En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - November 10, 2011

From: NYC, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Need help with yucca palm in New York City, NY.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have had my yucca palm plant for almost 10 years. The bark has started to peel off although leaves seem fine. The second smaller separate yucca plant has half its bark and trunk gone. I can't see any bugs and the leaves seem fine . The smaller seems to be a goner but I don't want to loose the big one. The bark is peeling but the trunk is still solid. please help asap. Thanks

ANSWER:


Mr. Smarty Plants is a little confused about this question. First of all, the name yucca palm is a common name that is used to describe several different plants (click here) . Also, the genus Yucca doesn’t naturally occur in New York City, or New York state for that matter. Is your plant an indoor plant, or is it in a pot on a patio?

Another point of confusion is the use of the term" bark". I took this definition from the Succulent Plant Page.

“Bark - the protective exterior covering of the roots, stems and branches of woody plants, exterior to the cambium and including an inner layer of secondary phloem.”

Yucca plants are not considered woody plants, don’t have a cambium, and thus technically don’t have bark. As the plant grows, the stem is surrounded by leaves whose bases are closely appressed to the stem. WIth age, the lower leaves die but remain attached to the stem for long periods of time. The blades of the leaves eventually decompose, but the leaf bases may still remain attached to the stem for a while, gradually falling off of the stem. In some Yuccas, the older portions of the stem become dry and spongy (they look dead) while the younger upper portions of the stem are nice and firm. The top can be cut off of the lower dried part and placed in soil where it can produce roots and continue to grow.

This question could be better answered by some one actually seeing the condition of the plant. You may want to contact the folks at the New York City Office of Cornell Cooperative Extension to try to find that someone.

 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Problems with Agave americana in Comfort TX
November 09, 2009 - We have lost a huge agave americana and are not able to find out what to do for our others. The one we lost was rotted or eaten (beetles?) at the base and the whole thing just fell over. We have a l...
view the full question and answer

Pollinating moth of Arkansas Yucca from Arlington TX
May 15, 2012 - What is the pollinating moth of the Arkansas yucca. I have Desert willows which is the larval host for white-winged moth, but the yuccas are still not seeding. What other larval hosts plants can I p...
view the full question and answer

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

Propagation of an agave from Dripping Springs TX
April 30, 2014 - Hi there, I have a Century Agave in my backyard. It is over 6 feet tall and is now producing the center stalk. I understand that means the plant is going to die. My question is how to harvest the pups...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Florida
May 09, 2008 - My husband and I have a pool with 4 planters and are looking for plants that we can put into our screened in pool area. We live in Central Florida and looking for ideas of plants that are slow growin...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center