Contact Us Host an Event 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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 31, 2014

From: Baton Rouge, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Transplants, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Transplanting Ilex x attenuata (Savannah holly)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is it hard to take a savannah holly out of my front yard? Do the roots grow down deep or are they more shallow? I can only take a 36-40 rootball circumference because of surrounding established shrubs and irrigation system.

ANSWER:

Ilex x attenuata Ashe (Savannah or topal holly) is hybrid of Ilex cassine (Dahoon) and Ilex opaca (American holly) and, as such, doesn't appear in our Native Plant Database; however, since it is a hybrid of two native species the USDA Plants Database does list it as native.

Several sites that I visited says that the roots are fibrous and great in number and relatively small in diameter.  This leads me to believe that it doesn't have a long tap root, but you still need to go deep enough to get a good mass of roots.  Here is information about planting and transplanting from TreesUSA and here is information about transplanting another hybrid holly bush from Donnan.com.  Their very good advice suggests root pruning it in the fall and then moving it in the spring.  Transplanting a shrub or tree in the summer is  very likely to put it into transplant shock and could even kill it.

 

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

Problems with rock rose in Austin
June 10, 2013 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants, We have a Texas Rock Rose which is growing next to our gravel path in Austin, with grass growing under it. In the last week, it has stopped blooming suddenly, and all the leaves h...
view the full question and answer

Need plants for full sun in Dallas Texas.
May 20, 2009 - What plants are best to use for full sun in Dallas Texas?
view the full question and answer

Plants to cover 1000 square foot wall in Virginia
March 29, 2013 - In Norfolk, VA, I want to cover a large (1000 sq ft) cement wall with a variety of maintenance free plant life. Any recommendations?
view the full question and answer

Time of year to plant Texas Mountain Laurel in El Paso, TX
June 10, 2013 - When is the best time of year to plant a Mountain Laurel tree in El Paso?
view the full question and answer

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