En Español

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
2 ratings

Wednesday - June 06, 2007

From: Wilmington, NC
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Care for century plant
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the best way to care for a Century Plant? We were given one as a gift and don't know what to do with it.

ANSWER:

Agave americana (American century plant) does well in sandy, medium, or clay Loam or in rocky soil. It is best used in mass or as focal point. It benefits from some extra moisture in very dry conditions, but is very tolerant of heat and xeric conditions. Takes light shade better than some other agaves. Protect from teen winter temperatures to avoid damage. Keep mature width of plant in mind when placing in the landscape to avoid sharp leaf tip spines. While it is small enough, it may be kept in a pot to make it easiesr to protect from low temperatures. In spite of the name, it will mature and flower in about 8 to 10 years. Although the mature plants dies after flowering, it will put out offshoots or "pups" which may be planted to propagate the plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


American century plant
Agave americana

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

When may I remove seed heads from yuccas?
June 07, 2010 - Soft tip yuccas dominate my home's landscape. When is the best time to remove the heavy seed heads after flowering? In addition to being difficult to work around, the pods seem to attract infestatio...
view the full question and answer

Non-native hylocereus undatus for Austin
February 24, 2012 - Can we plant Hylocereus (Dragon Fruit) here in Austin, TX? We are going to have a large xeriscape bed and want to know what all we can put in it. We are new to Texas so we have no clue what grows here...
view the full question and answer

Nightflowering plants native to Northern Illinois
October 12, 2010 - Looking for any/all info on night flowering plants that are native to Northern Illinois.
view the full question and answer

Container plants for Yakima WA
May 11, 2013 - My condo complex has purchased large, pottery pots for around our pool. I need to choose low maintenance plants. hopefully something that takes limited water, etc.
view the full question and answer

Branches of yucca being blown down in Torrance CA
August 19, 2010 - I have a Yucca tree about 30 ft tall. Lately when the wind picks up in Torrance we have had about 3 branches fall out of the tree. Can you help me with this. I don't want to cut all of the branches...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center