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?


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
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


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


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 Shrubs Questions

Plants for shaded area in East Texas
July 23, 2013 - I live in East Texas and have an area that is shaded most of the day - it only gets sun in the middle of the day but it is direct. What would be best? I would prefer something that won't freeze, bu...
view the full question and answer

Which plants are resistant to dog urine in Ashmore, IL??
May 21, 2012 - Which native plants are resistant to dogs urinating on them?
view the full question and answer

Problem with American Beautyberry in Houston.
July 02, 2014 - My American Beautyberry is dying one branch at a time. The entire plant looks great, now flowering and starting to put out berries. Then one or two branches will completely die. Trim those off, wi...
view the full question and answer

Small evergreen shrubs for Fairfax VA
May 13, 2010 - I have a 2' wide 6' long strip between a brick wall and the front walk leading up to the entry way. Lavender has been a pain and I would like to replace it with an attractive evergreen alternate. ...
view the full question and answer

Vines and shrubs for wildlife cover and food
December 14, 2007 - I own property in Stephens County about 10 miles north of Breckenridge, TX along the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. I have 45 acres that is open field and I want to provide cover and food for wildli...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center