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

Tuesday - June 28, 2011

From: Denton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens, Transplants
Title: Post-bloom period care for Pink evening primrose
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in Denton, TX. I introduced pink evening primrose as a ground cover to a xeriscaped section of my property a few years ago. I have pretty much left it alone and let it do its thing and I have been rewarded for that until now. I know that it typically can get somewhat leggy in the summer, but it's unacceptably leggy this year. I am considering cutting it back. My questions are: 1. How tall do I need to leave it in order to not traumatize it? (I'm not sure whether to do this with a high setting on the mower, or with an electric weed trimmer) 2. It's supposed to be in the upper 90s over the next 10 days or so. Is this a good time to cut it back, or would it be better to wait for cooler weather? 3. With the understanding that I would like to encourage the colony to continue to expand, what other advice would you give for cleaning up or maintaining evening primrose?

ANSWER:

You certainly have one of the best wildflower species for a Xeriscaping garden in Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose).  It is quite safe to mow the patch back to the ground whenever the plants become too leggy.  Since you wish to encourage the colony to grow larger, it would be best to wait until the seed capsules become hard and dry-looking. The seeds will then be mature and will be released if you leave the mowed stems on the ground in a dry spot. 

Pink evening primrose also readily propagates through the extension of underground roots if there is a bit of moisture in the soil.  Some gardeners actually find the plant too invasive for their tastes despite the ease with which plants advancing into unwanted spots can be pulled up.  If you wish to encourage even greater expansion of the primrose coverage, transplant a few of the plants to new locations.  They are tough and should survive if transplanted in somewhat cooler weather and kept watered for a week or so.

 

More Transplants Questions

Blossoms but no fruit for gooseberries in Enoch UT
January 16, 2010 - My gooseberries always get loads of blossoms, but I never get fruit. I think they need more sun, and thus, want to transplant them to a sunnier location. What (and when) is the best way to do this?
view the full question and answer

Brown leaves on possumhaw holly in Grandview TX
July 02, 2009 - What would be likely causes for brown leaves on possumhaw holly? We have 2, one was planted in spring 2008, and a slightly larger one planted late winter/early spring this year. Most of the leaves a...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Liatris spicata
May 25, 2008 - I bought a liatris spicata start a month ago, and transplanted it into my front yard (full sun, clay soil, moist due to all the rain recently). The plant immediately wilted so I transplanted it in ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting and germination of Pride of Barbados in Adkins, TX
April 02, 2012 - What is the root system like of the Pride of Barbados? I have a lot of new plants coming up in my beds from seeds. Can these be transplanted to a new location easily without damaging the plants? If...
view the full question and answer

Twisted hibiscus tree in Plainfield, IN
April 24, 2009 - I have just bought 4 twisted hibiscus trees and repotted them immediately then brought them into my screened in porch until I was certain the weather would be safe to keep them outside (I live in Cent...
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