En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - February 26, 2014

From: Nottingham, England
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Damage to Yucca rostrata from Nottingham, England
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hi, I have a yucca rostrata which has had its head snapped off in high winds (we live in Nottingham, England) we have left the trunk in the ground, will this re grow?? What is the best thing to do with the head? can we re plant this? If so, how? The tree is 3 metres in height including the head.


Because we could not find Yucca rostrata in our Native Plant Database, we hunted by that name on the Internet and found this from San Marcos (Texas) Growers. Several other references mentioned this as native to Texas, which ordinarily would mean that it would be in our Native Plant Database.

All of which is neither here nor there, because the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, in Austin TX, is committed to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. The administrators of our database are usually very careful that no non-native plants get into the database, so we can't even send you our plant information on your plant. What we can tell you for sure, is that there is NO yucca native to England. Yuccas are desert plants, used to growing in harsh, alkaline soils in blazing sun with little rain. If yours fell over, it may have been more as a result of surprise at being in such a lush, rainy climate than that of high winds.

Since it doesn't appear to be native to North America, and we know it's not native to England, the best we can do is refer you to the link to a Central Texas grower (San Marcos (Texas) Growers) that we gave you above. They have a very good article on the care of the plant.  We will say that if the stalk broken was a flowering stalk, no, it will not grow back, but neither will the plant die, as happens when the flowering stalks of some agaves are broken or cut off. We suggest you trim off the broken stalk and give the plant a chance to decide if it is going to live or die. And if it recovers, it will put up more bloom stalks.

Also, since we obviously cannot help you, we found a Q&A on yuccas in England from BBC Lancashire. From a company called Tropical Britain, we found this order form for Yucca rostrata, so you know we believe you when you say you have one, we just don't know how to answer your question.


More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Problems on Prickly Pear Cactus in Illinois
November 19, 2014 - I have a fungus on my prickly pear cactus that is not a bug. I tested it and my fingers didn't turn red when I squeezed them. So how do I get rid of this as it is spreading to my other cacti?
view the full question and answer

Large agave (century plant) flower stalk
June 17, 2008 - HI.I live in Blythe, Ca. and have a GIANT of an agave in my back yard. It is now over 40'high and is blooming. I first noticed the stock growing at Easter when it was about 12' high. It is now t...
view the full question and answer

Obtaining Agave parryi in Cherryville NC
May 11, 2011 - I live in western North Carolina and I had a friend that had a Agave parryi that bloomed about 1 year ago and of course it died. Since i saw the beautiful agave I have wanted one, but no one in my are...
view the full question and answer

Preserving century plant bloom stalk from Sedona AZ
December 16, 2012 - I have the flower stalk from a century plant which I am using as a Christmas tree. Can you advise me as to what I should do to preserve it for future use? Should it be kept indoors or outdoors. Pro...
view the full question and answer

Plants for hanging flower boxes from Austin
July 27, 2013 - I have two long flower boxes 17" x 15" x 25 feet long one on the north side of the apt and one on the south made of metal suspended about four feet from the ground. One will get the morning sun and ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center