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 Transplants Questions

Garden problems from Centreville VA
July 23, 2011 - Plants die, trees won't grow. I've replaced the soil (6") twice. Replaced grass twice and planted new plants and tree. After two yrs, the tree is still the same size and the flowering bushes nea...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a Century Plant in Pennsylvania
July 08, 2008 - When is the best time to transplant a Century Plant?
view the full question and answer

Replacing mature Arizona Ash trees in Austin
August 26, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 2 very large, very old Arizona Ash trees in my yard. I want to remove them and replace them with something like Cedar Elm or Chinquapin Oak. The problem is that they are t...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting non-native mimosas in Braintree MA
August 10, 2010 - I want to transplant some baby mimosa trees. Have tried in past and they just die.
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
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