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?

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
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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - January 26, 2009

From: Sarasota, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Transplants, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Fertilization of recently-transplanted yucca
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted a soft tip yucca a week ago, the spineless type. I was doing a landscaping job, it was dug up, left for a week without any dirt around the roots, and when the customer did not want it, I planted it in my yard. It has shown absolutely no signs of stress in the leaves despite the long uprooting, and I do not know if I should fertilize it or not. It has been transplanted for two weeks now.

ANSWER:

USDA Plant Profile Yucca recurvifolia shows it appearing in the Southeastern states but not Florida. It is referred to by other sources as spineless yucca, but on the USDA site the common name given it is curve-leaf yucca. It does not appear in our Native Plant Database, but the USDA site refers to it as native to North America.

Another plant, Yucca elephantipes has common names of both soft-tip yucca and spineless yucca, according to this USDA Forest Service Service website. It is referred to as non-native to North America, but is shown on their map as growing in Florida. 

And the plant you are referring to may be yet another species. Common names are often confusing and conflicting, one of the very good reasons why we try to use scientific names as much as possible. However, it probably isn't too important, as yuccas in general have pretty tough roots and are accustomed to survival under much more difficult circumstances than being out of the ground for a week. It can propagate itself from small pieces of root, and throws off pups to spread itself. The most important factor for a yucca is very good drainage. It cannot tolerate roots standing in water. If it would make you feel better to give it a little fertilizer, it won't hurt anything. Just don't overwater and don't let water stand on it. It would be preferable, in fact, to avoid overhead watering at all, but will be all right if the soil will drain. 

Pictures of Yucca recurvifolia

Pictures of Yucca elephantipes.

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Failure to bud out of nuttall oak in Albany GA
April 26, 2010 - We planted a nutall oak in the fall of 09. It seemed to fare well during the winter. It is now spring and all of our other trees are budding out. The limbs are flexible. Not breaking off easily like t...
view the full question and answer

Removing leaves before transplanting from Miami
August 27, 2009 - What is good idea to remove some leaves before transplanting a plant??
view the full question and answer

Non-native Norfolk Pine suffering in Corpus Christi TX
August 02, 2011 - About ten yrs. ago I transplanted my Norfolk Pine into the ground in my backyard. With all the frosty weather of 2010/2011 the Spring brought a browning/dying of a lot of the Norfolk Pines in this are...
view the full question and answer

Flaming sumacs in trouble in Wimberley TX
August 31, 2010 - I planted three flaming sumacs last fall and all leafed out this spring. Then, early this month all the leaves turned brown on one and it appears to have died. Today I noticed that a second one is d...
view the full question and answer

Problem with Arizona Ash in Leander TX
March 10, 2011 - What would make my otherwise healthy Arizona Ash tree, that was doing so well last year, only bud out on just one side?
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center