En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - October 26, 2008

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Soils, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Transplanting Tecoma stans in Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a pair of Tecoma stans planted too near the house. They're in shade most of the day. The branches that can reach a little sun are blooming nicely. Would they survive being transplanted farther out into the yard, facing southeast, with no shade at all? If so, when should I transplant them, and should I prune them first? Thanks

ANSWER:

We certainly believe that Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush) can survive transplanting, and that it will flourish under more sunlight than yours are getting now. 

The first thing to do is choose your time.  They should be transplanted (as should all woody plants) during the period of dormancy from about November to February, in this part of Texas. First, trim them down considerably. Some references we have seen have said they can be trimmed to the ground if they have been affected by frost, and will come back. We wouldn't advise trimming them back that far, but certainly a good portion of the top can be taken off. This will relieve the strain on the roots when they are moved, making it easier for the roots to get moisture and nutrients out to the remaining branches on the shrub. Since you have time before you will be making the move, you might spend some of it preparing the hole. Yellow Bells are very tough natives, and can take lots of different soils and are drought resistant. But any plant will do better with a little soil doctoring, especially in the area of drainage. This is a desert plant, and a heavy clay soil that holds moisture around the roots is not going to help the plant at all. Try digging out your hole and mixing in some organic material such as leaf mould or compost into the soil and returning it to the ground. Then mulch over the space with a shredded hardwood mulch. When you are ready to transplant the Tecoma stans, take out as large a root ball as you can handle, damaging as few roots as possible. Get it back into your prepared hole as quickly as possible, trying not to let the roots dry out. Return the prepared soil to the hole, and, again, mulch. The mulch will help to hold in moisture, protect the roots from heat and cold and, as it decomposes, add more organic material to improve the texture of the soil. Stick a hose down into this softened earth, and let the water dribble very slowly until you can see water on the surface. This should be done about twice a week, more often if the weather is dry and hot, until the shrub appears well established and is putting on new growth.


Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

 

 

More Soils Questions

Erosion control on partially shaded slope
November 27, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Atlanta, GA. My house is on a hill, and I am beginning to have erosion at my backyard porch (concrete slab, on the corners especially). The soil is mainly red clay, a...
view the full question and answer

Death of Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy from Austin
April 18, 2013 - I have one small area that there are two plants - Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy withered and died eventually. Same kinds of plants are doing fine close by. It is my front yard close to walk way.I w...
view the full question and answer

Potting soil mixture at Wildflower Center from Austin
August 14, 2012 - What potting soil mixture does the Wildflower Center use in its greenhouses for the native plants grown for the Austin Native Plant sales? Is the pH adjusted to match the alkaline soils in this area? ...
view the full question and answer

Apartment Landscaping
September 13, 2005 - I live in an apartment and have a small patch filled with rocks and an ugly plant I don't know the name of. I want to take out the existing plants and put something else in. It has to be hearty,low m...
view the full question and answer

Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
August 22, 2012 - I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center