Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Saturday - April 29, 2006

From: El Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Transplanting of non-native Vitex
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in El Paso and have a fifteen year old vitex tree planted too close to a mesquite tree in my backyard. As a result of this, the vitex has failed to thrive. My question is this: can I replant the vitex to another spot without killing it? If so, when is the best time to do this. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Vitex or Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is a non-native species introduced to North America from China and India. Since our focus and expertise is in plants native to North America, it is really not in our purview. We can, however, point you to some general advice about transplanting trees. The USDA has a very good article about transplanting trees. Fall and spring are the best times for transplanting. The hole to put it in needs to be big enough—essentially, twice the width and slightly less than twice the depth of the root ball. Pruning the top growth by 1/3 and, if possible, root-pruning a few months ahead of time will improve your possibility of success. Also, root stimulator is sometimes useful.

You might also consider a native alternative to your vitex tree. There is always the possibility that non-native plants will escape from cultivation and become invasive. Texas A&M and the Texas Forest Service have an excellent online Texas Tree Planting Guide that gives you choice options for several criteria (e.g., your county, size of the tree, type of soil, etc.) for selecting a tree to plant.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Replacing non-native St. Augustine with native grasses in Rockport TX
February 18, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a few questions for you. I live in Rockport and am in the process of revamping my yard to native species. I currently have San Augustine, weed infested grass. I want to scrap...
view the full question and answer

Why are our Euphorbia myrsinites plants dying in Soquel, CA?
August 02, 2010 - Some of our Euphorbia myrsinites die in our garden for reasons we cannot understand. Do you have any explanation or suggest area we should be looking for?
view the full question and answer

Spots on non-native naval orange trees from Stockton CA
October 20, 2012 - I have two mature Navel Orange trees. One tree has developed spotty chlorophyl depleted areas that were not on the oranges when they were smaller. In addition, the oranges on both trees are smaller ,...
view the full question and answer

Elaeagnus sudden death in Waxahachie, TX
May 11, 2015 - I live in North Central Texas and have eleagnus planted along my fence in full sun. Last year one dropped all it's leafs and died. The same is happening to one beside it this year. I have sprayed ...
view the full question and answer

Lookink for bulbs of German Blue Bells in Weatherford, TX.
July 09, 2012 - I am searching for a plant that is called "German Blue Bells". They are tubular as seed. Like tiny iris only bands around the tubular. The flower looks like a morning glory with an off set bloom....
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.