Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 20, 2009

From: Tucson, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Separate pups on Manfreda variegata in Tucson
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

At first glance, our thought was to give you the standard instructions for transplanting an Agave, because the Manfreda variegata (mottled tuberose) is a member of the Agave family. From a previous answer by Mr. Smarty Plants, here are those instructions:

"Agaves produce new smaller plants around their base. 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 plant has been thriving in.  If you don't know what the original is growing in, nurseries carry "cactus mix" potting soil which is grittier and more like the desert ground the plants are used to. 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.  Agaves are very hardy and forgiving plants!"

However, we noted that the Manfreda variegata is also considered a tuberose, so we did a little research along those lines. From this rather technical website Flora of North America, we learned that the rhizomes (underground stems) were "globose" as in fatter than the usual stem. We also found tuberose information on this Pacific Bulb Society site, saying that the tuberose was herbaceous and bulbous. Then we went to Easy To Grow Bulbs.com picture of tuberose clump, and this led us to wonder if you would do better with the transplanting of the plant if you treated it more as dividing bulbs than of cutting away a piece of the root. If you have already tried the transplanting by cutting away smaller plants around the base, and found that unsatisfactory, give the division of the roots, which are fat, a try. 


Manfreda variegata

Manfreda variegata

Manfreda variegata

Manfreda variegata

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Laurel oak tree not leafing out in Pasadena TX
April 13, 2010 - Hurricane Ike blew down our red bud in the backyard. Had a large 25' laurel oak planted early March 2010. When it was put in the ground, the leaves were on it, but they were all brown and dried. T...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting care of Mayten tree (Maytenus sp.)
November 06, 2007 - I planted a Mayten tree 2 years ago. It's about 8 feet tall. The trunk is about 1-1/2 or 2" in diameter. The earth around it sunk and now there is a "bowl" that fills with water in the rain. I...
view the full question and answer

Possible freeze damage in Wax Myrtle from last winter in Bastrop, TX
July 25, 2011 - Our Wax Myrtle is about 7 yrs old and in good shape until this past winter when we had several very hard freezes. Now several of the large branches are dead and more are dying each month. We have not ...
view the full question and answer

Best time to plant non-native Crape Myrtle in Fulshear TX
July 01, 2010 - When are the best times to plant Crape Myrtles? My husband and I have just moved to Fulshear, TX (just slightly west of Houston) and being summer, I didn't think this was the best planting period. ...
view the full question and answer

Information on care and transplant of non-native Bamboo in North Carolina
April 15, 2006 - I am considering transplanting some bamboo from my backyard to my side yard in Northern Randolph County, Central Piedmont, North Carolina. Could you offer me any pointers on a direct ground to gro...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.