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
1 rating

Tuesday - February 07, 2012

From: Irving, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Planting, Shrubs
Title: Planting time for non-natives in Irving TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Have dwarf nandinas and two lorapetalums that I want to transplant. Can I do it now February 6th 2012?

ANSWER:

Actually, you have reached a wrong number. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown.

Lorapetalum, Lorapetalum chinense, is native to the Hunan province of China. We always suspect anything with the words "China," "Chinese" or "Chinense" in their names; they are not only non-native but many are invasive.

While Nandina domestica, known as Nandina or Heavely Bamboo, does not have a reference to China in its name, it is native to eastern Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. It is very invasive, spread by wildlife (who eat the berries and deposit the seeds) as well as underground rhizomes, as this article from the University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants on Nandina domestica will tell you. You also should read the 15 negative comments from the forum Dave's Garden has on Nandina.

So, if you were considering purchasing these two plants, we would discourage it, and recommend some natives shrubs, instead. But as you said you wished to transplant them, we are assuming you already have them. Particularly in the case of nandina, we would far rather you spread them no further but, since you ask, woody shrubs and trees are best transplanted while they are dormant in the coldest part of the year, but you probably could still do so in February,

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Deer resistance of non-native Leyland Cypress from Kerrville TX
April 19, 2014 - Are Leyland cypress deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Non-native crape myrtles in Noblesville IN
August 01, 2012 - Can Crepe Myrtle trees be grown in Noblesville IN 46060? I believe we are zone five.
view the full question and answer

Hours of darkness for non-native poinsettia to bloom
October 28, 2005 - I have a poinsettia from last Christmas still alive. I was told to get it so many hours of darkness. Do you know how many hours? When would be the best time to start displaying the plant again?
view the full question and answer

Care of a sedum indoors
December 16, 2007 - I have a coworker who has trusted her Sedum Burrito plant into my care because it is not doing well in her office. It appears to need repotting, as it is very crowded in the pot it came in and is dif...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native mimosa
August 29, 2008 - We have 2 large mimosa trees in front of our house that are close to 50 years old. They have not been cared for over the past 8 years (we did not live here). This year, I trimmed them, removed dead ...
view the full question and answer

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