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?

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
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
1 rating

Wednesday - April 28, 2010

From: Saugatuck, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Rare or Endangered Plants, Planting, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Transplanting trilliums
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

What's the best time to transplant white trillium on my property on the shore of Lake Michigan?

ANSWER:

When my mother dug up a trillium from the woods and planted it her flowerbed at the front of our home, my teenaged siblings and I all scolded her for her "illegal act".  However, like our famous Texas Bluebonnet, Ontario's trillium is protected from picking/digging only by urban myth, not the law.

Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium) is not difficult to propogate by seed but can take a notoriously long time to grow to maturity after germination.  So most of the trilliums you find for sale in nurseries are actually collected from the wild.  

The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes, so I must encourage you to leave the plant where it is and try to propogate it by seed or rhizome division.  You can find instructions in William Cullina's book , "Wildflowers: A Guide to Growing and Propogating Native Flowers of North America"

That being said, my mother's trillium blooms happily on in her front garden 30 years later.  Be certain you do not damage the plant while digging  and transplant it in mid to late summer, just before it goes dormant.


Trillium grandiflorum
 

More Planting Questions

What to Plant Now feature?
July 20, 2010 - Would y'all at all consider having a "What To Plant Now" section" and/or a "What's Blooming Now" one. You are very generous with your information, but if I wanted to "go native", it seems tha...
view the full question and answer

Probably non-native crapemyrtle trees damaged by hurricane
January 15, 2009 - I have 5 crape myrtle trees. I live in Galveston, Tx and when Hurricane Ike came through in September the salt water I think killed them. They have not come back since then and are brown with no leave...
view the full question and answer

Planting instructions for horsetail
March 10, 2009 - Re: Equisetum hyemale L. Canuela, Horsetail, Scouring rush, Scouringrush horsetail I bought a 1-gal Equisetum hyemale for my seep/pond. In searching the web, I find conflicting planting instructions...
view the full question and answer

Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
January 07, 2012 - Hello! I am with a student organization on the University of Texas campus. Walking around campus, I have noticed the lack of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet. Our organization is hoping ...
view the full question and answer

Need help with my Mountain Laurel in Sugarland, TX
June 22, 2011 - Texas Mountain Laurel - My plant's leaves are turning yellow and falling off. I don't know if this is caused from over watering or under watering. I have skipped days of watering to see if it will h...
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.

Bibliography

Wildflowers (2000) Cullina, W. and Cullina B.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center