Texas Gardening forum: scarifying texas mountain laurel seeds

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Name: Kim
Seguin, TX (Zone 8b)
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blueeyes
Jan 18, 2016 11:42 AM CST
Hi all,

I have some texas mountain laurel seeds I'd like to try planting, but I am curious as to the best way to scarify them first as they are extremely hard. I've tried sandpaper, doesn't make a dent in them though. They are also too hard to scratch with a knife (at least mine). Would boiling help?

Thanks, Kim
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jan 18, 2016 12:30 PM CST
Know anyone with an electric grinder for sharpening tools? A good grip of the seed with some pliers and holding it against the moving wheel works wonderfully and quickly. I did some canna seeds and got 100% germination.
Donald
Name: Kim
Seguin, TX (Zone 8b)
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blueeyes
Jan 18, 2016 4:14 PM CST
Unfortunately not, although the idea sounds intriguing. I may try the boiling and see if it helps at all.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Jan 18, 2016 4:25 PM CST
I would expect boiling to kill the seeds. You might try putting them on a concrete walk or driveway and scuffing them with hard soled shoes.
Porkpal
Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Reine
Jan 18, 2016 4:52 PM CST
I use a pair of heavy duty toenail scissors. They are made from stainless steel.

It may take a couple tries, but they are the best thing I have found. A grinder or dremel tool would be great, but have neither.

Thumb of 2016-01-18/Reine/89d4aa

Now I have to soak this seed and plant it. Big Grin

Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Region: Texas
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SALL20
Jan 21, 2016 9:40 PM CST
I never tried to plant a seed, but when I lived in Austin, I had many volunteer seedlings come up under my tree. I guess exposure to the elements sacrified them. I did learn that they are extremely hard to transplant. They have a long tap root and if it is damaged the seedling probably won't make it, so try to make sure you plant it in its forever home the first time. (Something I seem to have a problem doing!)
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Jan 23, 2016 8:47 AM CST
Kim, I have read that planting the seed when it is very fresh and just turning red and before it gets hard, works very well, especially if you happen to catch them at that stage.
If not pouring boiling water over the seed in a cup and let it soak in it overnight can work, it works with many of the hard seeds, but do not boil the seeds, that will kill them.
Good luck with your seed, Texas Mountain Laurels can be difficult to start, but they are so very beautiful!!
They are also one of our few native evergreen trees and they are very much worth the effort. Smiling Smiling
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Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Kim
Seguin, TX (Zone 8b)
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blueeyes
Jan 25, 2016 9:23 AM CST
Hi Josephine...it's been a long time! I'm just now getting back online now that I've got the new house.

I did try the toenail scissors over the weekend and they worked, but a little too well on a couple of the seeds. I've got them now in a wet paper towel to see if I get any sprouts. Fingers crossed!

Kim
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jan 25, 2016 12:06 PM CST
Well, there you go, I hope it works out well. Good talking to you. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.

jeanmoore
Aug 29, 2016 12:22 PM CST
Got some seeds from Amer Hort Soc seed swap. Soaked in potassium nitrate solution. Of 3, two came up and prospered thru my MD winter by a concrete post. Then one died and I moved the second one (about 5 inches tall) out into the yard and something ate all the leaves off! Then it died. If anyone has seeds to exchange, please let me know. I have Spigelia marilandica, chives, echinops retro, pink annual poppy, assorted colors of portulaca, or ask. Thanks. --Jean
PS I think their "real" name is Sophoro secundiflora.
[Last edited by jeanmoore - Aug 29, 2016 12:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 29, 2016 1:32 PM CST
@jeanmoore your post might get more attention if you posted it as a new entry.
Porkpal
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Aug 31, 2016 2:39 PM CST
Welcome! to NGA, Jean!
That species is not extremely cold tolerant and one source of info says it can tolerate 10° or lower. I remember one winter, it got down to 5° (very unusual!) and there was severe die back to the widespread and numerousTexas Mountain Laurel plants in this area. I'm not sure if all of them survived, but I remember seeing some plants growing back up from a bit above the ground level, others did a little bit better. I don't know how cold your winters get, but please keep that in mind.
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Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Sep 2, 2016 7:19 AM CST
@jeanmoore Welcome! Dermatophyllum or Sophora secundiflora I know them as mescal bean, but Tx Mtn laurel works down here as well..
kitt
Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Region: Texas
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SALL20
Sep 2, 2016 7:35 AM CST
Some info that might be helpful. From what I understand ( and experienced), Texas Mountain Laurel developes a long tap root that makes it hard to transplant successfully. I had many seedlings sprout under my tree, but never did get one to grow, once I moved it. So, if you get the seeds to grow in a pot, try to get them in the ground as soon as possible and don't plan on moving them after that.
Name: Mary Hughes
Hill Country New Braunfels (Zone 9a)
Life long Reg.Nurse
mesquite664
Sep 11, 2016 3:42 PM CST
I bought a very small Mountain Laurel. That was 3 years ago. It's grown only a small amount.Instead of the dark leaves they're a light yellow green. My husband fed it and it seemed to improve. Do yall have any suggestions??? Are they extremely slow growers? This way I'll never get to see it grow up. Thanks for your ideas. Mary H. (mesquite)
Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Region: Texas
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SALL20
Sep 11, 2016 4:37 PM CST
They do grow slowly, but you should have good growth after three years! My thought is you may be overwatering it. They naturally grow in somewhat lean soil and on the dry side. If you have been keeping the soil moist, try letting it dry some between waterings. I hope you can save it. I think the blooms smell like grape kool-aid!
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Sep 11, 2016 10:25 PM CST
Yellowing leaves? You may have a common to your area problem of chlorosis. All that whiterock caliche shelf thru there, that will stunt it too. A dose of Liquad iron may help. It should be growing better, but just may not have the ability to fight the chlorosis
kitt
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Sep 14, 2016 6:22 PM CST
If anyone is interested DND is hosting another seed swap this November for more info check out http://garden.org/thread/go/56631/
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