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

Tuesday - May 30, 2006

From: Goldsboro, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting an immature Sweet Bay Magnolia
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Pants: I just found what I think is a Magnolia Sweet Bay growing wild next to an oak and a pine tree in my back wooded yard. It has blooms on it and is about 2 feet tall. There are two of them next to each other. In your opinion, how do you think it would do if I replanted it to my front yard (no other tree next to it). I live in Raleigh area, NC. How should I replant it and how should I care for it?

ANSWER:

Though an adult Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) might be risky to move, one that's only two feet tall should present few problems. Transplanting should be done in the fall, but you should root prune now by digging down in a circle around the tree to just beyond the extent of the leaves in order to sever the more far-flung roots and circumscribe your root ball. Transplanting should be done in the morning before high temperatures have stressed the plant, and the leaves should be pruned back by half to reduce transpiration. Make sure and have the new hole dug before you remove the tree from its old hole, so that the roots aren't exposed to the air too long. Until it becomes established, regular watering will be required, but such a young plant should adjust easily to its new site with little additional care, provided it's in appropriate soil. See our Growing Conditions page for more information.

 

More Propagation Questions

Care of recently propagated Century Plant from Litchfield Park AZ
April 24, 2011 - To germinate some century plant seeds I put them in dirt and put the pot in a tray of water. Now, I have 3 sprouts about an inch tall and they came up about an inch apart. Question is, how should I w...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Passiflora lutea by seed
July 11, 2007 - How long does it take to germinate yellow passionflower vine seeds? Where can a vine or seeds be purchased? What would they cost?
view the full question and answer

Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) frost tolerance, making cuttings
October 08, 2007 - Dear Madam or Sir, It would be very kind, if you could answer my questions about the “Thuja Plicata atrovirens” alias “Western Red Cedar”. I need the information because a good friend of mine ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting or seeding Indian paintbrush in Bend OR
July 21, 2009 - I would like to know whether I can transplant native Indian paintbrush plants into my landscaping, or do I need to try and grow them from seed?
view the full question and answer

Starting Venus Flytrap From Seed
September 05, 2013 - I am a high school student doing a project on the Venus flytrap and would like you to help me by answering the following questions: What are the Venus flytrap predators and prey? How to raise a Venus ...
view the full question and answer

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