Propagating Native Plants: Texas Kidneywood

honey bee and Ailanthus webworm on Texas Kidneywood flower
honey bee and Ailanthus webworm on Texas Kidneywood flower

Common names for Texas Kidneywood include bee-brush and vara dulce. I am not the only being drawn the scent of the flowers. You cannot pass a Texas Kidneywood without seeing a wide variety of pollinators working the nectar.

When to sow: Whenever you find the fresh seed. Midsummer when the days are longest is the most auspicious time apparently. If starting indoors from dried seed begin in March.

Special treatment: Seed collected during dry years may not be viable. Can be planted either hulled or in the pod.

Fresh or dried seed: Fresh seed might be more reliable but both will work.

Planting depth: 1/4-1/2 inch deep. 1/8 inch if directly planting into heavy clay soil.

Preferred temperature for germination: 68 to 86 º Fahrenheit.

Days to germination: The seeds should germinate within 30  days.

Vegetative propagation: Softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings can be taken in summer or early autumn. They should be a minimum of 4 inches long and should root within a month. Some people recommend using a rooting hormone for more success.

Texas Kidneywood (Texana) has a lot of detailed information about propagating this plant.

2 thoughts on “Propagating Native Plants: Texas Kidneywood

  1. The Mueller Greenway has a few kidneywoods that just look spectacular: lush and full. It inspired me to maybe have a hand at shaping one into a very small tree. I just love the scent of the blossoms.


  2. Unlike other native shrubs and trees, I have not noticed volunteer kidneywood that has either self seeded or been bird sown. Our prolonged drought might have a lot to do with that. We have two. One stays more the size of a large bush because it is crowded (my fault). They’ll leeeeeaaannnn to get sun and tolerate light pruning (which we try only to do after it has bloomed).


Comments and side conversations are welcome.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s