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
4 ratings

Friday - August 10, 2007

From: Laurel, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of century plants from "pups"
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I have two small century plants...about 10 inches tall...they are "pups" from an older one. one of them has three or four very small roots and the other looks like it was pulled up out of the ground and it has no roots on it. if i plant them in good soil in my yard and take good care of them, will they prosper?


Century plants (Agave ssp.) are usually propagated from pups produced by vegetative reproduction. Mr. Smarty Plants would recommend the following. Place the pups in a container with a mixture of sand and vermiculite, about a 2:1 ratio. Keep the sand moist, but not too wet, and give the pups 3 to 4 weeks to develop sturdy roots. You can check on their progress by gently removing them from the sand mixture after about 2 weeks. (Be patient and don't check too often). After the roots are developed, you can place the plants into well-drained soil in your yard or garden. If the parent plant is prospering in your yard, the pups should also do well.

Check out this website for additional information about century plants.



More Propagation Questions

Seed collection from rain lilies
May 14, 2008 - Hello, I have some rain lilies growing in our yard. I've collected some seed heads, but am not sure what steps to take now. They were all off of broken stems (the dogs are not as cautious as I am...
view the full question and answer

Overwintering Newly Rooted Hydrangea
September 05, 2013 - I am in the process of rooting a hydrangea shoot in a pot, should I bring this inside to winter? I thought burying the whole clay pot to winter outside, is this feasible? I'm in zone 6b. What would b...
view the full question and answer

Restoring and propagating rhododendrons
October 18, 2006 - I have 70+ year old native rhododendrons (16+ feet high) in my backyard. After all these years they are beginning to get dammaged by snow load and ice. Therefore I have 2 quesitons concerning these b...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Turks Cap, when and how
September 10, 2007 - Mr. Smarty Pants - We have an enormous healthy Turk's Cap - not the lily, but the one with red flowers(Malvaviscus arboreus v. drummondii) It has also produced a new plant nearby. Please tell us how...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Century Plant in St. Petersburg FL
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