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?

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
2 ratings

Tuesday - May 18, 2010

From: Corpus Christi, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Should an agave bloom stalk be cut as soon as it flowers from Corpus Christi TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My agave plant is flowering, with a stalk approaching 12 feet tall. Should that stalk be cut once it flowers? I am concerned about wind catching it and pulling the whole plant out of the ground. I understand this means the plant will die, but I don't want it to go any sooner than it has to.

ANSWER:

The Agave has been putting up magnificent bloom stalks and managing not to be pulled out of the ground for millennia. We certainly wouldn't recommend cutting the stalk until you have fully enjoyed the spectacular show. After it finishes blooming, go ahead and cut the stalk off (not an easy thing to do) because it's pretty unattractive and as it dries up, could topple over and hit something.

 

From the Image Gallery


American century plant
Agave americana

Parry's agave
Agave parryi

Parry's agave
Agave parryi ssp. neomexicana

Coastal agave
Agave shawii

Maguey mezortillo
Agave univittata

Nevada agave
Agave utahensis var. nevadensis

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Non-blooming of an apparent yucca in Ohio
March 09, 2009 - I have what looks like a yucca plant in my flower bed. but in the 3 years we have lived here it has never bloomed. It did get a little bigger and has always been green. If it is a yucca, is there any ...
view the full question and answer

How to remove plume from Yucca elephantipes in NJ?
August 02, 2011 - In Manahawkin, NJ, how do we cut plume (2" diameter) off 10' Yucca elephantipes?
view the full question and answer

Removing grassy weeds from cactus garden in Corpus Christi TX
May 07, 2013 - How do you get grassy weeds out of a cactus garden? I don't want to use roundup around the cacti? Can you recommend a herbicide that won't harm the cactus?
view the full question and answer

What to do with bloom stalk on yucca
June 08, 2008 - Six years ago, I dug up two small narrow-leaf yuccas from a deer lease outside of Junction, Texas. I planted them in a raised bed in my yard and the smaller of the two survived and grew. To my surpris...
view the full question and answer

Winter care of succulents from Bethlehem PA
September 09, 2012 - We live in the northeast and we used succulents on our deck this summer because nothing else would survive the intense heat. How can I save these beautiful plants through a cold winter? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center