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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





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