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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - September 01, 2010

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Transplanting yucca pups from Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I transplant Pup Yucca plants off of the main yucca and how do I cut them off?

ANSWER:

There are 28 species of the genus Yucca native to Texas. Just for fun, we always try to find a species of a plant that is native to the area from which the question comes. As it turns out, Yucca pallida (twistleaf yucca), grows natively in the Dallas area. In fact, according to this article from the  Texas A&M Native Plant Database, this yucca is  endemic to the North Central Texas area.

This may not be the yucca you have, but nearly all species of that plant have similar instructions for transplanting of the pups. You can't hurt them, in fact you might have trouble killing them. Just dig around one of the pups with a sharp shovel, which in the process will also cut through the rhizome from the parent plant, which is fine. If the shovel won't do the job, a sharp knife or maybe a hatchet is in order. If you want to nurse it for a while, you can transplant it to a large pot with cactus mix potting soil in it, maybe not in full sun all day, at least until the weather gets a little cooler. Water it, but make sure it is draining well. In cactus mix, with a hole in the bottom of the pot, you should have no problem. 

You can transplant from the pot to the soil, or go directly to the soil. Again, there must be very good drainage for the roots. If you are planting in clay soil, do something, compost, even some sand, to improve the drainage. Desert plants cannot tolerate water on their roots. Speaking of roots, if you leave even the tiniest piece of the root in the soil, you will get more yuccas coming up. Hope you have neighbors who like yucca. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Yucca pallida

Yucca pallida

Yucca pallida

Yucca pallida

 

 

 

 

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