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?


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

Wednesday - June 25, 2008

From: Atlanta, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Possibility of propagating buckeye from basal shoots
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a beautiful red buckeye tree that has small shoots coming up at the base. I would love to share these with my friends. How do I do this?


Aesculus pavia (red buckeye) is a lovely bush or small tree, and you are to be commended for wanting to share it with friends. It grows especially well in your part of East Texas. You should be warned that both the seeds and small sprouts are poisonous. They propagate very easily from seed. The recommendations we saw said that placing a seed, while it was still fresh, on its side on the dirt would give the best results. Most of the initial growth spurt is focused on creating a very long tap root. If you think your sprouts are from seeds, you must dig deep to get them out to transplant, so you will not break that taproot. And, again because of the taproot, be sure that where you put the seed is where you want the plant.

The sprouts you are asking about will not live well since they are probably from the main root system of the parent tree. If they were dug up with the roots this would damage the existing tree. Now if these are from seed they can be dug up and transplanted by digging soil with them and planting them into a hole twice the size of the rootball that was dug up. But it sounds like these are root sprouts and therefore should just be cut off.

Aesculus pavia

Aesculus pavia

Aesculus pavia

Aesculus pavia



More Propagation Questions

How can I propagate Giant Ball Moss?
March 11, 2009 - Recommended methods for propagation of Giant Ball Moss? (Bromeliaceae, Tillandsia baileyi rose ex small) Thanks
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Mexican bonebract in Floresville, TX
November 12, 2008 - My kids and I finally identified a small plant that we found growing in our pasture. There was only one and it is lovely. It is the Mexican Bonebract. What I am interested in finding out is how to tra...
view the full question and answer

Speeding up growth of Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca)
January 12, 2012 - I have germinated Hesperaloe parviflora, Red Yucca, for our Caddo Native plant sale. I have kept in the cool greenhouse for 2 months and they are about 2 inches. A friend put one outside and they froz...
view the full question and answer

How to sow Eves Necklace seeds.
October 03, 2007 - I have recently acquired some Eve's Necklace seed pods. In order to plant them, do I need to open the pod to get to the seed, or do I just plant the pod? Should I soak or scarify the pod/seed?
view the full question and answer

Growing Alopia drummondii from Seed
July 09, 2015 - Can you give me information about, or a resource for, growing Alophia drummondii (propeller plant) from seed? I have the seed but don't know when & the best method for planting?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center