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

Saturday - April 18, 2009

From: Argenta, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Vines
Title: Transplanting honeysuckle bush in Illinois
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Want to transplant 3 honeysuckle shrubs 10 to 12' tall this month, although not the best time. Please advise.

ANSWER:

We found one plant, Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle), that is native to Illinois, but is described as a mound-shaped deciduous shrub to three feet tall. We found two others, Lonicera morrowii and Lonicera mackii that are taller, but are considered invasive. Hope you have unusually tall native bushes and not the non-native invasives.

It really doesn't matter, what you are transplanting are woody plants. This is not such a bad time to transplant in Illinois, because it's still pretty cool there. It's getting a little late for transplanting in Texas, but you should still be fine. 

First, prepare the hole you are going to transplant into. Do not dig up the shrub until you have completed the preparation of the hole; you don't want the roots to dry out. We recommend choosing a good spot and digging a hole bigger than you think you will need.  Mix some compost or other organic material with the native dirt. This will help to make nutrients available to the roots and keep them from standing in water, as the amended dirt will have better drainage. As these bushes are pretty big, we would recommend you trim them down quite a bit in order to handle them. They should still be semi-dormant there, and it will certainly help you when you move them.

This About.com:Landscape article on Transplanting Trees and Shrubs gives good instructions for deciding on rootball size, cutting through roots that are beyond what you can manage, and transportation to the prepared hole. Because the shrub is probably  not much out of dormancy, it should be able to withstand this without too much damage. Once you have returned the amended soil to the hole and your shrub is either supporting itself or staked upright, stick a hose in the soil and let water drip in slowly until water stands on the surface. If there is regular rainfall, you shouldn't have to repeat this more than twice a week or so. 

If the shrub begins to show signs of stress, like wilting or loss of leaves, you may need to trim off about 1/4 to 1/3 more of the foliage to compensate for the root loss below the ground. This is transplant shock and is not uncommon when a woody plant is being transplanted. Keep up with the deep watering, meanwhile making sure that the roots are not standing in water, that the hole is draining well. Don't fertilize-any plant in the process of transplanting is stressed, and you should never fertilize a plant in stress.

Pictures of non-native Lonicera maakii

Pictures of non-native Lonicera marrowii


Diervilla lonicera

 

 

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Perennials non-toxic to horses in Thayer MO
September 21, 2010 - I live in South Central Missouri. I am looking for a plant/shrub to plant in pots (our soil is clay and very rocky)to landscape the front of our barn. This plant can't be harmful to horses and must b...
view the full question and answer

Decline ot Heartleaf rosemallow from Austin
March 26, 2012 - My tulipan del monte -a new small plant from the wildflower center--did great all winter and was forming a new flower bud, just died in a matter of a few days. It looks like it "dried up", no visib...
view the full question and answer

Clay hill with erosion problems in Reedsport OR
July 10, 2009 - We have a very steep 35-40' clay hill subject to erosion in the Oregon rainy season. How or what do we do to get some kind of vegetation/grass, etc to grow without washing away? We have had mudslides...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of growing plants in St. Peter Sandstone
April 02, 2008 - Can you grow plants or native plants in St. Peter Sandstone or amend it?
view the full question and answer

Existing live oak taking over in Monahans TX
March 22, 2011 - I have just purchased a home with a huge Live Oak tree in the front yard. The previous owners have over the years allowed the sucker roots to grow unchecked. The tree is shading most of the lawn (di...
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