Category: Alpines and Rock Gardens Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo Perennials Shrubs Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Height: 18-24 in. (45-60 cm) 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Spacing: 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Bloom Color: Pale Yellow White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer
Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen Variegated Blue-Green Mottled
Other details: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping This plant is monocarpic
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets) From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
My experiences with yucca (I forgot there was another name for it) have been mostly positive. Truthfully, I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love the hardiness of it and the evergreen quality during the yucky OH winters. I also love the look of the flowers. I have learned to live with the negatives.
The big problem was not addressed in the article. It states the seeds grow on pods and can be saved for planting later. It doesn't say what happens if you don't remove the pods before they split on their own and drop thousands of seeds, which then grow and spread and spread and spread! One year I didn't get around to removing the stalk with the pods. The next spring I noticed what looked like blades of grass growing all over the bed where the yucca clump was. Eventually, the light dawned!! It was baby yuccas from the seeds. YIKES! Fortunately, the roots hadn't gone deep yet and I was able to pull or dig up most of them to avoid being overcome with yuccas. The article also doesn't tell you that once a plant blooms, it dies. It should be removed from the still-living clump the next spring or whenever it dries up enough to break off.
Anyone who has seen yuccas grow shouldn't be surprised that they grow in clumps as the above poster was. The root babies are the best way to propagate, as they are well developed earlier than the seed babies. Use a shovel or other sharp instrument to separate the smaller clumps and stick them in the soil in any sunny space. Or give them away. Or pitch them, lol. I used to take unwanted ones to the plant booth at my parish festival. Now that the festival has been discontinued, I take them to my garden club's annual plant sale.
Leave some babies on the original clump to bloom later. Most of mine bloom in 3 yrs. I have 3 areas here at home (Dayton OH) with large clumps and a row of them against the back of my lake house 60 miles N. of here. That bed is not in full sun all day, but the plants do well. The yucca is pollinated by the yucca moth, as opposed to bees.
Make absolutely sure you want a yucca before you plant it. It doesn't take long for the roots to go down to China and then you are stuck with yuccas forever.
On Feb 20, 2013, mpwifey from Colorado Springs, CO wrote:
Colorado Springs has yucca growing naturally all over the place.
I there were 5 in my yard when we moved here. Have been trying to dig them up every year. They just come back. but instead of one growing back where you dug one out, 3 will come back, or they will just move to a different spot a few feet away.
In my main flower bed I have have to dig up several flowers I loved because the yucca was coming back up next to or right through them. A neighbor girl said she loved yucca, but she loved them because her grandma you dig up the roots, chop them into slices and fry them like potato chips. She said they taste similar to potato chips. And I guess they attract hummingbirds too. don't touch them though. Your skin will sting for an hour or two. they are very painful plants. I hate them, but since they grow so well here, I did give up on one plant, since it wasn't hurting anything by being in that spot. I bought a brakelights yucca purposely this year. they stay small, don't spread and have red flowers.
On Feb 19, 2013, ej_the_dj from Warner Robins, GA wrote:
I just thought this plant was native to Georgia, and other places where tropical plants grow easily. I have not tried any 'experiments' or anything with this plant. It has bloomed a few times, and I've lived in this location most of my life. (My childhood home). I can only guess that the people who long-ago lived here before us, put it here. It has one pup, and I did not try to re-locate it because the spiney leaves are very sharp and did not want to risk getting cut. These two plants are side-by-side to each other and are in front of the house. The flowers hang upside-down, are bell-shaped, and white/creamy for it's color. And, they also have a nice scent, although I had to be careful of the spiney leaves when I walked-up to it. I do not wish to move it because I like them where they are. Oh, yes. The soil it is thriving in here in Central Georgia, is red, hard-as-a-brick clay, with sand-like soil for topsoil.
On Jan 21, 2013, ohyoubigsilly from Ramsey, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
Here in Minnesota, it's always a treat to find tropical-looking plants that can survive subzero weather in winter, so naturally I decided to pick this up a few years ago and plant it next to my koi pond. What a great, care-free plant! I was worried it wouldn't survive a string of -20ºF lows two winters ago, but sure enough by spring, it was still green and thriving. It also takes a lot of abuse, as the deer chomp on it all winter long, but it grows back larger and stronger every year.
My only complaint is that it has yet to bloom, after five years. It has nearly full sun where it's planted, so I'm not sure if the climate is just too cold and/or wet to support summer blooms, but I love the evergreen foliage, anyway. I'm looking forward to acquiring some suckers so I can start a succulent garden along my street where the sun tends to fry my lawn.
