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

Bloom on non-native Agave attenuata
May 13, 2008 - I have an Agave Attenuata that has grown a long and unsightly stem.Is there a way to cut the plant portion off and re-root the plant without killing the petal portion?
view the full question and answer

Succulents for 9150 feet in New Mexico
March 04, 2008 - What succulents could grow in Angel Fire, New Mexico, at an altitude of 9150 ft.in a northwestern windy exposure in rocky-ish soil? Are there any that are perennials? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Agave attenuata Poisonous?
March 12, 2015 - Is Agave attenuata (foxtail agave) poisonous to horses or humans?
view the full question and answer

Container plants for cool weather in Cypress TX
October 02, 2011 - I am a novice gardener and I am looking for some ideas on potted plants for the fall/winter. They would be covered by a roof, but still susceptible to the elements. What can be planted now that will...
view the full question and answer

20 years to bloom
May 02, 2007 - My girlfriend and i have come up with an interesting question, we were wondering if there is a plant in existance that takes over 20 years to bloom, and how many different kinds (if any) there are? We...
view the full question and answer

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