Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport 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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 23, 2009

From: Rio Rancho, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Dividing and planting Yucca and pups in New Mexico
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

I bought a Yucca plant and had 7 plants in one planter 1 large and 6 small. We wanted to split up the plants so we carefully separated them and planted them. My soil is very sandy (Rio Rancho) but I put mushroom compost and plant food of coarse the dirt it came with. What else could I do so I do not lose my yuccas.

ANSWER:

Not all yuccas propagate from offshoots, or pups, that branch out from the main root, but those that do tend to be easy to divide and grow. We've had a number of previous questions on care and propagation of various types of yuccas, so here are pointers to some previous answers.

Starting Yucca from pups....

Proper spacing for planting yuccas...

Fertilization of recently transplanted yucca...

You can search our Mr. Smarty Plants library of previous questions. Just type 'yucca' into the keyword box. For more information about the varieties of yucca native to your area, go to the Native Plant Database, enter yucca in the search box. Then use the 'Narrow my Search' function on the right to select New Mexico.

From the description of your process, you've done the basics. In the coarse, sandy soil you describe and in New Mexico's intense sun, overwatering and poor drainage are unlikely to be a problem. Don't overdo the fertilization – these plants are conditioned for the sparse resources of a desert region.

 

More Planting Questions

When to seed a native grass lawn in a drought area?
December 15, 2011 - I want to plant a native grass lawn. It is raining now. Can I plant it in December? It might not be raining in the spring if the drought continues.
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Frost damage to native plants in Austin
December 19, 2011 - Hello, We bought a number of native plants at this fall's WFC sale and planted them. The recent frost seems to have defoliated our pitcher sage, beautyberry, butterflyweed, and flame acanthus plan...
view the full question and answer

When Should Wildflower Seeds be Planted in Dallas, Texas
November 28, 2011 - Mr. Pants: I have received some seed packets of wildflower seeds from GO TEXAN. How late can I plant these in central Dallas (8 a/b)?
view the full question and answer

Shade trees for Tucson AZ
May 25, 2012 - I need to plant some "fast growing" trees or shrubs on my southwest yard in order to reduce the heat in my bedroom. What do you suggest? I live in Tucson, Arizona. Thank you in advance. I'm...
view the full question and answer

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