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
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

Is a yucca going to have a stalk from Sylvania OH
March 15, 2012 - Hi, I was wondering if the stalk on a yucca plant grows back every year after it is cut off? How to tell if it is going to have a stalk because some of my yucca's do not have one? Thank you for your ...
view the full question and answer

Growing Variegated Century Plants in Portugal
February 09, 2011 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I am contacting you from Portugal, because of century plant(Agave americana). I had one of that plants and I collected the seeds, which I planted, but I am quite disappointed ...
view the full question and answer

Suitable container plants for Austin
October 23, 2012 - Hi, I see some info on native house plants, but not much. I live in an apartment that doesn't get much direct sun (maybe 2 hours a day) -- is there anything for me native-wise (Austin) if I have to h...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting yucca pups from Dallas
September 01, 2010 - Can I transplant Pup Yucca plants off of the main yucca and how do I cut them off?
view the full question and answer

Killing a century plant from Burton TX
August 08, 2013 - How do you kill the century plant, they are taking over?
view the full question and answer

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