On Apr 30, 2012, LJinWBPA from Wilkes-Barre, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I rescued mine from the woods where a landscaper must have dumped it a few years ago (maybe 6 or 7). At the time I felt it was the closest thing I'd ever have to a palm tree. Adam's Needle Yuccas are relatively common in Northeast PA. They seem to take some effort to transplant and establish but after that they are here to stay. Last week I felt it was getting too big for the spot it was in and thought I would remove the suckers ,trim the dead parts (not an easy task), and try an experiment. I have been attempting hardy palms here for several years. 2 of the supposedly hardiest palms (Needle, Sabal Minor) sort of resemble yuccas at a distance. I thought I'd remove the lower leaves and all the lower suckers and it seems to have an 8 to 9 inch (roughly) trunk. I wish I would have thought of this years ago. The blooms are attractive in August for 2-3 weeks, then the stalk has to be removed or it looks unsightly.
I also would recommend this for erosion control as it has thick roots. I also recommend this be out where it has room to spread.
On Jan 18, 2011, glochid15 from Parsons, KS (Zone 6b) wrote:
You can often see them growing on hillsides along highways in rather large clusters. They don't seem to be picky about growing conditions; they only demand sufficient sunlight. We have quite a few growing wild on our property, and they seem to grow fine in the native clay soil. The large flower stalks are a bonus.
On Dec 7, 2010, Alexwtf_93 from Susanville, CA wrote:
i started my plants from pups i got off a larger plant, they now grow wherever i plant them, it takes new plants a couple years to bloom, but after that they usually bloom every year .. very nice looking plant
On Dec 12, 2007, NoLawns from Warrenville, IL wrote:
Easy to grow plant. You can plant them and forget about them. Mine only flowers once every 3-5 years though. Foliage does look nice all year long. Brush snow off them if you want to keep the foliage neater.
On Sep 24, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
A positive vote for this Yucca due it's durability, sharing factor and winter endurance. Please note,this is my opinion. ;-)
One should always research an item before planting, so I can't fault the plant for doing what it will. Highly likely (read: It's going to happen) to become a permanent visitor, so be sure to plant it where it will be allowed to grow forever.
Years ago, I dug up what I thought would be a few small plants, placing them in various locations. Over time, I have transplanted numerous new plants that are offshoots of the main root; which is going nowhere due to the size of the root.
Yesterday I dug seven more new plants, moving them to new homes further out, as they require no assistance to grow well and bloom in this area.
The main root must be as big as a body, because even with my hardcore construction shovel, it was not budging. Each year I transplant new growth from the various new mother plants about our home. Little by little I am trying to make a fence of sorts next to the creek by our circle drive.
If you want just one Yucca, and only one Yucca, this is not the choice for you.
On Jul 15, 2006, rubygloomrox from Red Wing, MN wrote:
I love this plant and have recieved a lot of compliments on it. Many of my friends went and got some of their own. I have mine with some rose bushes, and it stands out and really adds something to the scenery.
I planted it in pretty acidic soil and in direct sunlight and then ignore it except to admire it. It gets enough water from our rainfall and sometimes run off from other plants to survive, so it's maintenance free for me, too. A plant that looks great with little to no care is always welcome here.
The only thing these need is well-draining soil. That's a must.
On Apr 19, 2006, Hikaro_Takayama from Fayetteville, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Many people grow these plants around where I live because of their evergreen, tropical looking foliage and their beautiful flowers. I have seen some that have escaped cultivation and are growing in weedy, vacant lots. We have three established clumps in our yard, and they are really pretty, especially in the winter, when everything else is brown and dead looking, and the summer (around June), when they put up 5 ft tall flower spikes. I have also planted some at the edge of a small stream through the woods behind our house in hopes that they can push out the garlic mustard, and even have bought one of the attractive varigated cultivars from a local nursery. I reccomend these to all cold-area gardeners to add a bit of the tropics to your yard.
They are also extremely drought tolerant, and will grow in a wide range of soil conditions... Our ground is clay over limestone, and we have no problems growing them, and I've seen them growing wild in Western VA under pine trees (i.e. most likely acidic soil) growing on sandstone along I-81.
I'm editing this to add a few more observations: I noticed that someone posted a pic of a trunked specimin, and I've observed this myself. Several of my Y. filamentosa have formed 1 to 2 foot tall trunks, but unfortunately, that is usually the point at which that particular rosette flowers, after which it dies over the following year. Usually there are enough other rosettes coming up from the roots to make this less noticible, but don't get your hopes up for a permanent trunked plant like with other Yuccas...
Also, what one person said about the root survivability is also true: My grandmother (the original source of my plants) had a wall put in along the road in front of her house (mainly to stop people who are speeding around the turn from running into her house), and there was a Y. filamentosa clump that was behind this wall, and buried under about 5 feet of fill dirt. I was sure that was the end of the plant, but about a year later, this plant managed to push up a couple of rosettes through said 5 ft of fill dirt, and started blooming again about two or three years after that! Yeah, those who said that once you have it, you've got it for good weren't kidding.
On Feb 8, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
American Indians used the root in salves and poultices for sores, skin diseases and sprains. Pounded roots were put in water to stupefy corralled fish so they would float to the surface for easy harvesting.
