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?


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

Tuesday - July 08, 2008

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


When is the best time to transplant a Century Plant?


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.


More Propagation Questions

Propagation of Mexican buckeye from seeds in San Antonio
October 02, 2009 - I recently collected seeds from a Mexican buckeye. Is it best to plant them now or wait until spring? Do they need to be scarified?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Mexican bonebract in Floresville, TX
November 12, 2008 - My kids and I finally identified a small plant that we found growing in our pasture. There was only one and it is lovely. It is the Mexican Bonebract. What I am interested in finding out is how to tra...
view the full question and answer

Flowers for Fall in Bosque County from Valley Mills TX
April 06, 2012 - What Wildflowers could we plant in Bosque County area to bloom in the Fall?
view the full question and answer

Nutlet on rudbekia plants from Quincy IL
September 21, 2009 - On rudbeckia plants, what is a nutlet?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on potted plants
May 23, 2005 - How do you know when it is time to transfer a potted plant to a bigger pot? Everytime I do this my plant dies.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center