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

Native Plant Suggestions for Dripping Springs
August 02, 2011 - I have a very dry commercial property in Dripping Springs TX where the dry sand/dust isn't a good rain conductor (whenever we get rain). What can we plant there? We have no irrigation and use a rai...
view the full question and answer

Strange form of Dasylirion sp. (sotol)
December 27, 2008 - Mr. Smarty: I have a client with a huge (2 ft. diameter trunk), multi-headed dasylirion. On one or more of the heads, the leaves arch inward instead of outward. Someone said this is because of an inju...
view the full question and answer

Texas natives to plant in July and August
July 23, 2008 - My husband and I have a disaster of a lawn that we were planning to develop slowly, over time, with a sustainable design we contracted from a landscape designer. However, we are having to move out of...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Agave havardiana in Stella NC
July 10, 2009 - We have a havard century plant in a large pot outside that has a couple of "baby" plants starting to emerge on the outer perimeter of the plant. Can we sucessfully transplant these babies elsewhere ...
view the full question and answer

Specimen evergreen for sun in Central Texas
August 28, 2010 - I'm soliciting suggestions for a specimen plant for a new garden we're building. It will be planted in a 3' square raised (18") Limestone bed. It will be full sun, Western exposure, and relative...
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