Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Thursday - August 27, 2009

From: St. Louis, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting azalea sprouts in St Louis MO
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an azalea bush that I cut back severely 2 years ago and unwittingly started 3 or 4 new bushes when some limbs grew back along the ground and created their own roots. I'd like to separate them from the mother bush and transplant them but I'm not sure of the best method or timing. They are all hardy.. at least 18 inches long and 2 of them have several offshoots of their own. Can I do it now or wait until the spring? Should I cut them from the mother bush and leave their roots intact for a while before uprooting them? Thank you!

ANSWER:

There are 16 plants that are members of the Ericaceae (Heath) family and with the common name of "azalea" in our Native Plant Database. Only one of these, Rhododendron albiflorum (Cascade azalea), is native to Missouri. It really doesn't matter, as we doubt you have a native azalea but more likely a hybrid or an import. Ordinarily, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center only deals with questions involving plants native to North America as well as to the area in which they are being grown, but since we don't know what you have, and the help would apply to a native as well as a non-native, we'll see what we can find for you.

What we think you have done, apparently inadvertently, is to layer your azalea in order to create more plants. This article, How Stuff Works How to Cut and Layer Plants, specifically mentions azaleas and gives instructions for working with the layered plants. We would suggest that you wait until Fall to do the actual moving of the new plants, and be sure and follow the instructions on preparation of the hole and soil. We also found a website from your own state, University of Missouri Extension Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons that should give you more useful information. 


Rhododendron albiflorum

 


 

More Propagation Questions

Division of impatiens grown in a pot
December 08, 2007 - I have an impatient and it is growing out of the pot. I was wondering if it were possible to divide it somehow and have two medium size plants.
view the full question and answer

How can I propagate wax myrtle by soft-wood or semi-hardwood cuttings?
February 24, 2009 - Mr. Smartypants, I would like to propagate wax myrtle from mature plants I have growing in my yard here in Houston. I've read on the wildflower website to use "softwood" or "semi-hardwood" c...
view the full question and answer

Do Fleming yaupons make pollen
November 09, 2010 - I have been told that all Will Fleming yaupons are male and can serve as effective pollinators for female yaupons (the females I have are Pride of Houston variety). Is this true? Also, can dwarf yau...
view the full question and answer

Pink lady slipper orchids in Maine
May 24, 2009 - Hi, I have moved to Maine from Virginia--it's a new world of plants!!Exciting!! I have found 2 pink lady slippers on our property. What can I do to encourage them to multiply? I know some wild flowe...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming or fruiting Oregon grape holly in Elmhurst IL
May 14, 2010 - I have an Oregon grape holly bush that has never bloomed and has never had fruit. I have had the bush for at least 6 years, it is approximately 5 ft tall. Have had no problems, just no flowers/fruit....
view the full question and answer

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