Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Tuesday - April 09, 2013

From: Lago Vista, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Failure to bloom of red yucca from Lago Vista TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am in Lago Vista - trying to find out why I can't get my red yucca to bloom. The first year they were great and now after two or three years - no measurable spikes have shown up. HELP!

ANSWER:

Hesperaloe parviflora (Red yucca) is not a true yucca, but a member of the Agavaceae (Century Plant) family. It is barely possible that the first year you had the plant that it had been force bloomed, although we have no idea how you would do that to a succulent. If that were true, maybe it has not yet matured to natural  bloom stage. Under normal circumstances, it blooms red and yellow from March to July.

That is pure speculation, because we can find no other explanation; however, we can do some speculating of our own. Do you have deer in your area? We understand deer absolutely adore the blooms, and since the red yucca also attracts night-feeding moths, the deer might dine at night, and just clean the blooms right off. They won't nibble the "leaves" but they will consume the flowers. One last speculation, if you are fertilizing grass around the red yucca with a high nitrogen fertilizer (the purpose of which is to encourage the green leaves of that grass), that may cause profuse green leaf growth, using up all the energy that would go into blooms. And if the red yucca happens to be under a sprinkler system, it is probably getting too much water. We don't know if that affects the blooming, but it's not good for a desert plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Monocarpic plants for Indiana
October 06, 2005 - We were in Hawaii this summer and became acquainted with the Silversword. This plant (according to what we were told) blooms only once in it's lifetime (of 50-70 years). Are you aware of any other pl...
view the full question and answer

Protecting agave pups in San Antonio
April 23, 2013 - I would like to share the soon to happen bloom of two century plants on my property; they are sisters planted at the same time. I am sad to know they will die but will do all that I can to protect the...
view the full question and answer

New agave plants, offshoots of parent plant, transplanting
September 16, 2007 - I have different varieties of Agaves that are sending off new plants from the mother. Some have 1-2 and some have 6-7 plants. Is there a proper method for removing (cutting them a certain way) for t...
view the full question and answer

Starting yucca from seed from Austin
December 24, 2012 - I would like to start a soft leaf yucca recurvifolia from seed. Is that possible? Also, I've looked for seed on dried flower stalks, and I'm not sure that what I'm finding is the seed, and I ...
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.