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?

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

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

Monday - October 11, 2010

From: Springfield, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Moving a volunteer holly from Springfield IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When would be the very best time to move a volunteer holly? I would say it is 3 years old, it stands about 5 feet tall, shaped like a very nice tree and it keeps its leaves. Thank you. Karen

ANSWER:

There are 13 members of the genus Ilex (holly) native to North America, and 4 native to Illinois. We determined that Sangamon County, in Central Illinois, is in USDA Hardiness Zone 5b. We like to start by trying to determine which holly you might be referring to.

We first looked at Ilex opaca (American holly) , which is shown in this USDA Plant Profile as being native only to one county in southwest Illinois. This could be out-of-date information or might be a reflection of the soils. The next one we considered was Ilex verticillata (Common winterberry), but this USDA Plant Profile still does not show it growing near you. So, we are going to assume that if it was a volunteer, it will grow there, and just give you some transplanting information.

This article from Sandy's Garden, Moving a Holly Bush gives the information probably much more clearly than we could. If your soil freezes in the Winter, we would definitely recommend that you do your transplanting in the early Spring, as the soil begins to warm. Whatever you do, prepare the hole for the rootball in advance, making it larger than the rootball and working in compost for drainage.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ilex opaca


Ilex verticillata

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Dividing blackeyed susans in Lake Ronkoko NY
July 06, 2009 - How are you supposed to divide blackeyed susan's? And when is the best time to do this?
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to esperanza in pot from Brady TX
December 10, 2009 - My esperanza, currently in a container, has suffered some freeze damage. I have prepared a planting spot for it and am not sure whether to plant now, trim it back if I do plant it, etc. I would appr...
view the full question and answer

Ailing Tecoma stans from Phoenix AZ
August 24, 2012 - I have several young Tecoma plants in my Phoenix, AZ garden. I planted them in June and have tended to them over the summer. They are watered twice daily. On some of the plants, I've noticed two oddi...
view the full question and answer

The Pros and Cons of Using Stone Mulch for Plants and Wildfire Safety
December 04, 2013 - I am trying to grow native plants that are wildfire-resistant. I want to avoid the use of flammable mulch -- especially in beds next to the house. I'm considering river rock or crushed stone, but one...
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

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center