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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Tuesday - August 02, 2011

From: Manahawkin, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pruning, Cacti and Succulents
Title: How to remove plume from Yucca elephantipes in NJ?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

In Manahawkin, NJ, how do we cut plume (2" diameter) off 10' Yucca elephantipes?

ANSWER:

Spineless yucca grows natively in arid regions of southern Mexico and Central America, but it is also a popular landscape plant as well as an indoor plant in in the US. Since it is spineless and not as hard to deal with as some of the other yuccas, removing the plume should not be a large problem.

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks you will need the following: a step ladder (maybe 8 ft. tall), gloves, a long sleeve shirt, and of course lopping shears.

Once the plant has ceased blooming, remove the stalk with shears about 3 inches above where it grows from the main stem. Some people suggest cutting the stalk at an angle so that water won’t puddle on the top of the cut stalk which can lead to rotting.

 

 

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