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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Thursday - January 12, 2012

From: Douglassville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Speeding up growth of Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca)
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Sean Watson

QUESTION:

I have germinated Hesperaloe parviflora, Red Yucca, for our Caddo Native plant sale. I have kept in the cool greenhouse for 2 months and they are about 2 inches. A friend put one outside and they froze down. Could you supply transplant and growing information to facilitate fastest growth for a sale in May?

ANSWER:

Our nursery manager, Sean Watson, has this advice:

"They will grow faster in warmer temperatures (if possible, 80 to 90 degrees would be great). If not, you can keep them in your cool greenhouse until danger of frost has passed and try to let the greenhouse get as warm as it can. Really well drained media helps decrease death by rot (you can water them more than you think to make them grow much faster). They do fine outside in pots after they have developed their "bulb" and have been allowed to harden off before the coldest winter temps come. I have never had problems with mature plants down into single digits, at least."

I hope this helps you get your plants ready for your Caddo Native Plant Society plant sale.

 

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