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

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

 

 

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Transplanting redbud from field in Edmond, OK
March 30, 2009 - I want to transplant a small redbud from a field to my yard. The trunk diam is about 1.5" and the tree is about 4' tall. What is the best way to do this? Should I plant it in a pot first?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Green Cloud purple sage in Buda TX
May 30, 2009 - I planted the "Green Cloud" variety of purple sage about 3 years ago. Yesterday, I noticed yellowish dots on the underside of the leaves of some plants. Is this harmful? The plants seem to be ok ...
view the full question and answer

Help with composting in Katy TX
March 19, 2010 - I've gone on line and tried to figure out what I'm doing wrong with my compost pile. What exactly is the proper ratio, and the types of plant matter and layers to achieve the optimum decomposition i...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing vine for cinder block wall in Albuquerque
July 26, 2010 - I live in Albuquerque, N.M. and have a cement/cinder block wall and was wondering if there is a vine I can plant which will be easy to grow, grow fast and cover my wall without any type of help like a...
view the full question and answer

Use of newspaper mulch in garden
January 05, 2007 - Before constructing a raised garden, I would like to lay newspapers at the initial ground level, then add about 12 to 15 inches of compost on top of that. Would that hurt the plants? And will the ne...
view the full question and answer

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