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?


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

Is Sabal minor juglone tolerant?
October 13, 2014 - Is Sabal minor or any other small and shade tolerant palm juglone tolerant? I’d like to plant one in an area near a pecan tree but I am not sure if they will play well together.
view the full question and answer

Suggestions for Texas native plants for memorial
June 30, 2005 - A dear friend of ours has passed and we would like some ideas of a native Texas plant we could plant in memory of her. It will be grown in the hill region near Houston. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars ate my Sophora in La Mesa, CA.
July 06, 2011 - Before I noticed what was happening, my newly-planted 1 foot tall Sophora secundiflora was eaten by caterpillars. It now has no foliage. Do you think it will leaf out again?
view the full question and answer

Suitability of Carolina Cherry Laurel for Bulverde TX
October 24, 2012 - The local Home Depot is selling Carolina Cherry Laurel Trees. They look beautiful. Is this a good tree for Bulverde TX..20 miles north of San Antonio? Can it survive? Will it be a high maintenance...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs with berries for birds and growing small red oak tree
September 16, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Recently, I saw a short article about attracting birds to one's yard. The article said to plant "berry-bearing" shrubs, but didn't name any specific shrubs. Could you tell...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center