when would be the best time to transplant Miss Huff lantana?

lavendargrrl(7b Apex, NC)October 17, 2005

While I love my Miss Huff lantana, it has grown much larger than any other lantana I've grown in the past. None of the other that I grew before was hardy, either. Maybe that has something to do with it.

I planted 4 MH in a bed near the street, and it's grown really tall and also pretty much choked out everything else in the bed. It looks like a huge shrub at this point.

I would like to move Miss Huff to a more appropriate location in my yard. When is the best time to do that?



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Thanks Angie...you took the words right out of my mouth. I have three large ones in big pots that I want to transplant to grow in front of azaleas to kind of hid them in the summer and have been going back and forth as to whether to transplant them now or in the spring. Adele

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 9:14PM
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Y'all can wait for the experts to chime in, but I would think now would be an ideal time. The plants will not be stressed, but will have enough time to establish their root systems before we have a hard frost. I think lantana is a late one to come back to life after winter too, so that may be another reason to do it now. Ais or Jeff may have some ideas on this too.

Adele, if yours are in pots, I would definitely put them out b/c they will not experience any trauma to their roots like a transplant would. Why wait?

I'm going to transplant/move a large peegee hydrangea in a couple of weeks. It was the consensus here that late fall would be the ideal time.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 9:59PM
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Best to escort Miss Huff to her new location in spring. Treat her like a tender perennial, best planted in spring to get a running jump on overwintering.

Although, Adele, your potted lantanas may be happier in the ground at this point. Have you had success with overwintering them in pots? I've got one in a large pot next to the house that I'll try as an experiment this year.

The recommdation is, like tender salvias, to Not cut Miss Huff all the way back to the ground until spring, avoids rotting. Comes up late, too, so don't think she's gone until May warmth.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 10:04PM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

yes! an expert weighs in!
i've been doing the hem/haw on
moving 3 little Miss Huffs i
put in the ground in august.
thanks much, phylla

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 10:41PM
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aisgecko(7b Raleigh)

I tend to agree with Phylla. Spring seems a better time because they are tender and it's a little late. I am not an expert, just going by observations. But the fall gives them less time to get their roots in and some tenders do better in Spring when they have all summer to get settled. Not to say you can't do it, but there may be less risk in Spring. -Ais.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 10:45PM
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Now see Puppyscruff's post, so perhaps elaborate a bit: Lantana is tropical, Miss Huff is a particular plant that overwintered originally in Georgia, in the garden of her namesake. Thus proving herself, she got propagated and sent into horticultural trade.

She's the exception to the rule with lantanas, and is now counted as tender perennial. Those plants need to have well-established root systems in order to survive a zone 7 winter, so are best planted in spring. As much of a beast as Miss Huff looks even after a season of growth, she still isn't your normal shrub happy to be planted in fall.

I don't doubt that lantana may be able to adapt, though,(it's a noxious weed in warmer climes) especially in a warmer winter here.

Angie: Since you have four plants; I'd transplant one as an experiment, and leave the other three til spring.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 11:02PM
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lavendargrrl(7b Apex, NC)

I had heard not to cut them back until spring to avoid rot. And....I kind of thought spring would be the best time to move also. But, if they may not show new growth until May, can I go ahead and move them well before May in the spring?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 11:05PM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

the little miss huffs i planted in august were cuttings
i'd taken from mama huff ... i called the unnamed retail merchant for advice and they said to get them in the ground right away so they had a chance to establish before cold weather. so, the advice to wait for spring in this area, is making sense.

claire, i did not know you had a miss huff! all those lanidiot posts and no mention of it :) by the way, she's *not invasive* haha

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 11:11PM
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Phylla, My second guessing brought me to the same conclusion. Warm weather plant...seems to do best with a season's growth under its belt. My worry is because mine are in pots they will not over-winter. They are in large pots. I am neither here nor there yet...as to what to do with them. ugh... Adele

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 11:14PM
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aisgecko(7b Raleigh)

Adelle, if they are in pots I would put them in the ground or bring them in a garage or crawlspace, even if you just bury the pots. I would give them lots of mulch. -ais.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 11:58PM
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I was just talking 'through my hat'...not thinking that Miss Huff is tender, assuming she is tough and hardy, being known as one of few perennial lantanas for 7.

