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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - October 11, 2010

From: Springfield, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Moving a volunteer holly from Springfield IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When would be the very best time to move a volunteer holly? I would say it is 3 years old, it stands about 5 feet tall, shaped like a very nice tree and it keeps its leaves. Thank you. Karen

ANSWER:

There are 13 members of the genus Ilex (holly) native to North America, and 4 native to Illinois. We determined that Sangamon County, in Central Illinois, is in USDA Hardiness Zone 5b. We like to start by trying to determine which holly you might be referring to.

We first looked at Ilex opaca (American holly) , which is shown in this USDA Plant Profile as being native only to one county in southwest Illinois. This could be out-of-date information or might be a reflection of the soils. The next one we considered was Ilex verticillata (Common winterberry), but this USDA Plant Profile still does not show it growing near you. So, we are going to assume that if it was a volunteer, it will grow there, and just give you some transplanting information.

This article from Sandy's Garden, Moving a Holly Bush gives the information probably much more clearly than we could. If your soil freezes in the Winter, we would definitely recommend that you do your transplanting in the early Spring, as the soil begins to warm. Whatever you do, prepare the hole for the rootball in advance, making it larger than the rootball and working in compost for drainage.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ilex opaca


Ilex verticillata

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Desert willows not doing well in Navarro County, TX
May 16, 2009 - Planted 3 new desert willows , 3-4 ft.in February. Live in East Navarro County and soil is clay with slight slope to Richland Chambers lake area. Had a wet spring. These plantings appear not doing we...
view the full question and answer

Saving or transplanting stand of white trillium that has lost shade
May 29, 2006 - We have a generous stand of white trillium that has been under the shade of a white oak for many years. Now the 100+ year old oak has died and the trilliums are in the sun. Are we in danger of losin...
view the full question and answer

Removing leaves before transplanting from Miami
August 27, 2009 - What is good idea to remove some leaves before transplanting a plant??
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

Soaptree yucca falling over in Mesa AZ
July 24, 2013 - My soaptree yucca is about 5 ft tall and has fallen over. Does this plant require staking for I thought not, or is something else going on with it?
view the full question and answer

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