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 Transplants Questions

How to grow milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) for monarch butterflies
March 31, 2010 - I tried and tried and tried to grow Asclepias viridis, A. asperula and even A. oenotheroides from seeds and even tubers for fourteen years! Do you have advice for growing these and other milkweed plan...
view the full question and answer

Cenizos browning in Houston
October 01, 2011 - After this horrible drought, I am committed to xeriscaping with native Texas plants. The few hibiscus that survived have been transplanted into pots and are thriving. I bid the tiny boxwoods a fond fa...
view the full question and answer

Native species of tree for Rockwall TX
March 19, 2014 - Hello, I am attempting to plant a native species of tree 20 miles east of Dallas, Texas (Rockwall, TX) in honor of my brother's marriage. He is a biologist and a huge supporter of native species....
view the full question and answer

Root rot and transplant shock in Texas betony
July 13, 2006 - Texas betony is supposed to be drought resistant but also likes to be kept moist, but I have had trouble getting it established. These seem to be undemanding plants I have had entire stems dry up and...
view the full question and answer

Soaptree yucca falling over in Mesa AZ
July 24, 2013 - My soaptree yucca is about 5 ft tall and has fallen over. Does this plant require staking for I thought not, or is something else going on with it?
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