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
1 rating

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 Diseases and Disorders Questions

Bark damage to Tulip Tree
August 10, 2006 - I have a tulip tree planted. It is about 9-10 years old. Two years ago the tree looked as though the trunk was cracked. Maybe hit by lightning after a storm. This year the bark on the side of tree...
view the full question and answer

Brown dead spots on arborvitae in Hillsboro OR
October 12, 2009 - Hello. I live in Hillsboro, OR and have several mature arborvitae as a privacy screen in my backyard. They are on our side of a black chainlink fence separating our yard from a drainage area maintaine...
view the full question and answer

Tip Dieback on Lonicera sempervirens
August 14, 2013 - I have a Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle) vine in Virginia which does well early in the season, but then around July, the very tips of its shoots (just the last 1-2 inches) wither, turn black...
view the full question and answer

Need some help with a Plumbago plant in Mission, TX.
August 06, 2010 - Hello..I live in south South Texas and have a plumbago. It gets about 4 to 5 hours of direct sun and lately some of the branches and leaves turn bright green almost yellow. Am I over watering or is ...
view the full question and answer

Fungus Spots on Native Bush Honeysuckle
December 03, 2010 - My native bush honeysuckle plants that I have along my back fence have leaves that are turning yellow with spots. It appears to be a type of fungus, but not powdery mildew. Any suggestions as to what ...
view the full question and answer

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