Rent Shop 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

Thursday - March 15, 2012

From: Sylvania, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pruning, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Is a yucca going to have a stalk from Sylvania OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, I was wondering if the stalk on a yucca plant grows back every year after it is cut off? How to tell if it is going to have a stalk because some of my yucca's do not have one? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

We presume you are referring to a bloom stalk, rather than what would be a trunk on a tree? We are always a little puzzled to get questions about what we consider to be desert or semi-desert plants from the Mid-Atlantic area of the United States. We always like to know what plant we are talking about, and there is exactly one yucca, Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle), that grows naturally in Ohio. The most complete discussion of this plant was found in this Ohio State University article on the plant. Another good article is from Dave's Garden Forum. You will be interested in reading the comments, most of which come from states as least as different from deserts as Ohio. Notice in particular the comment that one person's yucca only bloomed every 3 to 5 years, possibly because of the colder climate.

Having grown up where yuccas are virtually roadside weeds, in the Texas desert, we can tell you from experience that the bloom stalk begins by looking like some leaves wrapped around each other deep in the center of the plant, slowly growing up and beginning to unfurl. It begins to lengthen and rise in a stalk out of the plant, blooming a creamy white during July and August. Until you see that irregular clump at the center of the plant, you really can't tell if it is going to bloom or not.

 

From the Image Gallery


Adam's needle
Yucca filamentosa

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Growth of yucca from seed pods from Saginaw MI
October 05, 2013 - How do you grow a yucca plant from the pods? Do I need to dry out the pods first?
view the full question and answer

Can Joshua Tree yucca be grown in Denham Springs LA
December 31, 2011 - If planted in a patch of raised and well-drained soil and covered during heavy rains, would it be possible to grow a Joshua Tree yucca in eastern Louisiana?
view the full question and answer

Potential longevity of Century Plant bloom stalk from Marana AZ
January 23, 2013 - What is the potential longevity of a Century Plant stalk/bloom? I would like to use it in my yard for ornamentation. Will it last for weeks, months or years or decompose relatively quickly?
view the full question and answer

Projected longevity of Opuntia fragilis (Fragile Prickly Pear)
November 25, 2005 - How long does Opuntia fragilis live? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Source for Century Plant in Wilmington NC
June 24, 2012 - Where can I buy a Century plant in the Wilmington NC area?
view the full question and answer

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