On Apr 16, 2005, LisaTWade from Alabaster, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:
My grandad had these growing by his drainage ditch for years in Indianapolis. I collected seeds and dug up some starts and now have my own patch of them in Alabama. My plants have tended to form clumps of plants instead of staying as one solitary plant. I would rather it just stay as one yucca plant. It is very difficult to remove them, so like another user stated, plant them where you want them to stay forever. And put them where you won't mind if they grow a few offsets. When my yuccas bloom, the leaf-footed bug (leptoglossus phyllopus) comes and breeds on the blooms, causing them to turn yucky and brown. My plants rarely go to seed I think because the bugs are eating the pods or blooms.
On Feb 24, 2005, RRRupert123 from Solon, IA wrote:
I found one of these yuccas in a ditch accross from a cemetery. the person who put it there actually didn't PUT it there. the person threw it accross the road and it started growing. now i have atleast 25 of these plants. (you can cut off a part of the root and put it under ground and it will grow a whole new plant) my yucca now has a half a foot trunk; i don't know if the trunk will grow any larger.
In SE Michigan - We had one of these in the garden and were advised to divide when we revamped our landscape. Hard to dig up - but once divided even grew faster and more prolific. In three years we have taken over 20 "pups" off of 3 plants. These are terrific for foundation plantings - a different look for those who are tired of the traditional evergreens.
On Jan 9, 2003, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Grow this plant where you want it to grow forever! Once started its near impossible to get rid of. Any little piece of tuber will make a new plant.I have dug it up and thought I had it all and the next thing you know its back again. I even had it come through landscape cloth and 3 ft of soil where I had put raised beds over where it was.
On Jan 9, 2003, ButterflyGardnr from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
This plant is very easy to grow and has a very unique form. It likes full sun and well-drained, sandy soils. There is mutualism between the yucca plant and the yucca moth. The moth gains food and shelter from the plant; in return the moth polinates the plant.
On Aug 26, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
Super easy to grow tropical-looking plant. All that is required is adequate drainage and some sun. Once you have it, it is there for keeps! Tuber-like growths in the root area ensure the plant stays, regardless of whether the top is removed or not. All parts of the plant are usable: root tubers are edible, leaves can be woven as fiber, and the flowers are delicious to eat as well as to smell. Super-easy to grow from seed, there are many named cultivars that are variegated, and that have different color flowers. Very attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Alabaster, Alabama Auburn, Alabama Centre, Alabama Cullman, Alabama Decatur, Alabama Gaylesville, Alabama Haleyville, Alabama Springville, Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama (2 reports) Vestavia Hills, Alabama Bay Point, California Los Angeles, California Menifee, California Susanville, California Colorado Springs, Colorado Fort Collins, Colorado Stamford, Connecticut Bear, Delaware Middletown, Delaware Bartow, Florida Big Pine Key, Florida Hampton, Florida Hudson, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Keystone Heights, Florida Pensacola, Florida Cordele, Georgia Villa Rica, Georgia Warner Robins, Georgia (2 reports) Winterville, Georgia Bloomington, Illinois Burnham, Illinois Chicago, Illinois (3 reports) Jacksonville, Illinois New Milford, Illinois Palmyra, Illinois Peoria, Illinois St Charles, Illinois Plainfield, Indiana Burlington, Iowa Muscatine, Iowa Plainfield, Iowa Solon, Iowa Parsons, Kansas Barbourville, Kentucky Hanson, Kentucky Melbourne, Kentucky Coushatta, Louisiana North Laurel, Maryland Lawrence, Massachusetts Rogers City, Michigan South Lyon, Michigan Utica, Michigan Anoka, Minnesota Fridley, Minnesota Lakeville, Minnesota Red Wing, Minnesota Mathiston, Mississippi Saucier, Mississippi Cole Camp, Missouri Crestwood, Missouri , New York Alpine, New York Buffalo, New York Rochester, New York Elizabeth City, North Carolina Bucyrus, Ohio Cleveland, Ohio Dayton, Ohio Fruit Hill, Ohio Hilliard, Ohio Saint Marys, Ohio Youngstown, Ohio Hulbert, Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Bend, Oregon Klamath Falls, Oregon Tenmile, Oregon California, Pennsylvania Fenelton, Pennsylvania Greencastle, Pennsylvania Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania Saint Thomas, Pennsylvania Warrior Run, Pennsylvania Wilkes-barre, Pennsylvania Conway, South Carolina Murfreesboro, Tennessee Viola, Tennessee Westmoreland, Tennessee Aransas Pass, Texas Bastrop, Texas Bulverde, Texas Lindon, Utah Magna, Utah Merrimac, Virginia Roanoke, Virginia Suffolk, Virginia Kalama, Washington North Sultan, Washington Port Orchard, Washington White Center, Washington Lena, Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin Porterfield, Wisconsin