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 Cacti and Succulents Questions

Getting rid of Adams needle (Yucca filamentosa)
June 24, 2009 - My friend is changing her flower beds around and is wanting to eliminate an Adam's needle that has been there for several years. She has already dug it up and now is trying to get rid of all the new...
view the full question and answer

Sun loving plants for flower bed by the pool in Weatherford Texas
October 03, 2011 - We have a 40' long x 2 1/2' wide flowerbed along our pool. It is in full sun with the pool deck across the front and a 6' privacy fence across back. Also, the level of the bed is 18" below the l...
view the full question and answer

Black bugs on yucca from Aledo TX
April 14, 2013 - We have flowering yuccas that have thousands of small black bugs that seem to be hurting the plant. They are not on any other foliage in our beds. What do I use to get rid of them??
view the full question and answer

Starting yucca from seed from Austin
December 24, 2012 - I would like to start a soft leaf yucca recurvifolia from seed. Is that possible? Also, I've looked for seed on dried flower stalks, and I'm not sure that what I'm finding is the seed, and I ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting young Nolina texana plants
August 05, 2011 - Mr. SP, I am looking for information relating to transplanting some young Nolina texana. Esp. the best time of the year and whether to replant directly in the ground or .. Thanks,
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center