I did have a confusing horror story about Miss Huff that Phylla's comments have now illuminated for me. I did absolutely everything wrong and the result was as expected.

thank you, Phylla, for your informed opinions and for this late, but not too late, little lantidiot seminar!!!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 12:04AM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

i might experiment with one of the baby huffs and move it, just to see what happens. look for this thread to re-surface in late may with the good/bad/ugly results.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 8:51AM
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aisgecko(7b Raleigh)

I guess I should give my experiences as example. I HAVE planted a Miss Huff in the fall and had it come back just fine. It was not quite this late though and in a slightly sheltered location. I had some other fall planted lantanas that were supposedly hardy here that did not return. I think they were not as hardy as advertised, though possibly they would have survived if spring planted. So they MIGHT survive but I think Spring would be safer.
As to moving them in the Spring I think you can do it before the new growth shows, assuming that you know where she is.

Now perhaps Phylla can separate the fact from myth regarding when to cut them back. I have heard that they have hollow stems and can fill with water and freeze thus lowering their chances of survival. Others have said this is completely false and you should cut them back in the fall like any other perennial. Now Angie says she heard not to cut them because they rot. I'll tell you what I do. I am not a neat tidy gardener that trims everything the second it looks scruffy. Mostly I just leave things until they are completely dead and then whenever I get around to it I trim them. My practice with the lantanas is to wait until they are completely dead and then (usually on an unseasonably warm winter day) snap off all the dead branches to a few inches off the ground. I have not lost one to this method yet (knock on wood) but I don't know if it's luck or I'm doing the right thing. I just get sick of looking at the dead branches. -Ais.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 8:55AM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

i call the dead stem structure "winter interest" and leave
them till i see the new growth pop up in the spring. in my miss huff readings, i kept seeing instructions to leave the old stems till new growth emerges, particularly in the northern reaches of their zone. i've seen the same instructions for other plants, but i'll have to get back to this once they come to mind.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 9:13AM
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I think Ais' advice right on the moolah....The Miss Huff I know best is a large, very established one. She could take a whack back by half (4') and overwinter fine. Think Like A Plant. If it's a well established plant, the better half of itself is well-esconced in the Earth, so it can take some cutting back.

For a new/spring planted lantana, going on to overwintering, best to be more judicious. Give it the grace of a year or two. Visualize all the pieces of roots! (Wiseass mode)

I'll have to add, the big Miss Huff I am aquainted with made a couple of seeds this year. Uh-Oh. We'll see about this non-invasive thang.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 10:07PM
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I just reported Miss Huff to iVillage for advertising violations! She is a ubiquitous old broad both here and in some gardens. But a pretty one, I must admit.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 9:41AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

So, the consensus is that Miss Huff can take a bit of shaping right now and then serious pruning back in the spring?
Mine has had to grow through all sorts of other plants in a bed so her branches are long and spindly and need cutting. Won't any gentle shaping now give the plant enough time to heal the cuts before a hard frost?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 8:12PM
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aisgecko(7b Raleigh)

I may be wrong, but I don't see how "shaping" now would have any effect on it's growth next year. They die back to the ground and grow up from the roots. I think you would do better to pinch back spring growth if you want it bushier and more compact. This may delay blooms, but not substantially if you do it early. That said I doubt a little pruning now would hurt it except to reduce the blooms you have now. -Ais.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 8:46PM
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Ais, you are absolutely right. To clarify a bit if needed: I can see the room for confusion, Dottie.
"Shaping"would be for shrubs whose new spring growth occurs on wood that remains alive above ground in winter, and then resumes growth in spring. Miss Huff lantana entirely dies back with winter. The cutback talked about here is mostly cosmetic "Don't want to look at ugly dead branches all winter" The point of contention is whether it will hurt Miss Huff to cut her dead winter self back All the Way to ensure winter survival. The reason being: if you cut back some plants all the way in fall, cold winter water can get into the crown of the plant through the cutback stems and injure the plant enough to kill it.

What you are thinking of as "shaping" is really an in-between cosmetic solution. For a mature, established plant,say, a 4' Miss Huff, cut the dead growth back by half if you can't stand the dead look. That should give it enough protection from the aforementioned winter rot problem, and the plant will look more tidy,

Miss Huff will resprout from the ground in spring.

I hope this wasn't too repetative, but seemed to be some question about alla this again. Is it mo' betta clear now?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 11:18PM
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inthegarden_k(z7 NC)

i moved a miss huff in the spring as soon as i saw new growth (which was also when i cut off last year's remaining dead branches). she was very happy from the get go, and just as large as the previous year.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 1:32PM
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pfmastin(8 N. Carolina)

For all you Miss Huff fans (I include myself on that list) .....I've noticed the past two springs that there are many praying mantis egg cases on the old growth we leave standing where I volunteer at my ag center. When I did the cleanup/cutting back on ours, I inadvertantly brought home an egg case in my car with some stems that I was too lazy to walk to the trash pile. I discovered them the following morning after the car had warmed from the sun....tons of tiny, miniature praying mantises.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 8:29PM
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