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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - December 16, 2007

From: Rockledge, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Dying cactus plants
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Two large cactus plants on the grounds of our condominium complex have begun to turn yellow and appear to be dying. A "staple" of our landscaping, this is the first year that they have developed this appearance. Over ten years old, they are between four and six feet tall, and we'd hate to lose them. Is this just a natural part of their aging process or, if they are dying, what do we need to do to save them?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is going to need some more information before he can really help you.  There are lots of different kinds of cactus and some people call plants that aren't really in the Family Cactaceae (Cactus Family), such as some of the yuccas and agave plants, cactus also.  So, if you happen know its botanical name, or even its common name, that would be helpful.  Better yet, if you could send us a picture we could get a better idea of what might be going on with your cactus.  To send us a photo, please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page and read the instructions under "Plant Identification" in the lower right corner.
 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Spanish Dagger plant interfering with walkway in Ingram TX
April 09, 2010 - I have a Spanish Dagger that is now 8 feet tall and about to fall over in a walkway. Due to the danger of these very sharp tips I need to either cut down the plant or try to root in and replant. If ...
view the full question and answer

Are Agave Seed Pods Poisonous
September 27, 2010 - Are the seed pods, found in clusters, hanging from century plants(agave) poisonous to kids or dogs? They are large, light green, and shaped like fat bananas.
view the full question and answer

Replacements for photinia from San Antonio
August 31, 2012 - i just read your response to someone regarding Red Tip shrubs. You just saved me thousands of dollars ! I was getting ready to order over 250 of these to line my 2.5 acre fence line. What shrub would ...
view the full question and answer

Taking down a Century Plant blooming stalk from Fair Oaks Branch TX
August 09, 2013 - Our century cactus looks like it's in the final stages of blooming and I read on your site that the original plant dies. Can we go ahead and cut down the tall blooms?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Strawberry Hedgehog cactus from Temple TX
June 03, 2012 - I had purchased a Strawberry hedgehog Cactus (echinocereus stramineus) a few years ago from the Wildflower Center's annual plant sale and planted it then. It has now started to brown from bottom to t...
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