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

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 This could be out-of-date information or might be a reflection of the soils.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 Shrubs Questions

Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
June 13, 2014 - Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks
view the full question and answer

How to correct Anacacho leaves that are turning brown and curling in Driftwood, TX?
May 11, 2012 - Anacacho lunarioides leaves are turning brown and curling,how do I correct?
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace hydrangeas in a wet area in New York
July 09, 2010 - Dear Smarty, Two years ago I planted 4 Endless Summer Hydrangas in front of the front porch of my summer cottage on Saratoga Lake. The first year they struggled the second they are limp. Can you give...
view the full question and answer

Fragrant foundation plants for sunny, dry area in Illinois
August 26, 2009 - We need suggestions of what to plant on the south side of our house heave sun and rather dry soil. We just took out old dead bushes. Would prefer something that flowers and smells nice that would gr...
view the full question and answer

Suggestions for native perennials in Staten Island, NY
April 03, 2008 - My back yard garden has a good base of evergreen shrubs and perennials all doing well in clayish soil and I am ready now to add color and texture in an area with partial sun. Can you suggest hardy...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center