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

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 Non-Natives Questions

Care of non-native Oleander
June 11, 2008 - I want my oleanders to bloom but they keep getting attacked by tiny orange aphids that clump up on the newest growth. I read that oleanders only bloom on old growth but those orange mites/aphids are ...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Honolulu HI
April 24, 2014 - We have a ground cover in our Honolulu garden that I have been told is Watermelon Plant. (Not the fruit). We would like more, but cannot find it or the proper name for it. Aprox. 6" round leaf. It...
view the full question and answer

Non-native zoysia and bermuda grasses in Austin
July 11, 2013 - We have Bermuda grass in the front and Zoysia in the back yards. The back grass is fine but the front yard Bermuda isn't. We have watered once each week during the spring and during the past 3 weeks...
view the full question and answer

Yellow jackets on non-native crape myrtles
September 25, 2008 - Hey Mr. Smarty Plants I have only 1 question. I have several Crape Myrtles that have numerous amounts (alarming) of yellow jacket bees on them. who what where when why etc? Should I be concerned? tha...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native jasmine from Austin
June 25, 2012 - Hi, I have a mature jasmine plant in the ground in a very sunny courtyard which gets watered daily. The lower leaves are turning yellow and am wondering if this is too much water for it. The top lea...
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