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

Monday - March 02, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Moving School House lilies in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live here in Austin in zipcode 78729. I have a clump of School House lilies in the back of the garden. I would like to move them to another bed under a tree. Is this a good time to move them? Should I put bone meal on them when I do move them?


Rhodophiala bifida is a native of Uruguay and Argentina and thus does not appear in our Native Plant Database. It is, however, an heirloom plant in Texas, brought here by German settlers. We learned it is referred to as a "Schoolhouse Lily" or "Hurricane Lily" because it begins to bloom in early Fall, hurricane and school season. Another common name for it is Oxblood Lily, because of the very deep red of the blooms. According to the sources we found, Zanthan Gardens Rhodophiala bifida seeds and Pacific Bulb Society Rhodophiala, the ideal time for planting is September 1 to November 15, and it does best in partial shade to full sun. It blooms around September, followed by long blade-like foliage which remains green all winter. Apparently, the Oxblood Lily is not particular about soils, and we never saw any mention of placing bonemeal in the hole with the bulb. 


More Non-Natives Questions

Different kinds of lantana in Wilmington, NC
July 19, 2009 - I live in Wilmington, NC. I spent a small fortune on three varieties of lantana--Cherry Sunrise, Ham & Eggs and Bandana Red. I live on a salt water tidal creek and most are in full sun. Some are i...
view the full question and answer

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Planting a non-native rose on oak tree in Hutto TX
April 07, 2011 - I would like to consider planting an earth-kind climbing rose on the south side of my 12 ft oak tree. Is this a good idea? Will I create problems?
view the full question and answer

Sticky leaves on non-native weeping willow
August 03, 2008 - Our weeping willow trees look healthy but have sticky leaves that attach to everything. They sparkle/shine from this very sticky mess. They are watered regularly, are they getting too much water? ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive Paulownia for San Marcos TX
April 24, 2012 - Can a Paulownia tree grow in San Marcos? If so were can I get one?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center