin actually has a freeze cold enough to kill them. But the breathtaking bouquet is just one of the charms of this Texas native, which is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 7b. Email Save Comment 6. Glossy dark leaves up to 5 inches long are divided into seven to nine 1-inch rounded leaflets. In our hill-country environment it has taken at least 10 years for untended plants started from seed to bloom. 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. The pest is the genista caterpillar. English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus): English laurel in a container makes a dense, glossy evergreen screen or backdrop for shady spots. It tolerates our heat, can take part to full and even reflected sun. They are usually used as landscape plants, and can often be seen blooming in dappled shade under trees and taller shrubs. This approach appears to work best if you first make a small cut in the tough outer shell. Ensure proper drainage and then plant the bay leaf plant at the same depth as it was in the previous pot, fill the pot with loamy potting soil and compost. Growing Texas Mountain Laurel. April 5, 2008 at 4:04 PM Read more articles about Mountain Laurel. However, if you’re patient, you can grow a Texas mountain laurel from seed. How to Grow. You can try soaking the seeds in warm water for 2-3 days, changing the water regularly to keep it tepid. The seeds – called mescal beans – are a pretty orange-red color and are sometimes used as necklace beads. Some compare the scent to grape Kool-Aid, soda, or gum, but the fragrance is deeper, richer, and more floral than the artificial aroma of processed food. Purchase a 15-gallon specimen from a nursery to enjoy its immediate beauty. 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. 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. Mature Texas mountain laurels have a deep root system, and they do not transplant well once established. 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. 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. If the flowers are not d… To Gretchen, nothing is more rewarding than a quick dash to the garden to pluck herbs to season the evening meal. 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. 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