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
9 ratings

Wednesday - July 22, 2009

From: Winston-Salem, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Transplants, Wildflowers
Title: Can I Divide Rudbeckia in July in NC.
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

How do I transplant Blackeyed Susans so I can add them to other parts of the bed. I started with one and it is crowding out other plants, so I would like to transplant to other parts of the yard.

ANSWER:

It is too late in the season to divide and transplant perennials now.  Many perennials can be divided in the spring or fall but others have a preference. Rudbeckia preferes to be divided in the spring.  Because Black eyed Susan's seed heads add such great fall and winter interest in the garden in a place where they are not covered up with snow, you will want to wait until spring anyhow.

They are quite easy to divide and you will be blessed with Rudbeckia for the rest of your days.  When it is time to divide them, digging up the whole plant, splitting it and re-planting is the best method as it rejuvenates the plant and gives you the opportunity to pick out any weeds or grass that have managed to get established in the center.  Alternatively, just dig out the plants around the outside, tranpslant them and leave the center.  Many perennials, however, eventually get so crowded at the center that it dies, leaving a circle of younger plants.

Once you have the clump dug out it will be easy to pry the plants apart from one another with your fingers or a hand tool.

A great reference book (with instructions on pictures) for  all sorts of propogation is Ken Druse's "Making more Plants: The Science, Art, and Joy of Propagation".

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Yellowing leaves on non-native podocarpus Cupertino CA
May 22, 2011 - I recently planted a podacarpus granular and over half the leaves are turning yellow some are dead. What could be the problem? Is there something I can feed it? What should I do? I planted four & the...
view the full question and answer

A year and a half old live oak tree is doing poorly in Nevada, TX.
May 08, 2012 - We planted a live oak tree about a year and a half ago. the tree is still rather small. The leaves are of a vibrant green, however the leave have only grown through the center of the tree and not out...
view the full question and answer

How to Propagate Mexican Bush Sage in Marble Falls, Texas
September 14, 2010 - I need advice on when, how to separate Mexican bush sage. Ours is happy and HUGE but is now sprouting from the roots at the base. Since we've been so successful with this plant, we want to divide it...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Trillium in Quebec.
May 13, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Laurentiens of Quebec where they are putting a HWY in my back yard. I have a lot of white trillium that I am wanting to transplant before they start the excava...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a young lilac
November 05, 2012 - This past spring I planted a hybrid lilac in the ground. The weather here has started to get cold, and much more so at night. Also, the temperatures go from warm to cold and back again as if unsure wh...
view the full question and answer

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