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?


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

Tuesday - June 23, 2009

From: Rio Rancho, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Dividing and planting Yucca and pups in New Mexico
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe


I bought a Yucca plant and had 7 plants in one planter 1 large and 6 small. We wanted to split up the plants so we carefully separated them and planted them. My soil is very sandy (Rio Rancho) but I put mushroom compost and plant food of coarse the dirt it came with. What else could I do so I do not lose my yuccas.


Not all yuccas propagate from offshoots, or pups, that branch out from the main root, but those that do tend to be easy to divide and grow. We've had a number of previous questions on care and propagation of various types of yuccas, so here are pointers to some previous answers.

Starting Yucca from pups....

Proper spacing for planting yuccas...

Fertilization of recently transplanted yucca...

You can search our Mr. Smarty Plants library of previous questions. Just type 'yucca' into the keyword box. For more information about the varieties of yucca native to your area, go to the Native Plant Database, enter yucca in the search box. Then use the 'Narrow my Search' function on the right to select New Mexico.

From the description of your process, you've done the basics. In the coarse, sandy soil you describe and in New Mexico's intense sun, overwatering and poor drainage are unlikely to be a problem. Don't overdo the fertilization – these plants are conditioned for the sparse resources of a desert region.


More Planting Questions

Trees safe near walls from Rio Grande City
March 24, 2012 - What trees can be planted near the house that the roots won't break my walls?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for planter in Sherman Oaks CA
November 11, 2010 - We have a large cinder block planter, 6ftx6ftx6ft,in the back of our building and would love to find a good evergreen accent tree (but not pine like). Planter is near a building so preferable it shoul...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting hackberry trees in Texas
September 17, 2008 - I live N of Ft Worth,Tx is there a trick to digging up & transplanting hackberry trees?
view the full question and answer

Adjustments to soil level change around tree from Austin
May 29, 2014 - I am moving in to a new construction home in south Austin, builder has leveled the ground and sodded the front yard, I have a post oak in the front and because of the changes to the landscape the tree...
view the full question and answer

Reseeding a dead lawn in Wimberley TX
February 07, 2012 - Our new house had a sodded lawn that now appears dead. There remains a layer of sandy soil as a part of the sodding process. Is there a way to reseed these existing slabs of sod and what process wo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center