Simply Trees

Texas Mountain Laurel

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Twice a monthFull sunDeer resistantSpring
  • Vivid Purple Flowers: Produces lush clusters of sweet-smelling purple flowers that are a highlight in the spring garden.
  • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it requires minimal watering, thriving in dry, hot climates with little care.
  • Slow Growth and Compact Form: Grows slowly but forms a dense, compact shape that can be pruned into a hedge or left natural for a more sculptural appearance.

More Details

The Texas Mountain Laurel, scientifically known as Dermatophyllum secundiflorum (formerly Sophora secundiflora), is a robust and evergreen shrub or small tree famed for its striking purple flowers and resilience in arid environments. Native to the limestone hills of Texas, this plant showcases dense clusters of intensely fragrant, violet-blue blooms in early spring, which resemble those of the wisteria. The glossy, dark green leaves remain attractive throughout the year, adding constant beauty to the landscape. Highly valued for its drought tolerance and low maintenance needs, Texas Mountain Laurel is perfect for xeriscapes, native plant gardens, or as a focal point in residential landscapes.

Growth rate: Slow growth rate; typically reaches 10-15 feet in height and 8-10 feet in width.

Please note: Images on our website depict plants and trees at full maturity to showcase their expected grown characteristics. These images are illustrative examples only and do not represent the size of plants or trees upon delivery.

Pruning: Minimal pruning is needed. Prune lightly to shape if desired, best done after flowering to avoid cutting off the next season's blooms.

Fertilization: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to support growth and flowering, especially in poorer soils.

Winter Protection: Generally not required in its native range but may need protection or suitable site selection in the cooler parts of its growing zone.

Choose a location with full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. Dig a hole as wide and slightly deeper than the root ball. Amend the soil with compost if it is very poor or compacted. Place the shrub in the hole, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly. Space plants at least 8-10 feet apart to accommodate their mature width. Mulching around the base can help retain soil moisture and reduce weed growth.

Water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep and extensive root system; after establishment, reduce frequency. The Texas Mountain Laurel is extremely drought-tolerant, needing only occasional watering during prolonged dry periods. Performs best in full sun, which encourages the most prolific blooming and dense foliage growth. However, it can also tolerate partial shade, especially in the hotter parts of its range.

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We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

In cases of extreme cold or hot weather, we may temporarily delay shipping to ensure the well-being of your plants. Our primary focus is on delivering healthy and thriving plants to you. Rest assured, we'll make every effort to notify you of any delays promptly.

Please allow additional ship times during inclement weather and sale periods. We do not process or ship orders on the weekend or U.S. Holidays. Simply Trees is not responsible for delays due to carriers, local disruptions, or weather.

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At Simply Trees, we're committed to your satisfaction. If your plants arrive considerably damaged or sustained damage beyond the point of recovery, please contact us within five days at with clear photos for assistance. Our 30-day guarantee covers issues after planting, subject to our terms and conditions. We can't cover plants in the wrong climate or with inadequate care, but we're here to help in other situations. For a detailed understanding of our 30-day guarantee and how we ensure a fair process, click here to learn more.


Zones 8-10

Texas Mountain Laurel thrives in USDA Zones 8-10, preferring well-drained, alkaline soils typical of its native southwestern habitat. It is ideally suited to landscapes that experience hot summers and mild winters, requiring minimal supplemental watering once established. This plant's ability to adapt to both sun and partial shade makes it versatile for various landscape applications, including as an understory plant in larger tree groves or as a standout specimen in sunny gardens.

Frequently Asked Questions

Texas Mountain Laurel can vary in size depending on its growing conditions and how it's cultivated. Generally, it is considered a small to medium-sized evergreen tree or large shrub.

In its natural habitat, Texas Mountain Laurel typically grows to a height of 10 to 20 feet tall with a similar spread. However, under optimal conditions and with proper care, it can sometimes reach heights of up to 30 feet or more.

When used in landscaping, Texas Mountain Laurel can be pruned and trained to maintain a more compact size or a particular shape, such as a single-trunked tree or a multi-trunked shrub. However, it's essential to allow enough space for its mature size when planting to prevent overcrowding and ensure proper growth and development.

Overall, Texas Mountain Laurel's size makes it suitable for a variety of landscape settings, including gardens, borders, and as a specimen tree or shrub. Its attractive evergreen foliage, fragrant flowers, and drought tolerance make it a popular choice for landscapes in Texas and other regions with similar growing conditions.

Texas Mountain Laurel is known for its slow to moderate growth rate. Under optimal growing conditions, it typically grows at a rate of about 6 to 12 inches per year. However, growth rate can vary depending on factors such as climate, soil quality, water availability, and care provided.

During its establishment phase, which usually lasts the first few years after planting, Texas Mountain Laurel may exhibit slower growth as it focuses on developing a strong root system. Once established, it tends to grow more steadily but still at a relatively slow pace compared to some other plants.

While it may not be the fastest-growing plant, its slow growth rate is often compensated by its longevity, drought tolerance, and ornamental value, including fragrant flowers and evergreen foliage. Proper care and maintenance, such as regular watering, occasional fertilization, and pruning as needed, can help promote healthy growth and enhance its overall appearance in the landscape.

The best place to plant Texas Mountain Laurel is in a location that provides full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Here are some tips to consider when selecting a planting site:

Sunlight: Texas Mountain Laurel thrives in full sun to partial shade, meaning it requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and flowering. Choose a location that receives adequate sunlight throughout the day, especially during the morning hours when the sun is less intense.

