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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

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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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!

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Wednesday - September 15, 2010

From: Crown Point, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Move Roses or Ornamental Grasses in Crown Point, Indiana
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus

QUESTION:

I have two ornamental grasses that grew real wide this year. They are blocking three big knock out roses that are four foot tall and four foot wide. My question is which one would be easier to dig up and plant some where else and when should I do this. Thanks

ANSWER:

Since neither of your plants seem to be natives, I'm not supposed to know how to help you.  But ornamental grasses probably act pretty much like natives and get pretty dead and ratty looking by the end of winter.  So I'll give you a quick answer.  Wait until mid-April, then take duct tape and wrap it around your grass stems, about a foot above the ground.  Then take hedge clippers and cut just below the tape. 

Now you are ready to dig up the grass.  You can divide the clump into at least three or four pieces- just cut carefully straight down - and replant in a better place. 

And this is the best time to plant/transplant roses and also to prune them if you didn't to so in the fall, so just pick the plant you like best and move the other one.  Pruning the roses back first will make moving them easier as well. 

 

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