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 - November 05, 2013

From: Corona, CA
Region: California
Topic: Propagation, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Transplanting Indian Paintbrush in Corona CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a very mature Indian Paintbrush Plant that was becoming too large for the area I had originally planted it in, so I transplanted it to an area much more suited for its size. I reviewed the questions here and found one in Oregon in which you say it will die. I am in Southern California, is there anything I can do to keep it from dying?

ANSWER:

First of all, we tried to narrow down what Indian Paintbrush you have growing in Riverside County California. By searching on the genus Castillea in our Native Plant Database, we found 51 species native to North America and 19 to California. By going to the USDA Plant Profile Map on each of those, we found 4 native to Riverside County:

Castilleja foliolosa (Texas indian paintbrush)

Castilleja linariifolia (Wyoming indian paintbrush)

Castilleja miniata (Giant red indian paintbrush)

Castilleja minor ssp. spiralis (Lesser indian paintbrush)

We don't know which of these, if any, are the ones that you wish to transplant but they should all follow basically the same growing rules. You can follow each of the above links to our webpage on that plant to learn their growng conditions. Most of those webpages have the following statement:

"Conditions Comments: Roots grow until they touch the roots of other plants, frequently grasses, then penetrate the roots of these host plants, obtaining a portion of their nutrients. Transplanting paintbrush usually kills it."

This doesn't differentiate over soils, growing conditions or location, but is just a statement of fact about the chemistry of the plant. You could always try transplanting your oversize plant as an experiment and perhaps prove our information wrong. However, these propagation instructions, also from our webpages on Castillea would indicate you will be safer planting seeds near some host plant that produces nitrogen to share with the hemiparasitic Indian Paintbrush.

"Propagation

Description: Sow seeds in fall with seeds of an herbaceous perennial. Bouteloua gracilis has been recommended as a host.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes"

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas indian paintbrush
Castilleja foliolosa

Wyoming indian paintbrush
Castilleja linariifolia

Giant red indian paintbrush
Castilleja miniata

Lesser indian paintbrush
Castilleja minor ssp. spiralis

More Propagation Questions

Iris brevicaulis in Southwest Michigan
April 22, 2007 - We live in Kalamazoo, MI (Southwest Michigan Zone 6) and discovered last year that we have an iris brevicaulis (we think) growing (and very pretty) on our property. It has the "zig zag" stem. It see...
view the full question and answer

Resprouting of native prairie plants after snowstorm
April 07, 2007 - Will my prairie plants that have broken dormancy be harmed by a spring snowstorm? Temperatures have fallen down into the twenties and forecast to stay sub-freezing for five or six days. We have abou...
view the full question and answer

Cold hardiness of Liatris bulbs
October 05, 2009 - I live in Lexington KY - This spring I planted Liatris or Blazing Stars. Should I take up the bulbs and replant in spring or leave them in the ground?
view the full question and answer

Dividing blackeyed susans in Lake Ronkoko NY
July 06, 2009 - How are you supposed to divide blackeyed susan's? And when is the best time to do this?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Mountain Laurel by seed
March 28, 2007 - I harvested the seed or nut from our Mountain Laurel this spring and I would like to propagate them in containers for at least a year and then transfer them to the ground. I live in Hays County, TX in...
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