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 - March 09, 2011

From: Myrtle Beach, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Need advice about an agave that didn't survive the winter in Myrtle Beach, NC.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Myrtle Beach, S.C. bought an agave big last summer and it died in the winter. Some green is showing on the bottom should I cut it all down because the whole top is dead. Thank you

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is sorry to hear of the demise of your agave. You didn't mention which agave you had, so he went to our Native Plant Database and typed in the word "agave". He found a list of 14 species of agaves that occur naturally in the US in states that are far away from North Caroliina, eg Texas, New Mexico Arizona and California, which sort of gives us a clue as to why your agave didn't survive.

Was your plant in a pot or in the ground? Potted plants are often more susceptible to cold damage than plants that are in the ground.

What to do?  If you want to try to salvage the plant, carefully remove  the dead material so that healthy tissue can regenerate. Usually the first stage is the formation of callus tissue which will give rise to new tissue. Your plant maybe too far gone, but with a little patience, you could possibly revive it.

Here is a previous answer to a question about frozen agaves, and this link to Arizona Cooperative Extension discusses help for frozen cactus plants.

 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Landscaping on South Padre Island
June 07, 2008 - I'm in charge of landscaping at my beachfront condo in South Padre Island and find the wind, salt air, and heat challenging for growing almost anything. We would like to incorporate native plants, b...
view the full question and answer

Cutting bloom stalk of century plant in San Diego CA
June 25, 2010 - My 28 yr old century plant will bloom soon. I understand it will die. Will this 30 ft stalk then likely fall? Will I need to call someone to cut the dead stalk? The base is nearly 7 ft by 6ft - n...
view the full question and answer

Should an agave bloom stalk be cut as soon as it flowers from Corpus Christi TX
May 18, 2010 - 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 ...
view the full question and answer

Bloom stalk not visibly connected to Century Plant from Johnson City, TX
July 31, 2013 - Can anyone tell my why my Century Plant is growing a bloom stalk a couple of feet away from my plant instead of up through the middle? Ive never seen one do that and it strikes me as being rather odd!
view the full question and answer

Blue agave with freeze damage in Lockhart TX
March 16, 2011 - I recently planted a blue agave plant, and 4 days after I planted it the temperature dropped to 20 degrees at night. The plants are still alive but 75% of the outer limbs turned brown. What do I do wi...
view the full question and answer

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