En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
5 ratings

Wednesday - February 15, 2006

From: Highland , MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Transplanting trilliums in dormancy in Michigan
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton


I live in Michigan. I have a Trillium in my yard and we are having a new septic field put in. I need to know if I can save the whole plant and can I keep it in the house or do I just need the bulb and what do I do with it until I can replant when the field is completed?


Trillium transplanting can be done, but it's better to do it when they are dormant. The ideal time to transplant would be after they bloom in the spring and begin to die down. You probably can't wait for that to happen, so you should remove them carefully from the soil and keep them in pots until the field has been finished. The rhizomes typically are very deep in the soil and dislike being disturbed so you should dig them to avoid disturbing the soil around the roots as much as possible.

There are several species of Trillium native to Michigan:
Nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum)
Stinking-Benjamin (T. erectum)
Nodding wakerobin (T. flexipes)
Large-flower wakerobin (T. grandiflorum)
Red trillium (T. sessile)
Painted wakerobin (T. undulatum)
Wood wakerobin (T. viride)

You can read more about the care and propagation of T. undulatum from Plants for the Future.


More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for hanging flower boxes from Austin
July 27, 2013 - I have two long flower boxes 17" x 15" x 25 feet long one on the north side of the apt and one on the south made of metal suspended about four feet from the ground. One will get the morning sun and ...
view the full question and answer

Native orchids in Bowie and Harris Counties
July 02, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what types of orchids are native to Bowie County and Harris County.
view the full question and answer

Soil for native Chilopsis linearis and Salvia greggii
February 08, 2010 - I want to plant a desert willow and a salvia greggii in my small lot. The developer used sandy loam to fill in the small garden in the front. I am 73 and a bit impaired. Do I really need to remove ...
view the full question and answer

Information about Erigeron annuus and Erigeron philadelphicus
January 10, 2015 - Hi! I am looking for information about the specific leaf area of Erigeron annuus and Erigeron philadelphicus. Do you know of anyone who is working with any these species, who might be able to provide...
view the full question and answer

Native perennials for Donley County, TX
July 16, 2009 - What are the best perennials to plant in Donley County, TX?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center