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

Monday - July 06, 2009

From: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Propagation, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Dividing blackeyed susans in Lake Ronkoko NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How are you supposed to divide blackeyed susan's? And when is the best time to do this?

ANSWER:

The only plant we found with the common name "Blackeyed Susan" native to New York is Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (blackeyed Susan). According to the information in our Native Plant Database, this is a biennial, which may perennialize if it's happy where it is. So, we're going to go on the assumption that your plants are happy, and suggest you divide them in early fall in your climate, preferably after the first cool nights, but when the soil is still warm. The plant will be going into dormancy then and won't be quite so subject to transplant shock. You can spend some time between now and then preparing their new home, possibly adding some compost and working it in to improve drainage and to help make trace nutrients in the soil more available to new roots. 

We found an excellent website by Fine Gardening, 10 Tips on Dividing Perennials, which gives you information in a much more organized form than we could. 


Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima

 

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Transplant shock in Chestnut Oak in Waukesha WI
September 13, 2009 - Bought and had nursery install a 4" diameter, 16' tall chestnut oak. Watered it as instructed-every 2nd or third day-hose stream size of my pinky for 45-60 minutes. It was planted in July. Just l...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Ilex x attenuata (Savannah holly)
July 31, 2014 - Is it hard to take a savannah holly out of my front yard? Do the roots grow down deep or are they more shallow? I can only take a 36-40 rootball circumference because of surrounding established shru...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Texas Mountain Laurel in Florida
March 12, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants While visiting Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale we saw a beautiful Texas Mountain Laurel tree. What are the chances of this surviving in the Ft. Myers, Florida area. Either in t...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting and grafting pecan in Granbury TX
May 18, 2010 - I found several native pecans on my property this spring. Apparently they grew from nuts buried by squirrels. I put small protective fences around them and plan to dig and move them (bare root) next...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on daylilies
July 29, 2003 - I have a number of Daylilies that are rapidly multiplying in my flower bed. If I relocate some of them to the field behind my house, will they crowd out the native wildflowers?
view the full question and answer

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