En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 28, 2007

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Transplant shock in Achillea millefolium
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I had a clump of yarrow in my garden and was worried that it would become very aggressive to the other plants. I decided to transplant it into large clay pots to control it. Immediately after the transplant into the pots, it became very wilted looking. After three days, it is still not "bouncing back". Some of the stems do have buds already. What should I do to help it recover? Should I trim it back? If I do, will it flower this year?

ANSWER:

You are correct that Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) can be quite invasive. Transplanting it suddenly into "new dirt" in a big pot may have been too much of a shock for even this tough plant. One problem with transplanting any plant is to prevent wilting from respiration of moisture from the leaves. Often in transplanting, it pays to trim back as much as one-third of the plant material to minimize water loss from the plant. Also, it's difficult to get enough water into very dry potting soil at first. One good way to make sure it's wet all the way through is to fill the pot and then stand it in a basin of water, letting the water soak up from the bottom, then let it drip and drain before you make the transplant. At the same time, you don't want soggy soil, as that will just drown the roots, already suffering from the shock of being taken from their original planting. All this having been said, your question about whether these plants will survive has still not been answered. Possibly trimming it back now would help it survive, but that very well could mean no blooms this year, since yarrow blooms in early Summer. Also, although it's a full sun plant, it could probably do with a little shade part of the day, again to cut down on the transplant shock. In summary, you may be able to help the plant survive and bloom another year. And, in future, you might choose to do your transplanting when the plant is more dormant, perhaps in the Fall.


Achillea millefolium

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Transplanting non-native invasive chinaberry trees
July 21, 2008 - I know most folk think Chinaberry trees are only for digging up, but I say that here in the Hill Country during a drought, they are the greenest and purtiest tree around. I have some tall fifteen foo...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock of non-native Bougainvillea
May 22, 2008 - Well I bought two Bougainvilleas, the first one I transplanted is doing great, the second one not so good when I was taking it out of the original pot the root ball stayed in the pot but the plant wit...
view the full question and answer

Source for supplier of cedar plants in Pennsylvania
January 20, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Pants - please disregard a stupid question I asked a little earlier today about sourcing cedar plants near Easton, PA. I figured out looking up "Nurseries" could lead to Yellow Pages ent...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars ate my Sophora in La Mesa, CA.
July 06, 2011 - Before I noticed what was happening, my newly-planted 1 foot tall Sophora secundiflora was eaten by caterpillars. It now has no foliage. Do you think it will leaf out again?
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree transplant in Elgin, TX
August 26, 2008 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about how to encourage a very young pecan sapling to grow, and whether I should use mulch to do so. I live in Elgin (Bastrop County) and the soil is extr...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center