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

Wednesday - March 09, 2011

From: Myrtle Beach, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Need advice about an agave that didn't survive the winter in Myrtle Beach, NC.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Myrtle Beach, S.C. bought an agave big last summer and it died in the winter. Some green is showing on the bottom should I cut it all down because the whole top is dead. Thank you

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is sorry to hear of the demise of your agave. You didn't mention which agave you had, so he went to our Native Plant Database and typed in the word "agave". He found a list of 14 species of agaves that occur naturally in the US in states that are far away from North Caroliina, eg Texas, New Mexico Arizona and California, which sort of gives us a clue as to why your agave didn't survive.

Was your plant in a pot or in the ground? Potted plants are often more susceptible to cold damage than plants that are in the ground.

What to do?  If you want to try to salvage the plant, carefully remove  the dead material so that healthy tissue can regenerate. Usually the first stage is the formation of callus tissue which will give rise to new tissue. Your plant maybe too far gone, but with a little patience, you could possibly revive it.

Here is a previous answer to a question about frozen agaves, and this link to Arizona Cooperative Extension discusses help for frozen cactus plants.

 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Century plant leaves falling over from San Antonio
April 10, 2013 - Have a large century plant about % feet tall. The leaves are falling over. Can you tell me what to do to avoid this.
view the full question and answer

Branches of yucca being blown down in Torrance CA
August 19, 2010 - I have a Yucca tree about 30 ft tall. Lately when the wind picks up in Torrance we have had about 3 branches fall out of the tree. Can you help me with this. I don't want to cut all of the branches...
view the full question and answer

How can I eradicate 20 acres of cactus?
April 28, 2010 - Cactus eradication. I have about 20 acres that are covered to the point that it is not safe to walk on the property. What can I do? Are there classes out there for eradication?
view the full question and answer

Plants that are deer resistant for high desert climate in Utah
January 23, 2008 - We are building in a high desert climate in Dammeron Valley, Utah. We want plants that are both deer resistant and require little watering. Can you advise which plants (shrubs, flowers, cacti) that ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with claret cup cactus in Austin
April 07, 2012 - I have a claret cup cactus in a terra-cotta pot that bloomed beautifully a few years ago but hasn't since. This year, it set about a dozen buds and looked poised to bloom like crazy, but two weeks la...
view the full question and answer

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