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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - February 07, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Other
Topic: Transplants, Wildflowers
Title: Problems with propagation of Indian Paintbrush (Castileja indivisa)
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We are growing Indian Paintbrush. I have 2-300 seedlings. They were sown with fescue and have grown beautifully. Now they are approximately 4-6 inches high, a few have bloomed and many seem to be dying out. Can you share any information on keeping them growing and healthy until spring when they can go outside. They are in a 30% pearlite mixture. How do I keep them growing and go about transplanting them without losing them. It is sad to have lost any after all this time.

ANSWER:

The paintbrushes Castilleja sp. have been called "harder to establish than any other wildflower" by Howard Garrett, (Plants for Texas) and impossible to transplant by Sally & Andy Wasowski, (Native Texas Plants). Since it is believed that the paintbrushes parasitize the roots of grasses and other plants (e.g., bluebonnets), you have done the correct thing by sowing your seeds with fescue. There are several possibilities for your problem with the paintbrushes but I don't think we can give a definitive answer as to which of these it might be. The possibilities are: water stress, both too little or too much—or too little and too much; soil-borne disease or insect predation; soil pH issues; or simple dormancy could be occurring.

 

More Transplants Questions

Transplanting suckers on Cenizo in Austin
June 21, 2010 - Our large silverado sage has produced some volunteers, which are now about 1 ft - 1-1/2 ft tall. Is it possible to transplant them or has the taproot grown too deep for transplanting? Also, will the ...
view the full question and answer

Wild plum tree failing to bloom from Simonton TX
May 04, 2013 - I have a wild plum tree that has been in the ground for 3 or 4 years and it has not ever flowered. Why? I don't know what kind it is. I dug it up from a friends yard. Her wild plum trees have flowere...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting native azaleas in South Carolina
June 09, 2005 - When is the best time to transplant azaleas in South Carolina Low Country?
view the full question and answer

Care of recently propagated Century Plant from Litchfield Park AZ
April 24, 2011 - To germinate some century plant seeds I put them in dirt and put the pot in a tray of water. Now, I have 3 sprouts about an inch tall and they came up about an inch apart. Question is, how should I w...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native Betula pendula
July 03, 2008 - I live in Puyallup, Washington. I purchased and planted a weeping birch on June 21, 2008. For the first few days all seemed well and the tree seemed to be settling in to its new home. Less than e...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center