Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Sunday - June 07, 2009

From: Germantown, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Field of Dreams
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I planted a field of sunflowers in April. I transplanted some of the crowded plants to different rows in mid-May - no problems. I have tried to transplant some of the plants this first week of June and no matter what I do, all wilt after being transplanted. I had no problems with those transplanted in May. Are they too big now, is it too warm? Thank you.

ANSWER:

You hit the nail on the head. In mid-May your plants were young with smaller root systems, that combined with the mild weather is favorable to transplanting. Now that it is June, the plants are larger and have more extensive root systems. The disturbance from digging up the more developed root system traumatizes annual plants leading to wilt. Of course it doesn't help that temperatures are higher in June than in May. As a general rule of the thumb, the younger the plant the easier to transplant.

 

More Propagation Questions

Cold stratification of Rudbeckcia maxima from Birdeye AR
August 08, 2013 - How long do I cold stratify Rudbeckia maxima seeds that I wild harvested? Can I put them in the freezer instead of fridge? Do I need to make sure they are completely dry before cold strat?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Juniperus deppeana by seed
July 17, 2007 - Hello, I am interested in any info you can provide me on alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana) seed propagation. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Planting and growing bluebonnets
October 06, 2007 - I am looking for bluebonnet seed planting suggestions. when? How? I found a source for seed. I want to plant about 2500 sq foot area.
view the full question and answer

Care and propagation of American Beautyberry
July 20, 2007 - We have an American Beautyberry growing on our lot. Before we fenced the backyard it was browsed by deer, and survived by wedging itself between the fence and a juniper tree. How can we: 1. encou...
view the full question and answer

Planting iris rhizomes in Wisconsin
October 10, 2008 - I live in central WI and was given some iris bulbs (think they are called Rhizomes) and have no idea how to go about planting them. I am very new to planting so step by step instructions with good de...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.