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

Tuesday - April 18, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Repotting from 4-inch pots
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton


Hello. A week ago I purchased some native plants at the wildflower center plant sale. I would like to know how to repot these seedlling native plants. They are in 4" pots right now. I have as follows: 4" White Avens, 4" Texas yellow star, 4" Pitcher Sage, 4" Indigo Salvia. What size container should I put all of the above plants? What is the procedure for transplanting these plants? I know what kind of soil to use but would very much appreciate transplanting requirements. Thank you.


You can move your plants to any size pot up to one-gallon. You can even move them to large planters if you want to to do a mixed planting. Actually, the more soil volume you give the plants the better off they'll be. They won't dry out so quickly and their roots will have more room to grow. When you transplant them, you should be careful to not plant them too deep or too shallow. The top of the root ball should be barely covered with soil—about 1/4 inch. A little root stimulator might help, but they won't want to be heavily fed.


More Transplants Questions

Transplanting live oaks in summer
July 17, 2008 - I have a need to transplant a live oak tree on a home building site. The need is now, the house is almost completely built out and the owners did not prep the site by moving trees or prepping them to ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with a Monterey Oak in Austin, TX.
November 12, 2010 - I have a large Monterey Oak, planted last year that has not gotten any fuller. Do I need to fertilize and if so, when?
view the full question and answer

Tree transplants having problems in Manchaca TX
April 03, 2010 - I have recently transplanted a Mexican Buckeye, Chinquapin oak, and Sandpaper tree that I have been raising inside since they were seedlings. They have now developed a browning of the tips of their l...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Banana Shrub from Houston
May 01, 2014 - My 7' beloved Banana Shrub (magnolia) has white dots on top of the leaves and nasty black stuff covering the backside of the leaves. The plant is dropping leaves. What can I do to save it? I has bee...
view the full question and answer

What plants can be moved from Romulus MI to Cleveland TX?
May 07, 2010 - I presently live and garden in Michigan, but will be re-locating in the next year to Cleveland Texas. What plants, if anything, can or should I bring to Texas?
view the full question and answer

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