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

Thursday - August 27, 2009

From: St. Louis, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting azalea sprouts in St Louis MO
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an azalea bush that I cut back severely 2 years ago and unwittingly started 3 or 4 new bushes when some limbs grew back along the ground and created their own roots. I'd like to separate them from the mother bush and transplant them but I'm not sure of the best method or timing. They are all hardy.. at least 18 inches long and 2 of them have several offshoots of their own. Can I do it now or wait until the spring? Should I cut them from the mother bush and leave their roots intact for a while before uprooting them? Thank you!

ANSWER:

There are 16 plants that are members of the Ericaceae (Heath) family and with the common name of "azalea" in our Native Plant Database. Only one of these, Rhododendron albiflorum (Cascade azalea), is native to Missouri. It really doesn't matter, as we doubt you have a native azalea but more likely a hybrid or an import. Ordinarily, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center only deals with questions involving plants native to North America as well as to the area in which they are being grown, but since we don't know what you have, and the help would apply to a native as well as a non-native, we'll see what we can find for you.

What we think you have done, apparently inadvertently, is to layer your azalea in order to create more plants. This article, How Stuff Works How to Cut and Layer Plants, specifically mentions azaleas and gives instructions for working with the layered plants. We would suggest that you wait until Fall to do the actual moving of the new plants, and be sure and follow the instructions on preparation of the hole and soil. We also found a website from your own state, University of Missouri Extension Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons that should give you more useful information. 


Rhododendron albiflorum

 


 

More Transplants Questions

Transplant shock for non-native Plumbago auriculata
May 19, 2008 - I planted some full plumbago plants that were in containers, in a partially shaded area, they had beautiful flowers when I purchased them, but have since lost them all and the plant is looking very wi...
view the full question and answer

Problems with propagation of Indian Paintbrush (Castileja indivisa)
February 07, 2006 - We are growing Indian Paintbrush. I have 2-300 seedlings. They were sown with fescue and have grown beautifully. Now they are approximately 4-6 inches high, a few have bloomed and many seem to be dy...
view the full question and answer

A year and a half old live oak tree is doing poorly in Nevada, TX.
May 08, 2012 - We planted a live oak tree about a year and a half ago. the tree is still rather small. The leaves are of a vibrant green, however the leave have only grown through the center of the tree and not out...
view the full question and answer

Planting Anacacho orchid tree in Llano, TX
October 05, 2011 - Re Bauhinia lunarioides: I'm trying to pick a good site in Llano Co for a 5 gal tree I received as a gift. Your plant database says part shade. The arid zone trees publication you reference in a...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting or seeding Indian paintbrush in Bend OR
July 21, 2009 - I would like to know whether I can transplant native Indian paintbrush plants into my landscaping, or do I need to try and grow them from seed?
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center