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

Smarty Plants on aceae
March 21, 2005 - How is the family suffix "-aceae", as in Asteraceae, pronounced? I find disagreeing claims in my searches- "ay-see-ee" and "ay-see-ay" seem to be the most common, but I've also seen just "ay-...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on plant names
March 16, 2005 - I want to learn what the scientific names of plants indicate about the plant physiology, its namer, its evolutionary relation to other plants, etc. Could you give a print or web source for looking up ...
view the full question and answer

Water-saving strategies of drought-tolerant plants
April 04, 2014 - Although "drought tolerant" plants are fairly well documented, it's clear that many different strategies are responsible, such as a huge root system (like Mesquite). I'm interested in learning the...
view the full question and answer

Difference between Erigeron strigosus and E. annuus
July 07, 2011 - How can you tell the difference between Erigeron strigosus or Erigeron annuus. Does one have more flowers on it than the other? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Information about Turk's Cap for school project
October 19, 2012 - Hello, my name is Veronica. I am doing a Species Study on Turk's Cap at Clint Small Middle School in the Green Tech Academy. I would like to learn more on my Native Texas Species. I am contacting 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