Friday, June 29, 2012

Yucca Demise.....Yuck!..

Once upon a time, there were two very nice Yuccas, in the new Driveway Bed.

I especially liked this No Name one.  Very pretty, and the centerpiece of the bed.

Then....tragedy struck.  The No Name began to die off.  The top looked drooping.  
Just from the bottom up, it was looking very sad.

I trimmed off the dead leaves.  Checked all around it.  A pup on the side looked pretty good.
Then more leaves began to turn dark, from the outside in.

The Softleaf Yucca, in the pot, had a lot of dead leaves at the bottom, too.

I decided to take the advise of some of you, and put the No Name in a pot to try to nurse it back to health, and replace it with something else....maybe an agave.
Too hot to plant much of anything else right now.

Then yesterday, I tried to straighten the Softleaf......and, it broke right off.
The stem was mush!  I dug down and found several Grub kind of worms.
No photo of them.  I was too busy squishing them.

I went over and pulled on the No broke right off, too.

The stem is mush.

There were no grubs in that spot.  The leaves never drooped, as I thought would be a symptom
of Yucca Weevils, or Snoutnose Agave Beetle. 
After some research, the grubs in the pot look like the larvae of those two villains. 
The soil in the No Name was a bit more moist than it maybe should have been.
I little too much help with watering maybe.

So, we're taking out the dirt, and discarding it....just in case.
I don't know what to put in their place.  
Between the heat, the deer, and worry about putting another yucca or agave there to be attacked, 
I just don't know.
The agave already in that bed looks ok, for now, though.  

Anyway, I just wanted to whine to my gardening friends about my trials and tribulations.

Hope you're having a better time in your garden.

Happy Gardening....
Stay Cool...Pray for Rain...


  1. Oh Linda, that's awful! Whining is definitely the thing to do when you lose two such nice plants that are meant to be anchor plants in the bed.

    Perhaps a small native understory tree or shrub would work there.

  2. Linda, so sorry about the yucca eating varmints! Ugh! Does your replacement plant have to be foliage only? I just came from my neighborhood nursery, and they had some lovely Pavonias in, already filled out to a respectable sized shrubby plant with those fabulous pink blooms nodding on the stem ends.
    Very reasonable in price, too, which is a plus. If you like a rock rose, one would be a nice texture contrast with your remaining yucca.

  3. Thanks, Shirley and Sandy.
    I'm going to give it some thought. We have such a deer problem here, it's hard to figure out what will work.
    You get something in, and next thing you know they're chomping on it. And, then there's the heat right now, and water restrictions on the horizon.
    It may be that we have to wait until fall to replace those things. I just hope none of the other yuccas or agaves get attacked. I'd really hate to lose the rostrata especially.

  4. I have lost so many softer-leafed yuccas here, and it definitely is not rot!! Some like your's. In every case but one, they come back through vigorous roots / rhizomes. And I am in yucca-central! Sounds like this would be a good topic to try to stump Daphne on, I mean, get her to address on Central TX Gardener!

  5. Sucky. It's like as Pam said - it's not like agaves and yuccas are something most people inherently drawn to and so you finally talk yourself into trying some, they do wonderfully for a a few years, and then the weevil hits and kills it. Boo.

  6. That totally stinks. What a bummer. Definitely sounds like that nasty snout weevil. Here's an interesting article about the weevils: The link mentions some varieties that are resistant to the weevil: A. bracteosa, A. geminiflora, A. multifilifera, A. ocahui, A. pelona, A. schidigera and A. victoriae-reginae. I really like the Queen Victoria Agave. Maybe that one would be worth a try.

  7. Linda -- that's so sad. I'm sure that's really frustrating. There aren't that many things you can plant in 109F heat and drought in deer country and those were supposed to be two of them! I'd try an agave in those spots. The deer leave my squid agave alone and it doesn't get very big so it might work in that bed. Hang in there!

  8. So sorry, Linda! The dreaded agave snout weevil strikes again. It's so annoying to find a tough, drought-tolerant plant only to have it fall victim to the weevil. Before you plant another agave or yucca in that spot, be sure to remove and throw away all the soil in that area to remove any weevil larvae, and you might consider treating your nearby agaves and yuccas with Bayer systemic soil soak, which won't hurt any other wildlife in your garden, only bugs that are feeding on your agaves/yuccas.


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