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
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 Transplants Questions

Failure to thrive of one Desert Willow in Phoenix AZ
September 06, 2013 - We planted 4 desert willow trees in the summer and 3 of the 4 are doing excellent, however the last one is not not doing so well, it was the smallest of all and it started out fine but its leaves bega...
view the full question and answer

Wax myrtle problems from Driftwood TX
September 04, 2010 - We planted 27 wax myrtles on the perimeter of our property last year and were diligent about watering them throughout the drought. They are in very rocky soil (we had to use a jackhammer to dig the ho...
view the full question and answer

Leaves falling off live oak tree in Eureka TX
August 22, 2009 - I have the same question; it is in Navarro County in August. The leaves are falling off my live oak tree, they are brownish yellow, but it is not oak wilt. What might it be? This year I put mulch arou...
view the full question and answer

What soil to plant native plants in Huntsville TX
April 14, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently purchased several plants at the Spring Plant Sale and would like to know when planting them, what type of soil should I use. I typically use partial native soil an...
view the full question and answer

Propagating Dakota vervain (Glandularia binpinnatifida)
August 07, 2008 - Dakota Vervain. We recently moved into a new house in Henly--Hays/Blanco county line. Mother nature was kind enough to provide us w/Dakota Vervain in some of our planting beds while we are getting...
view the full question and answer

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