Contact Us Host an Event 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
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 Cacti and Succulents Questions

Propagation of Agave americana by seed
July 11, 2007 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants, My Century Plant is fulfilling its one wish and blooming flowers from its massive stalk. Although I am very sad to see it go, it is certainly a sight to behold. This plant, ...
view the full question and answer

Boundary plants to control cats
June 06, 2006 - Is there a plant especially ANNOYING to cats that I could plant along my fence line to keep him away from the street beyond? It would have to be hardy enough for hot temps & full sun. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Worms in non-native snake plant from Hillsborough NC
September 17, 2011 - I purchased a snake plant this summer for my screened in porch. I did not repot it and left it in the plastic pot in came it. I was about to repot the plant to bring it in and noticed there are worm...
view the full question and answer

Puncture wound from Blue Agave leaf.
October 19, 2015 - A blue agave leave went through my glove and into my hand. It's swelled up a bit and hurts. Is this just a passing thing.
view the full question and answer

Ravaged by snails
May 23, 2007 - Our Prickly Pear Cactus is being completely ravaged by snails. Is there something in my yard that could be attracting them? Is there something I can do to keep them off the plant? Also is is safe to...
view the full question and answer

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