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

Wednesday - July 29, 2009

From: Wilmington,, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Trees
Title: Ensuring survival of wax myrtle in Wilmington, NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just transplanted some wax myrtle bushes. What do I need to do to insure they live?

ANSWER:

Two species of the Morella genus, Morella caroliniensis (southern bayberry) and Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) are native in or near to New Hanover County, in the southern tip of North Carolina.  We don't know which you have, but they are similar in care requirements.

Morella caroliniensis (southern bayberry) - requires sun, moist soil, can grow in clay, loam or sand. More  information and pictures

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) - requires moist soil, sun or part shade, prefers sandy, lightly acidic soils

Since both of these plants are native to your area, you should not have to worry too much about their survival. They do need to be well-watered; when they are in the early days of planting, a hose stuck down in the dirt around the roots and allowed to dribble for a while a couple times a week is a good idea. Don't fertilize them until Spring, if then, (native plants should not need fertilizer). If you have already planted them, and they are not getting much sun (around 6 hours a day) they may not prosper and will surely grow more slowly. 

These plants are dioecious, that is, you must have both a male and a female plant within about 40 feet of each other in order for there to be berries on the female plant. Probably all of the plants in the nursery, if that is where you obtained the plants you now have, had berries on them because they were all females and had been pollinated before they were put on the market. Most plants offered commercially are clones, products of reproduction by rooting cuttings, which will produce a plant identical to the one from which the cuttings were taken. Hopefully, you have neighbors with male wax myrtle in their gardens, or perhaps your nursery can order some for you, if you want berries.

 

From the Image Gallery


Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

More Planting Questions

Incorrectly planted anacua from San Antonio
November 22, 2013 - I purchased a 12' anacua tree from a local nursery about 18 months ago. It was not planted correctly (root bound, rolled into a hole about 3" larger than the pot) but is still alive with the number...
view the full question and answer

Cultivar of Cercis Canadensis from Haskell OK
May 16, 2012 - We have a Hearts of Gold Redbud that first had dark edges to many of its leaves (about 2 weeks after planting). It now has multiple leaves w/ medium-dark brown spots on them. Are we looking at some ...
view the full question and answer

When to reseed wildflowers in a drought year?
October 18, 2011 - My acreage with extensive wildflowers was mowed in 2010 before annuals had seeded. Only a few returned this year. Considering the predicted lonterm drought should I postpone reseeding this fall?
view the full question and answer

Why is my 3 year old Redbud not flowering in San Marcos, TX?
March 24, 2010 - My Cercis canadensis var. mexicana, purchased at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, is 3 years old, very robust, but has never bloomed. Any explanation?
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Liatris spicata
May 25, 2008 - I bought a liatris spicata start a month ago, and transplanted it into my front yard (full sun, clay soil, moist due to all the rain recently). The plant immediately wilted so I transplanted it in ...
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