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

Monday - April 16, 2012

From: San Diego, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Pruning, Seeds and Seeding, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Seeds of agave attenuata from San Diego CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

After the agave attenuata bloom dried up there are seeds like thing hanging on the foxtail; do I leave it until it dies or do I chop that down. Are those seeds for propagation. The leaves of the plant seems to die off. Is that the end of the life for that agave. If I cut, where should I cut.

ANSWER:

Agave attenuata (foxtail agave) is native to Central Mexico and apparently somewhat rare in its native habitat. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow natively.

Since this plant will not be in our Native Plant Database, we will try to find you some articles that can answer your questions.

From Desert Tropicals Fox Tail Agave

The best article we found was from cactus-art-biz on Agave attenuata. This should answer most of your questions, including the fact that, yes, when the stalk has finished blooming, the whole plant will die, but it will leave behind "pups" that can be used for propagation.

Here is another very complete article Introduction to Agaves from Dave's Garden. Scroll down the page and you will find some pictures and discussion of Agave attenuata.

Pictures:

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Green fruit dropping from non-native navel orange tree
September 17, 2008 - Hi, I have a seedless navel orange tree that is dropping the green fruit as of late and when I find the oranges laying there they have a large split in them that exposes the fruit. I don't think the...
view the full question and answer

Lantana failing to bloom from Tampa FL
October 04, 2012 - I reside in central Florida. I have planted several lantana the orange,red,yellow type. I don't have proper species name. They have been in the ground 3 weeks with 2" of potting soil around root ba...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Absence of blooms in non-native Rosa rugosa
June 30, 2008 - I have a rosa rugosa in my yard that was here when I moved in..and it has never bloomed. It is in a sunny spot, but there are never any flowers..not even a single bud on this trailing plant. I cut it ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Cleyera in Georgia
September 30, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I had a landscaper plant 4 Cleyera around my front porch. I have had them for about 9 years now and they are very hardy, each one being about 4 feet in width, 5 feet high ...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center