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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.

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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.

 
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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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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.

 

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