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 - August 02, 2011

From: Manahawkin, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pruning, Cacti and Succulents
Title: How to remove plume from Yucca elephantipes in NJ?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

In Manahawkin, NJ, how do we cut plume (2" diameter) off 10' Yucca elephantipes?

ANSWER:

Spineless yucca grows natively in arid regions of southern Mexico and Central America, but it is also a popular landscape plant as well as an indoor plant in in the US. Since it is spineless and not as hard to deal with as some of the other yuccas, removing the plume should not be a large problem.

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks you will need the following: a step ladder (maybe 8 ft. tall), gloves, a long sleeve shirt, and of course lopping shears.

Once the plant has ceased blooming, remove the stalk with shears about 3 inches above where it grows from the main stem. Some people suggest cutting the stalk at an angle so that water won’t puddle on the top of the cut stalk which can lead to rotting.

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Should I use wound paint when pruning my live oak tree?
February 04, 2010 - When trimming live oak branches, is it best to coat the wound on the tree? I have been doing this but have recently heard that it can actually be bad for the tree.
view the full question and answer

Trimming inland sea oats from Waco TX
January 30, 2013 - Re: Inland Sea Oats and trimming back in early spring "It passes through most of winter a soft brown, but becomes tattered and gray by February, a good time to cut it back to the basal rosette." ...
view the full question and answer

Lilies not blooming from Austin
May 03, 2013 - Last December 8, you published a letter in the Statesman that I had written to you regarding Rain Lilies, Oxblood Lilies, and Copper Lilies. The were sprouting in my garage in a bag. You recommended...
view the full question and answer

Rocky Mountain Juniper Grazed by Deer
April 29, 2013 - I have four Colorado red cedar (Juniperus scopulorum). The deer have eaten from their height down. Now these narrow top to bottom evergreens have only tops left. Will the bottom fill in if I protect t...
view the full question and answer

Trimming dead blooms from turkscap in San Antonio
July 10, 2009 - Great answer to the Turk's Plant question. But, I can't seem to find an answer to mine. I've had Turk's plants for years and cut them back as you suggest, but have always been confused about wha...
view the full question and answer

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