General Reintroduction/Outplanting Guidelines For Rare Plants (A Brief Summary)

(from Hawaii Rare Plant Restoration Group – HRPRG-Mar 2000 document)


      • Outplanting rare species must be done with care & attention to detail; DOCUMENT with strategy/plan

      • There must be COORDINATION between propagator, landowner, and project manager

      • PLAN for individual species before planting

      • LABEL all plants

      • TRACK reintroduction sites and individual plants with GIS information/detailed maps

      • MONITOR plants and site regularly – before and after outplanting


BEFORE OUTPLANTING - Considerations/issues to consider for your project

  1. Types of outplanting –which is best for your rare plant species?

    1. Reintroduction within historical range

      1. Can/should you maintain population integrity? Is this an issue at your site?

      2. Is habitat of your source population similar to your chosen site?

    2. Augmentation/addition of plants into existing wild populations

      1. Could it harm existing wild populations?

      2. Decision to augment will be case by case basis

    3. Introduction to site outside known historic range

      1. Is this legal?

      2. Is the habitat appropriate?

      3. Will species suffer loss of genetic diversity due to distance from other populations?

  2. Will you need state/federal permits for project?

  3. Site selection – consider historical/present range of each species, is your site appropriate for each species or do you need planting multiple sites? Any access issues with selected site (easy to access via roads/trails? Helicopter access only? Permission needed to cross private/public lands?)

  4. Address threats (weeds, ungulates, human impacts) at site with strategy/plan for their management

  1. Site Preparation

    1. Enclosure needed? Plan for weeding within exclosure and fence maintenance

    2. Minimize possible pathogen transport to site via boots, equipment, etc.

    3. Plan for appropriate outplanting season – beginning of rainy season usually best

    4. Soil type appropriate for species? Soil test needed? Soil prep needed?

    5. Coordinate with propagators/greenhouse – adjustment of fertilizer/pesticide schedules

    6. Watering needed? System/plan in place for plant establishment?

  1. Genetic Issues

    1. Leave easy-to-follow paper trail back to source plant

    2. Make sure outplanting represents sufficient amount of genetic composition of species

    3. Avoid multiple generational greenhouse plants if possible – unnatural selection

    4. Known pollination biology? Self-pollinator? Outcrossing needed? Dioecious species?

    5. Do you want to mix separate populations of species or maintain distinct populations?

    6. Outplanting propagule collections from multiple years, good or bad?

  2. Map, in detail, outplanting site with GIS and/or drawings -

PLANTING -Issues to consider

    1. Sanitation – Coordinate with propagator/greenhouse (treat soil and plant before planting)

    2. Transporting plants to site– sun/wind protection needed? Pots must be stable in transport

    3. Planting – Review techniques with individuals planting; Fertilize? Mulching? Watering?

POST PLANTING -Issues to consider

  1. Monitor regularly for pests, threats, survival, seed production, recruitment

  2. Maintenance and Management- Watering/pesticides needed? Weeding, slug/insect control, fence maintenance needed? All these decision are dependent upon consistent monitoring

  3. Review/Update planning documents – What were your goals? Document successes, failures, changes made

  4. Share knowledge gained with other rare plant project managers