MarySmith’sPlace – what is this monster?

When I bought this plant in Woolworths

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– that tells you it was a long time ago – it was a tiny thing, not even six inches tall. It was being sold off in a sale. I assumed it was some kind of cactus or succulent which would grow upright.

Instead, it seems to grow horizontally. In fact, it looks like it’s trying to escape its pot. I’ve staked it and tied it up but this is as upright as it gets. I moved it, to make way for our Chritmas tree a couple of years ago. It seems happy in its present position on the wndowsill half way up the stairs. Which is fine but it keeps growing and its becoming harder to find bigger pots.

What is it?

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Will it eventually climb out of its pot and murder us all in our beds?


47 thoughts on “MarySmith’sPlace – what is this monster?

        • I don’t think it is a yucca, Darlene, although I can see the stem/stalk/trunk might be similar. I used to have one a long time ago and it was different. This one also has white hairy things dangling from the leaves. Sorry about the loss of your Norfolk pine ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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      • Really? I’m surprised but have been googling it and realised not all yucca plants are like the one I had before. Would this survive in the garden, Paul? What should I be doing to look after it? If I re-pot it should I bury all of its stem/trunk in soil? Any advice appreciated.

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        • Mary it probably will survive as they survive in gardens down here, but it depends how exposed you are. Snow should not be a problem but winds will and rain.
          Don’t bury the stem as they grow with a stem. I would suggest you plant it in a pot where you can move it into winter shelter. And use a mix of potting compost soil and grit 1/3 each as It will like water but not wet roots in winter so the water needs to drain through the loose soil structure- which is why a pot is a good idea. I would leave repotting outdoors until May and then it can get use to its outdoor life during summer. In winter you can place it a sunny corner sheltered from the wind and may be against a house wall. But as with all plants there are no guarantee -the longer it survives the tougher it will get- but there is always nasty surprises. Good luck Pxxx

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          • Thanks, Paul. I’ll have a think about putting it outside in the summer. I’d hate to lose it after all those years. Despite being stabbed from time to time I’m rather fond of it and its insistence on doing its own thing.

    • No, Ann, it’s not mother-in-law’s tongue. I have one of those on the kitchen window sill, which my son passed on to me as he didn’t have space for it. Green things seem to like my house!


  1. No idea, but we got rid of some of our furniture to daughter’s new house and decided to make our dining room a ‘garden room’ with only table and chairs and monster plant pots in three corners. That is a nice window.

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    • Thanks, Janet! Now I know where to send this monster if it continues to grow. Glad you like the window. It’s double the height of what’s on show here. Last year we had to replace rotten frames which cost a fortune!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: MarySmith’sPlace – what is this monster? | Campbells World

    • It does look a bit like aloe, Debby, but I had already eliminated that option. It seems Darlene and Paul have identified it as a yucca. I was surprised as I’ve had a yucca in the past which didn’t look anything like my monster but having googled it, I see it probably is one. I’m not sure how much bigger it will get!

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