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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - May 18, 2009

From: Stony Plain, AB
Region: Canada
Topic: Propagation
Title: Starting yucca from pups in Alberta, Canada
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

What is the procedure to start a new plant from the Yucca "pups?" Heavy wet snow damaged much of my yucca plant the winter before last and last summer it produced 3 of these new little ones but the original plant does not look very good, even though it is trying to send up new leaves from the top of the plant. This plant is 5-6 years in the same spot in the garden and the heavy snow was the only damage it had in all that time. Soil is sandy and the area get lots of sun throughout the day. I would be grateful for any advice you could give me as it is one of my favorite plants.

ANSWER:

As you have discovered, yuccas and other agaves produce new smaller plants around their base after blooming or other stress, such as your heavy snow.  All you need do is remove the pups from the mother plant using a trowel or knife and put them in smaller pots with the same kind of soil mixture that your original yucca plant has been thriving in.  Keep them watered, but let the soil dry a bit between waterings so they don't rot.  These pups can have very long roots that connect them to the mother plant, but you can break them off to about the same length as the height of the plant or whatever will fit in your new pot.  Even if you think you have lost too much of the root, pot it up anyway and see what happens.  Yuccas are very hardy and forgiving plants!

 Yucca glauca (soapweed yucca)


Yucca glauca
 

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