Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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
5 ratings

Wednesday - December 09, 2015

From: Placentia, CA
Region: California
Topic: Propagation, Shrubs
Title: Dividing Hesperaloe
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

How and when can I successfully separate a clump of Hesperaloe Parviflora into smaller bunches?

ANSWER:

Jackie O'Keefe answered a previous question for Mr. Smarty Plants about dividing Hesperaloe parviflora. Here's what she wrote:

Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca) is a real workhorse plant for dry landscapes. Its long-lasting and attractive blooms, wildlife value, easy-care nature and suitability to our climate and soils make it very desirable in our landscapes. Over time, as you have experienced, the clumps expand and become denser. Far from being a problem, this is an opportunity. These clumps are easily divided and the excess pieces can be moved to other sites, potted up, or given to your budding gardener friends. This solution is preferable to chopping away foliage, which can leave the plant with an unkempt look. 

To divide, a task best done in fall or winter before new growth starts, take a close look at your plant. You should be able to see where the clump has formed new offsets as it grew. These can be dug away with a sharp spade. Each offset will produce a new plant. If more drastic size reduction is necessary, you can dig out the root clump and divide the whole thing. This site, Grow'em Plant Propagation Database, Clump Division, is a good visual of the process. It should be noted that the visuals are of a daylily, Hemerocallis, while the Red Yucca, not a yucca at all nor a daylily, is a member of the Agavaceae (Century Plant) family. Dividing an overcrowded plant gives it growing room again.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

More Propagation Questions

Will potted tulip rebloom next year
May 18, 2008 - We bought tulips that were in bloom in small pots in May, and planted them in the back yard. Now my friend tells me they will not come up and bloom next spring, that you must only plant tulips as bul...
view the full question and answer

Starting Venus Flytrap From Seed
September 05, 2013 - I am a high school student doing a project on the Venus flytrap and would like you to help me by answering the following questions: What are the Venus flytrap predators and prey? How to raise a Venus ...
view the full question and answer

Oakleaf hydrangea in Indiana
November 18, 2010 - I was given a start of an oak leaf hydrangea by a generous friend from her garden. I have been searching for "what to expect" about this plant. I planted it last year and it grew..this year..but d...
view the full question and answer

Deadheading a petunia and why
July 13, 2008 - Can you please tell me the correct way to de-head a petunia and why?
view the full question and answer

Tiger lilies for Austin
July 12, 2007 - My dear friend absolutely loves tiger lilies, and I would love to plant some for her, but I wonder if the short winters here in Austin, TX make growing these difficult.. I know little of growing flowe...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.