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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - July 01, 2010

From: Alloway, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Planting, Wildflowers
Title: Digging up and transplanting wild plants in Alloway NJ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I saw some wild growing black eyed susans in a passing field so I dug some up this weekend and planted them in my garden now they look like they are dying. Do you think they will come back next year ? Or maybe the whole plant is now dead.

ANSWER:

Okay, three mistakes:

(1) First mistake, you dug up and removed plants from a property that was not yours and (we assume) you did not get permission from the landowner to do so. Those plants may have been planted by the highway department to beautify the area or by the landowner for the same reason.

(2) If these had been endangered plants, removing them from their habitat could have been the last straw in the extinction of a species.

(3) Digging up and moving a whole plant, in bloom, in summer, without special precautions, not only means the plant is dead, but it has lost the opportunity to set seeds for next year. 

 

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