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

Monday - October 11, 2010

From: Cave Creek, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Pruning
Title: Do yuccas die after blooming?
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus

QUESTION:

We have a blue yucca which was planted 2 years ago and is just now blooming with a tower of white flowers. Will the entire plant die after blooming as the century plants do? If so, is there a way to save it?

ANSWER:

No, yuccas live long lives and will rebloom. There are at least two species of yucca which are called blue yucca.  One is the native Yucca baccata (Banana yucca), and the other is Yucca rigida, a native of Mexico. But all yuccas seem to have the same life cycle and be dependent of the yucca moths for pollination. If a moth doesn't visit your flowers, your plant will set little or no fruit. But it should still bloom each year.

Yucca does not ordinarily need any pruning, except perhaps to take out any dead or broken blades. The only pruning that is needed is of the bloom stalk, which should be cut down as close to the bottom as possible, in order to keep the plant tidy, as soon as it finishes blooming in late summer.

 

More General Botany Questions

How is native range changed in the scientific record?
March 28, 2011 - I am accessioning Pachysandra procumbens for the Baker Arboretum. These plants were made from cuttings of a native stand here in Warren County (Western KY). How does the record get amended to...
view the full question and answer

Why do sunflowers turn towards the sun?
February 27, 2006 - Why do sunflowers turn towards the sun?
view the full question and answer

Correct family classification for Allium cernuum
March 19, 2015 - What is the correct family classification for Allium cernuum? I have seen the nodding onion as part of the Liliaceae family on the USDA website and my field guides, but it is in the Alliaceae family i...
view the full question and answer

Why will my Butternut trees not produce nuts in Tennessee?
May 06, 2009 - I have 2 butternut trees planted about 20 ft from each other. I see the long blossoms on each tree but I have not gotten any nuts from either tree. I do not know if I have a male and female or if th...
view the full question and answer

Does music affect sunflower growth from Pentwater MI
January 12, 2010 - Does music affect sunflower growth?
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