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

Thursday - January 01, 2009

From: Walker, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Seasonal Tasks, Transplants, Trees
Title: Timing for transplanting a yaupon in Louisiana
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I found a female yaupon growing wild at the back of my property and would like to move it to the front. When should I do this?

ANSWER:

Now is good. Woody plants like Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) are semi-dormant in cooler weather, and thus less likely to be harmed by damage to the root or trunk. However, for best results, some care should be taken to preserve as much of the root as possible, and to prepare a spot for it before you start digging up the plant. Fortunately, the yaupon will tolerate a lot of different soils, is drought resistant but also can stand damp soil. It can take part shade, but will be denser and have more berries if it gets more than a half day of sun. 

So, first, choose the spot you are going to put the shrub. Then, dig out a pretty good-sized hole, bigger than you are planning for the rootball. Mix the dirt from the hole with compost or other organic material, which will add nutrients to the dirt and make drainage better, and in turn will help make trace minerals beneficial to the plant available to the roots. Two or three days before you are planning to do the transplant, water the shrub deeply, to give the roots a chance to fill up and have some reserves. When you are ready to take the shrub out, bring as big a rootball as you can handle with it, digging around in a circle to establish the rootball size, and then getting a shovel under it to lever it out. Don't let it dry out! That is why you prepared a hole earlier; so the yaupon wouldn't have to wait, with roots drying, while the destination hole was dug. Put the roots into the new hole in such a way as to have the soil surface on the rootball at the same level as the surrounding ground. While someone holds the shrub in the proper, upright position, shovel in your amended dirt around it, not heaping it up higher on the trunk that it was before. Don't tamp the dirt down, you want air and water to be able to move freely through the soil. If it doesn't want to stand up on its own, you may need to stake it for a few months-you don't want a leaning yaupon. Now, stick a hose down into the dirt around the rootball, and let it dribble very slowly until water appears on the surface. If the soil settles some, you can add some more of your amended dirt to keep the surface level the same. 

In the winter, you probably won't need to water it more than once every few days, if you're not getting regular rainfall, but water deeply and slowly as you did when you planted it. If some of the upper leaves begin to show signs of damage, browning or dropping off, it may be suffering from transplant shock, in spite of your best efforts. Trim off about the upper 1/4 of the growth on the plant, and keep an eye on it. The yaupon is a tough, adaptable, native plant and should be just fine. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

When to plant in Austin
November 02, 2010 - I own a small landscaping business in the Austin area, and we are admittedly learning every day, but trying to do the right thing. We are knowledgeable about the sun, water, soil requirements for a v...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for a wedding site
November 11, 2007 - My fiance and I would like to get married on his family's ranch, just north of Johnson City on the Pedernales river, in April of 2009. Currently, we are clearing the over-grown meadows of cactus and ...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on 3 year old maple turning brown in Lebo, KS.
July 16, 2011 - Hello, one of our five Maple trees which is is 3 yrs. old now, we saw a week ago that the leaves started turning brown and dropping. My question is: Will the tree survive this and return healthy next ...
view the full question and answer

Sycamore leaf snowbell from Pleasanton TX
August 18, 2012 - How do you care for a sycamore leaf snowbell. Does it like sun or part shade? How much water? How often and what should it be fed. How fast or slowly does it grow? Anything you can tell me would be ap...
view the full question and answer

Optimum planting time for perennials and trees
November 02, 2007 - Our group is running out of fall workdays. Is it OK to plant native perennials and small trees in Central Texas during the winter months? Or should we wait now until the spring?
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