Soil: Ensure the soil is well-drained to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. Texas Mountain Laurel prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil with good drainage. Sandy or loamy soils are ideal, but it can also tolerate clay soil if it's well-drained.

Space: Provide enough space for the plant to grow to its full size. Consider its mature height and spread when selecting a planting site, and allow ample room for the roots and canopy to develop without crowding or competition from nearby plants or structures.

Protection from harsh conditions: While Texas Mountain Laurel is drought-tolerant and can withstand hot and dry conditions once established, it may benefit from protection against strong winds, especially in its early years. Planting it near a windbreak or providing some shelter can help protect it from wind damage.

Landscape design: Consider the aesthetic appeal and functional aspects of planting Texas Mountain Laurel in your landscape. It makes an excellent focal point in gardens, borders, or as a specimen tree. Plant it where you can enjoy its fragrant flowers, attractive foliage, and architectural form.

By selecting a suitable planting site and providing proper care, you can help ensure the healthy growth and longevity of your Texas Mountain Laurel.

Texas Mountain Laurel, scientifically known as Dermatophyllum secundiflorum, is typically classified as a small tree or large shrub, depending on its growth habit and how it's cultivated. In its natural habitat, it often grows as a multi-trunked shrub or small tree, reaching heights of up to 15-20 feet tall with a similar spread. However, with proper pruning and training, it can also be shaped into a more tree-like form with a single trunk.

Its growth habit and form can vary depending on factors such as soil conditions, climate, and available space for root and canopy development. In landscaping, it's often used as a focal point in gardens or as a specimen tree due to its attractive evergreen foliage, fragrant flowers, and drought tolerance. Overall, whether it's considered a tree or a shrub may depend on individual interpretation and how it's managed in a particular landscape setting.

Watering Texas Mountain Laurel depends on various factors such as climate, soil type, and the plant's stage of growth. Generally, it's best to water deeply but infrequently. During the plant's establishment phase, which typically lasts the first one to two years after planting, you'll want to water regularly to help the roots establish themselves.

Once established, Texas Mountain Laurel is relatively drought-tolerant and prefers well-drained soil. In most cases, it's recommended to water deeply every 2-4 weeks during dry periods, especially during the hot summer months. However, it's essential to monitor the soil moisture and adjust the watering frequency based on the plant's needs and environmental conditions.

Avoid overwatering, as Texas Mountain Laurel is susceptible to root rot if left in soggy soil for extended periods. Before watering, always check the moisture level of the soil around the plant to ensure it's not already adequately moist.

Texas Mountain Laurel typically blooms once a year, usually in early spring, although the exact timing can vary depending on local climate conditions and the age of the plant. The beautiful clusters of fragrant purple flowers are a highlight of the plant and often attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. After blooming, Texas Mountain Laurel may produce seed pods containing bright red seeds, adding further visual interest to the plant.

Shaping a Texas Mountain Laurel typically involves selective pruning to maintain its natural form or encourage a particular growth pattern. Here's how you can shape it:

Selective Pruning: Use sharp and clean pruning shears to remove specific branches or stems that are growing out of bounds or interfering with the desired shape of the plant.

Regular Maintenance: Perform light pruning throughout the year to remove dead, damaged, or crossing branches. This helps maintain the plant's overall health and appearance.

Encouraging Fullness: To encourage a fuller appearance, prune lightly around the edges of the plant, focusing on removing excessive growth while preserving its natural shape.

Training: When the plant is young, you can train it to grow in a certain direction or shape by selectively pruning branches to encourage desired growth.

Minimal Pruning: Texas Mountain Laurel generally has a naturally attractive form, so minimal pruning is often required. Avoid over-pruning, as this can lead to stress and affect the plant's ability to bloom.

Remember to prune Texas Mountain Laurel after it has finished flowering, usually in late spring or early summer, to avoid cutting off next year's flower buds. Additionally, always use clean and sharp pruning tools to prevent the spread of diseases.

Yes, Texas Mountain Laurel is generally freeze tolerant. It's native to regions with harsh climates, including parts of Texas and New Mexico, where it can withstand cold temperatures and occasional freezes. However, while it can tolerate brief periods of freezing temperatures, prolonged exposure to extreme cold or frost may damage the plant. Proper care, including providing mulch around the base of the plant and covering it during particularly cold spells, can help protect it during freezing conditions.

If your Texas Mountain Laurel is turning yellow, it could be due to several factors:

Overwatering: Too much water can lead to root rot, which can cause the foliage to turn yellow and eventually brown.

Poor Drainage: If the soil doesn't drain well, the roots may become waterlogged, leading to similar symptoms as overwatering.

Nutrient Deficiency: Yellowing leaves can also be a sign of nutrient deficiencies, such as iron or nitrogen.

Pests or Diseases: Certain pests or diseases, like spider mites or fungal infections, can cause yellowing of the leaves.

To address the issue, ensure that you're watering your Texas Mountain Laurel properly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Also, make sure the plant is in well-draining soil. Consider fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer to provide necessary nutrients. If pests or diseases are suspected, treat the plant with appropriate methods, such as insecticidal soap for pests or fungicide for fungal issues.

In the fall and winter, Texas Mountain Laurel maintains its evergreen nature, retaining its glossy, dark green foliage year-round. While it may not undergo significant changes in color during these seasons, its lush, dense foliage provides a striking backdrop in winter landscapes, offering visual interest and texture even when other plants are dormant.

Our Process

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!