Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Tuesday - June 16, 2015

From: Buda, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Transplanting wildflowers slated for destruction in Buda, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

TXDOT has recently informed our church that they will be taking a sizeable amount of natural area fronting a ranch road for lane expansion. We are devastated to lose an are we have planted and nurtured and would like to rescue all we can. We are preparing to begin seed collection of flowering plants and are trying to plan on digging up recent plantings for relocation. I would like to know if it is possible to dig deep enough to safely lift a 3-4 foot area of antelope horn as well as frost weed in order to transplant them. Is there anyone who helps with rescuing old growth live oaks as we will have many destroyed otherwise? There is much more but I cannot list it all here.

ANSWER:

Now is not a good time to transplant perennials in central Texas.  If your efforts can wait until fall or winter, your chances of success will be greatly increased.  Mature Antelope Horns (Asclepias asperula) resent being transplanted and you will need to try to disturb it's roots as little as possible when lifting them.  In winter, once your Frostweed (Verbesina virginica) plants have died down, their roots are easily transplanted.  They like shady areas, preferably under Live Oak trees.  

However, you might consider collecting and sowing seeds of both of these species.  Antelope Horns seed capsules are maturing now and their seeds should be collected just as their fruits are bursting open and before they are scattered by the wind.  Frostweed seeds will mature in late fall about time of the first cold weather.

We do not know of anyone who helps with rescuing old growth Live Oaks.  That is an extraordinarily difficult and expensive endeavor.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Different colors of Argemone spp. from McAllen TX
March 16, 2014 - I took pictures of at least 5 colors of pricklepoppy today. Is this common to have so many colors in one area? How do I harvest the seedpods and when is the best time to do so?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shady area in north Texas
July 29, 2013 - I'm looking for a ground cover for a mostly shady area where St. Augustine won't grow. I don't want the ground cover to overtake my established St. Augustine in the rest of the yard. The area is un...
view the full question and answer

Shady Perennial Groundcover Suggestions for Indiana
April 21, 2013 - Could you please recommend perennial groundcovers for Indiana that are low and leafy, self-spreading, non-invasive, deer resistant, and moisture tolerant; and that are good for erosion control on a sh...
view the full question and answer

Plants that are deer resistant for high desert climate in Utah
January 23, 2008 - We are building in a high desert climate in Dammeron Valley, Utah. We want plants that are both deer resistant and require little watering. Can you advise which plants (shrubs, flowers, cacti) that ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for freestanding water in Oklahoma
July 28, 2013 - I have an overflowing gutter and the ground below becomes a muddy hole. I'd like to put a basin or pot in/or above the ground with a rain chain. Are there any plants--shrubs or otherwise that flouris...
view the full question and answer

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