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
1 rating

Wednesday - June 22, 2011

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Replacement for Spanish Dagger from Georgetown TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Spanish Dagger plant in my garden which appears to be dying. Where can I purchase a replacement for this plant? The Spanish Dagger I have is close to 10 feet tall. What is the best way to take care of the plant once I replace it? Georgetown, Texas

ANSWER:

We have two plants in our Native Plant Database with the common name of "Spanish Dagger." Only one of them, Yucca treculeana (Don quixote's lace), is native to Texas so we are going to go with that. This plant grows natively somewhat south of Williamson County, but is known to survive in USDA Hardiness Zone 7, so the temperature should be all right where you are for this plant. It is a member of the Agavaceae or Century Plant Family, but unlike some plants referred to as "century plants" it does not bloom once and then die. It is shown in our webpage on this plant as growing usually to about 10 ft. tall, so your plant may just have reached the end of its normal lifespan.

As to where to purchase a replacement, Yucca treculeana  appears on our Plant Sale list. However, this list is subject to constant change, depending on what is available at the time of the sale. The Fall Sale is October 15 and 16, 2011, and we suggest you recheck that list as time for the sale comes closer. Since you live in Georgetown, it would be fairly easy for you to come to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to shop for that and other plants native to Central Texas. For other possibilities, go to our National Suppliers Directory, and either type "yucca treculeana" in the Name Search Box or your state and town in the Enter Search Location box. Unfortunately, we tried the Name Search and got zero results, so stick with the Search Location, at least for now. You will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape consultants in your general area. All have contact information and/or websites, so you can check for availability. You can also grow your own, see this article from Fine Gardening on Propagating Yucca.

On to care for a replacement. First, decide if replacing the same plant is what you really want to do. Looking once again at our webpage on this plant, you will see that it does well in part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun daily), has medium water use and its soil requirements are:  Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay. We would add to that description the fact that, like all desert plants, this yucca needs extremely good drainage. Since you do not have the sandy soil of a desert environment, you may need to work in decomposed granite or other soils that permit drainage around the roots.

 

From the Image Gallery


Spanish dagger
Yucca treculeana

Spanish dagger
Yucca treculeana

Spanish dagger
Yucca treculeana

Spanish dagger
Yucca treculeana

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Propagation of Agave americana by seed
July 11, 2007 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants, My Century Plant is fulfilling its one wish and blooming flowers from its massive stalk. Although I am very sad to see it go, it is certainly a sight to behold. This plant, ...
view the full question and answer

Debugging and Preserving Dried Cholla Cactus
January 04, 2014 - Hi. Recently found an intact skeleton of a cholla cactus. I want to Bring it in our house. Are there any dangers associated with this, like bugs inside the "branches?" how would you suggest I prese...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating prickly pear
March 24, 2007 - What is best practice for eliminating 100+ acres of dense prickly pear?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of non-native Selenicereus Antonyanus from Warwick RI
March 24, 2012 - I just purchased a Selenicereus Anthonyanus, Rick Rack Cactus unrooted. I have searched on the web of the proper way to root the plant and have had no luck except it says easy rooting but not how to r...
view the full question and answer

Controlling agave pups from Galveston, TX
July 26, 2013 - I live in Galveston, Tx.I have several large 5ft tall century plants in my yard and the pups are coming up everywhere..how do I control these??? HELP!!
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center