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?


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 - March 10, 2010

From: Pekin, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Plant identification and advice about moving it
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have a plant (a thick stalk about 4 foot tall with yellow flowers on it) that blooms in the morning and the flowers fall off at night. I have searched for info on this plant and have come up short. With it being winter I don't have pictures but have been wondering if I can move it. Thank you for your time.


Mr. Smarty Plants loves to identify plants but it is usually difficult, if not completely impossible, to do so by description alone. If you would like for us to identify your plant, please take photos when it has leaves and flower (follow the instructions on Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page. 

Since we haven't identified your plant, we don't know for sure whether it's a shrub (with a woody stalk/stem/trunk) or a perennial herb.  Early spring is a good tiime to transplant either, but the method varies a bit.  For a shrub, you want to carefully dig up the entire root ball to transplant to a new area.  For a perennial herb (no woody stalk) after you dig up the plant, you can usually divide the plant and move the several parts to different places.  In either case you should prepare the new hole before you dig up the old plant to avoid having the roots dry out.  Make the hole large enough so that you can add some compost or potting soil to the hole and still have room for the plant.  Newly moved plants need to be watered frequently until they are well established.  You can read about Gardening with Perennials and Transplanting Trees (would apply to shrubs, as well) from the University of Illinois Extension Service.


More Shrubs Questions

Muhlenbergia dumosa safe for horses from Austin
May 13, 2014 - Is Muhlenbergia dumosa safe for horses? Will horses eat it? I have a client who has a mini-horse who visits her property on occasion, and I want to ensure that what I plant is both safe for the hors...
view the full question and answer

Further question on sprouts from holly tree in Surprise AZ
November 16, 2010 - Thank you Barbara Medford for your response to my question about the sprouting holly tree in Surprise AZ. I took for granted that the tree I was talking about was a holly tree. I looked at pictures of...
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace hydrangeas in a wet area in New York
July 09, 2010 - Dear Smarty, Two years ago I planted 4 Endless Summer Hydrangas in front of the front porch of my summer cottage on Saratoga Lake. The first year they struggled the second they are limp. Can you give...
view the full question and answer

Malpighia glabra for Austin
October 14, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I am planting native Malpighia in a raised bed that was specially prepared for growing roses (soil and amendments). This bed has been left fallow for several years. Do I need t...
view the full question and answer

Desert or littleleaf sumac (Rhus microphylla) on Texas State Capitol grounds
May 07, 2007 - I am trying to find out what kinds of plants are planted on the Texas State Capitol Grounds. There is a bush that grows around the Capitol Extension windows area and I don't know what they are. The...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center