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: Floresville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: How to transplant agarita in Floresville, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus


How is the best way to propagate Agarita? I have acres of them in the pasture but want some for the house landscape and to grow. I was told they go dormant for a year if you dig them up to transplant.


We're tempted to advise you to put in a section of barbed wire fence where you want the agarita to grow and let the birds do their thing.  But we won't.  Besides being inconvenient, you'd have to pull out a lot of privet and hackberry seedlings if you did that.

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) is usually difficult to transplant; large plants are especially difficult.  A big part of the problem is that they are often growing in such rocky soil that it is very hard to get the plant out without severely damaging the roots of the plant.  The smaller the root ball, the slower the plant will recover from the stress of transplantation.

If possible, dig around the shrub you wish to transplant in the spring to cut some of the roots.  By fall, the plant will have made new roots within the area that you'll be digging up to transplant.  Dig and translplant the agarita in mid to late fall.  Remove about 1/3 of the top growth of the plant when you transplant.  Water it in well and water again from time to time through the winter if it's a dry year.  Even with all of that, your plant is likely to sit and do nothing much for a year or two.  Good luck!


More Transplants Questions

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

Failure to thrive of Cherokee sedge in Spicewood, TX
May 18, 2009 - I have several Cherokee sedges, just planted in March. Three of them are doing fine, but the rest look like they're dying. Some are right next to one that is doing great. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Vacccinum corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
June 28, 2007 - Blueberry plants - We planted Northland and Blue Crop, 2 of each. All 4 plants have some leaves that are turning brown. This starts at the tip of the leaf, eventually encompasses the entire leaf, a...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Indian Paintbrush in Corona CA
November 05, 2013 - I have a very mature Indian Paintbrush Plant that was becoming too large for the area I had originally planted it in, so I transplanted it to an area much more suited for its size. I reviewed the que...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Sarasota, FL.
August 23, 2010 - Hi I recently went to Discovery Cove in Orlando Florida and saw a purple flowering tree/shrub that had branches similar to okra shape or starfruit shape, the leaves were very grainy similar to alligat...
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