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

Thursday - June 10, 2010

From: Beaverton , MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting a Dutchman's pipe in Beaverton MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford


When can I transplant a full grown dutchmans pipe plant? It is growing along side of the house and it needs a bigger place to grow. This is June and the plant is in full bloom full of pipes, but needs to be moved. Thank you


There are 8 members of the genus Aristolochia, pipevine, native to North America. Two, Aristolochia macrophylla (pipevine) and Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia snakeroot) are native to Michigan. The Virginia snakeroot seems to be the one you most likely have; the others in the genus in our Native Plant Database all are based farther south, in California and the southeast. 

We found a Michigan State University Extension website on Aristolochia serpentaria, which gave us a lot of information about the culture and locations of this plant, but neither this site nor any other we looked at on all the pipevines told us anything about transplanting it. We did find some generic instructions on transplanting vines, which we will pass on to you:

Transplant the vines in early spring before much growth occurs. First, to make transplanting more manageable, cut the vines back so only several feet of topgrowth remain. It can usually be cut back to the ground, but we suggest leaving some of the vine in place so you can see which shoots have survived. Dig the roots out carefully. Try to dig a ball large enough to hold together so you maintain soil contact with the roots. Take great care not to break the woody stem where it joins the roots. Sometimes the vine will still come up from the roots, but you have a better chance of success if you don't break the shoot. Cut out any dead material after the vines have resumed growth. Although the plants may look fine, take special care of them throughout the growing season. The plant is trying to reestablish the balance of roots to shoots and needs regular water.

You said this plant needs to be moved. As in, NOW? In that case, pretend this is early Spring, which it isn't, even in Michigan, and follow the instructions. You will probably lose the blossoms and the seeds for this year, but hopefully not the roots.

Pictures of Aristolochia macrophylla from Google

Pictures of Aristolochia serpentaria from Google

From our Native Plant Image Gallery

Aristolochia serpentaria





More Transplants Questions

Problems with transplanting cenizo in Weatherford TX
September 29, 2009 - I tried to transplant a Silverado Sage into a large pot but within 1 day it started wilting. Could it be the soil? I used potting soil not soil from the ground which is a sandy soil.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting large Silverado Sage bushes from Mesa AZ
August 19, 2013 - We just bought a condo with three Silverado Sage, each one is 6-8 ft tall, trained to grow as "trees" with bare branches for the bottom 4 feet or so, and beautiful flowering branches on top. They ar...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a Texas redbud sapling
July 27, 2008 - I've just discovered a Texas red bud sapling (baby tree)that decided to grow next to our fire pit. Although there's no reason for us to sit around the campfire in 100 degree weather, I would like to...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Silverado Sage in Pearland, TX.
July 28, 2012 - Hi, We have three Silverado Sage bushes we planted last year. They did great during the drought. However, this winter they had a severed leaf drop of mostly just the centers of them. These cente...
view the full question and answer

Dead woody plants in wildlife garden in Austin
March 02, 2011 - I am an enthusiastic and pretty successful wildlife gardener, have studied my Wasowski "Bible", but I can't get any evergreens established in my yard! We live on blackland clay, which I amend with ...
view the full question and answer

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