Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 20, 2009

From: Tucson, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Separate pups on Manfreda variegata in Tucson
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you tell me the best way to separate pups on a Manfreda variegata? The first ones we tried were very close to the main plant. Your help is appreciated.

ANSWER:

At first glance, our thought was to give you the standard instructions for transplanting an Agave, because the Manfreda variegata (mottled tuberose) is a member of the Agave family. From a previous answer by Mr. Smarty Plants, here are those instructions:

"Agaves produce new smaller plants around their base. 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 plant has been thriving in.  If you don't know what the original is growing in, nurseries carry "cactus mix" potting soil which is grittier and more like the desert ground the plants are used to. 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.  Agaves are very hardy and forgiving plants!"

However, we noted that the Manfreda variegata is also considered a tuberose, so we did a little research along those lines. From this rather technical website Flora of North America, we learned that the rhizomes (underground stems) were "globose" as in fatter than the usual stem. We also found tuberose information on this Pacific Bulb Society site, saying that the tuberose was herbaceous and bulbous. Then we went to Easy To Grow Bulbs.com picture of tuberose clump, and this led us to wonder if you would do better with the transplanting of the plant if you treated it more as dividing bulbs than of cutting away a piece of the root. If you have already tried the transplanting by cutting away smaller plants around the base, and found that unsatisfactory, give the division of the roots, which are fat, a try. 


Manfreda variegata

Manfreda variegata

Manfreda variegata

Manfreda variegata

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Problems with chile pequin from Pflugerville TX
July 19, 2012 - Hello there! I have a question about my chile pequin (Capsicum annuum L.) plant. I purchased it last year from the Wildflower Center Fall Plant Sale. It stayed in a pot until three months ago when I p...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Texas sage from Bastrop, TX
March 01, 2013 - Am I wasting my time trying to transplant texas sage runners? Any advice?
view the full question and answer

Will Hesperaloe parviflora Yellow propagate true from seed?
May 11, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have searched all over the internet and have not been able to find an answer to my question. Will Hesperaloe parviflora 'Yellow' propagate true from seed or is division requ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting sumacs in Ontario
August 23, 2010 - I live in Aylmer Quebec. I have 10 baby sumac in my back yard and want to transplant them at my cottage in southern Ontario on Lake Simcoe. When can I do this and how?
view the full question and answer

Stump sprouting of Oak trees in the wildfire area in Bastrop, TX.
May 13, 2012 - We live in Bastrop, Texas, in the wildfire area. We lost all of our trees. The oak trees have "suckers" growing from the base of the burned tree that has been cut down. They look like little bushe...
view the full question and answer

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