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
1 rating

Monday - May 18, 2009

From: Stony Plain, AB
Region: Canada
Topic: Propagation
Title: Starting yucca from pups in Alberta, Canada
Answered by: Nina Hawkins


What is the procedure to start a new plant from the Yucca "pups?" Heavy wet snow damaged much of my yucca plant the winter before last and last summer it produced 3 of these new little ones but the original plant does not look very good, even though it is trying to send up new leaves from the top of the plant. This plant is 5-6 years in the same spot in the garden and the heavy snow was the only damage it had in all that time. Soil is sandy and the area get lots of sun throughout the day. I would be grateful for any advice you could give me as it is one of my favorite plants.


As you have discovered, yuccas and other agaves produce new smaller plants around their base after blooming or other stress, such as your heavy snow.  All you need do is remove the pups from the mother plant using a trowel or knife and put them in smaller pots with the same kind of soil mixture that your original yucca plant has been thriving in.  Keep them watered, but let the soil dry a bit between waterings so they don't rot.  These pups can have very long roots that connect them to the mother plant, but you can break them off to about the same length as the height of the plant or whatever will fit in your new pot.  Even if you think you have lost too much of the root, pot it up anyway and see what happens.  Yuccas are very hardy and forgiving plants!

 Yucca glauca (soapweed yucca)

Yucca glauca

More Propagation Questions

Separate pups on Manfreda variegata in Tucson
July 20, 2009 - Can you tell me the best way to separate pups on a Manfreda variegata? The first ones we tried were very close to the main plant. Your help is appreciated.
view the full question and answer

200 year old white oak with no acorns in Oregon City OR
April 26, 2010 - We have a white oak tree in our yard that is about 200 yrs old. We have lived in the house for 30+ years, and have never seen an acorn. We have had it pruned by an arborist, who said it is in good...
view the full question and answer

Propagating plant cuttings in cut potato from Columbia MO
June 26, 2012 - Hello. I belong to a garden group and one of the members posted a "tip" she found in an early 2000 garden magazine. I wanted to see if there was any truth to the tip? Basically the tip was to use...
view the full question and answer

Planting Artemisia Cuttings in Texas
September 29, 2014 - I've rooted a number of artemisia plants in water and have transplanted them to pots. They grow so very well in our dry drought-stricken soil and need very little water. I'd like to transition these...
view the full question and answer

Need some information about wild native grapes in Gatlinburg, TN.
August 13, 2010 - We have some wild grapevines growing on a southern exposure eroded bank. They are providing assistance in reducing erosion with rapid growth. Do these plants develop ground contact as they grow? In...
view the full question and answer

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