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

Monday - May 28, 2007

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Transplant shock in Achillea millefolium
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I had a clump of yarrow in my garden and was worried that it would become very aggressive to the other plants. I decided to transplant it into large clay pots to control it. Immediately after the transplant into the pots, it became very wilted looking. After three days, it is still not "bouncing back". Some of the stems do have buds already. What should I do to help it recover? Should I trim it back? If I do, will it flower this year?

ANSWER:

You are correct that Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) can be quite invasive. Transplanting it suddenly into "new dirt" in a big pot may have been too much of a shock for even this tough plant. One problem with transplanting any plant is to prevent wilting from respiration of moisture from the leaves. Often in transplanting, it pays to trim back as much as one-third of the plant material to minimize water loss from the plant. Also, it's difficult to get enough water into very dry potting soil at first. One good way to make sure it's wet all the way through is to fill the pot and then stand it in a basin of water, letting the water soak up from the bottom, then let it drip and drain before you make the transplant. At the same time, you don't want soggy soil, as that will just drown the roots, already suffering from the shock of being taken from their original planting. All this having been said, your question about whether these plants will survive has still not been answered. Possibly trimming it back now would help it survive, but that very well could mean no blooms this year, since yarrow blooms in early Summer. Also, although it's a full sun plant, it could probably do with a little shade part of the day, again to cut down on the transplant shock. In summary, you may be able to help the plant survive and bloom another year. And, in future, you might choose to do your transplanting when the plant is more dormant, perhaps in the Fall.


Achillea millefolium

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Choosing the right Coreopsis species for Tennessee
November 28, 2015 - I live in Bristol Tennessee and have replaced most of my lawn with native plants. I have been trying to learn more about the Coreopsis genus. In TN, we have C. auriculata, grandiflora, lanceolata, m...
view the full question and answer

Does a cenizo really predict rain in Austin?
July 18, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, folklore has it that the flowering of Cenizo (aka Barometer Bush) is a predictor of rain fall. The Cenizo in South Austin is blooming profusely right now. Does this portend a Noac...
view the full question and answer

How to grow tulips and daffodils in Central Florida.
March 27, 2009 - My question is how can you grow tulips and daffdoils in central Florida, just south of Ocala, a place called the Villages? I am from the Washington, DC area and truly miss these flowers, any help wou...
view the full question and answer

Planting horsetail indoors from Collierville TN
November 12, 2012 - I would like to plant horsetail indoors. Can it handle the inside? Will it try to go dormant or it that a temperature trigger which means it will not go dormant?
view the full question and answer

Shade and Drought Tolerant Plants for Idaho Shade
March 18, 2016 - I am looking for plants native to Idaho and/or the surrounding region (zone 6 or 7) that would do well in full shade conditions (adjacent to the north side of our house) and meet several criteria: Max...
view the full question and answer

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