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

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

A cactus-like plant with stinky flowers
July 22, 2013 - Because of the green parts looking like certain cacti, a friend insists that this plant she saw in Mexico is one. Its blossom doesn't have the rose-like structure that cacti have, but resembles the ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Lorapetalum chinense from Driftwood TX
March 16, 2012 - In a previous response you said that it would not be wise to plant any trees with the word Chinese in it. Does this apply to Lorapetalum (Chinese Fringe Flower)? I would like to use this plant as a ...
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

Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014 - I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
view the full question and answer

Coffee grounds as mulch into vegetable beds
February 05, 2009 - Can you put too much coffee grounds as mulch into vegetable beds?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center