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

Sunday - July 11, 2010

From: Oxfordshire, England
Region: Other
Topic: Propagation
Title: Yucca sprouting shoots in Oxfordshire, England
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a 20ft outdoor yucca with four huge branches.It is 11 years old. For the first time it has sprouted two side shoots on one of the trunks. They are about 12 inches in length. What is the best way to remove them? Can I remove them both to start two more trees? And why has it taken 11 years to do this? It is such a fine tree. We live in the Southeast of England. I hope you can advise me as I would love to grow a few more.

ANSWER:

To begin with, we're afraid you are a little out of our territory. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. We do have a number of yuccas that are native to North America, but, again, that would not apply necessarily to England.

However, we will do a little research and see if we can discover what yucca you might be growing, and also some resources you could go to for help. And we will let you know what we know about how yuccas that are native to our area are propagated, which hopefully would be of assistance to you. 

First, let us pass onto you the facts about propagation of the yucca. What truly sets this genus apart from other flowering plants is their unique method of pollination: A specific moth that is genetically progammed for stuffing a little ball of pollen into the cup-shaped stigma of each flower. Like  fig wasps and acacia ants, the relationship is mutually beneficial to both partners, and is vital for the survival of both plant and insect. In fact, yuccas cultivated in the Old World, where yucca moths are absent, will not produce seeds unless they are hand-pollinated. So, even though you get blooms on your yucca, you will get no seeds. From the website Gardening Know How, here are instructions on propagating the yucca. 

From various places, we learned that one or more of these yuccas may be used as an ornamental, sometimes an indoor plant in England - Yucca aloifolia (aloe yucca), Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle), and Yucca rupicola (Texas yucca). They are all native to North America, none to England. Follow each plant link to our page on that plant to learn more about it. 

Another article from Gardening Know How give you tips on care and pruning of a yucca, including more information on propagation.  We hope your yucca will give you a pleasant link between your gardens in England and ours in Central Texas.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Yucca aloifolia

Yucca filamentosa

Yucca rupicola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Removing competition of mustang grapes from live oaks
January 26, 2006 - We have several native mustang grape vines on our rural property that seem to be taking over the live oaks on which they are becoming entwined. Is it advisable to remove them or are they harmless? And...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Eve's Necklace from Round Mountain TX
April 16, 2013 - We have dozens of small Eve's necklace plants coming up in our large yard. I would like to share them with my friends who aren't so lucky. Many years ago, I tried to transplant one, and it didn't...
view the full question and answer

Moving milkweed to another location in Maine, NY
April 15, 2010 - I live in up-state New York. I have a 'patch' of milkweed growing where I don't really want it to grow - but have left it because the butterflies and bees love it. I would like it to grow in my ba...
view the full question and answer

Identifying gender of persimmon trees
October 23, 2006 - How can you tell the difference between a male persimmon tree and a female persimmon tree? Also do you need both to bear the fruit? I live in Louisiana and never heard of this before. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting wild sumac
September 23, 2010 - About a month ago I dug up five sumac from my backyard in Aylmer Quebec. I potted them. They now look dead. I wanted to transplant them at my cottage in Barrie Ontario. Can I still transplant them...
view the full question and answer

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