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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - July 08, 2008

From: Pittsburgh, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting a Century Plant in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When is the best time to transplant a Century Plant?

ANSWER:

You have a century plant in Pennsylvania? Wow! We have nine different members of the Agave genus that are also called "century plant." They are all native to places like Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. Not Pennsylvania. Do you treat it as a house plant? The most important property of an agave you are considering transplanting is its size. Here is a good website from Phoenix Home and Garden on Transplanting Agaves. This article is discussing transplanting the "pups" or offshoots from a century plant. Moving a full-grown agave, with its considerable armor and weapons, would require asking for volunteers for a suicide mission. And the agave might not survive either. If you have been growing your agave in a pot and just need to move to a larger pot, the same rules would apply. Try to damage the roots as little as possible, and put into a special cactus and succulent mix soil. We found no recommendations for a time of year to be planting the agaves, but if you are, indeed, using it as an indoor or greenhouse plant, probably summer would be as good a time as any. Remember, these are plants that are accustomed to nearly year-round heat and dryness, in the desert Southwest.

 

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