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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - September 15, 2010

From: Crown Point, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Move Roses or Ornamental Grasses in Crown Point, Indiana
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus


I have two ornamental grasses that grew real wide this year. They are blocking three big knock out roses that are four foot tall and four foot wide. My question is which one would be easier to dig up and plant some where else and when should I do this. Thanks


Since neither of your plants seem to be natives, I'm not supposed to know how to help you.  But ornamental grasses probably act pretty much like natives and get pretty dead and ratty looking by the end of winter.  So I'll give you a quick answer.  Wait until mid-April, then take duct tape and wrap it around your grass stems, about a foot above the ground.  Then take hedge clippers and cut just below the tape. 

Now you are ready to dig up the grass.  You can divide the clump into at least three or four pieces- just cut carefully straight down - and replant in a better place. 

And this is the best time to plant/transplant roses and also to prune them if you didn't to so in the fall, so just pick the plant you like best and move the other one.  Pruning the roses back first will make moving them easier as well. 


More Planting Questions

Flowers for sandy soil and sun in Wharton Co., TX
March 23, 2010 - I live in Wharton County. I am looking for flowers to plant in beds that have sandy soil and are well drained. The area receives sun all day until 5-6 in the afternoon. I would like to have flowers t...
view the full question and answer

Planting non-native sago palm and philodendron from Pflugerville TX
September 15, 2012 - I have a small/young sago palm and philodendron I'd like to plant. Do you advise to plant them now with fall/winter approaching or wait until next spring.
view the full question and answer

Steep slope from Charlotte NC
May 03, 2012 - I live near Charlotte, NC and I have a very steep sloped area from the edge of our front yard down to the road. It's a huge eyesore mainly because it is red clay dirt and has nothing growing on it. W...
view the full question and answer

Need native grasses to re-introduce on land in Live Oak County, Texas.
July 21, 2009 - How do I find out what type of grass is native and how to reintroduce it (once we get some rain)? The area is southern Live Oak County approx 10 miles north of Orange Grove TX, about 2 miles from Lak...
view the full question and answer

Shrub that will grow outside in Zone 5 from Millbrook NY
April 21, 2012 - Is there any shrub, tree or other sort of plant that will grow well in zone 5 in a very large container outdoors?
view the full question and answer

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