Yucca plant growing, care, and management guide

Yucca moths will transfer the pollen purposely from the stamen of one plant to the stigma of another pant, whilst laying eggs in the flower at the same time. The moth larva will be feeding on some of the developing seeds; there are more than enough seeds left to perpetuate the species. Different species of yucca serve as host plants for the caterpillar of the Ursine Giant-Skipper ( Megathymus ursus), Yucca Giant-Skipper ( Megathymus yuccae), and Strecker’s Giant-Skipper ( Megathymus streckeri). See this page for information on growing butterfly garden plants. Common Types of Yucca Plants

• Yucca baccata. Also known as Banana Yucca due to the shape of its fruits; these can be eaten and baked like a sweet potato. “Datil yucca” is the other term for this variant in some locations as the plant has some resemblance to an agave.

It has shorter trunk and bluer or more glacous folialge compared to other yuccas such as the Mojave yucca. It grows five feet and up in dry soil and full sun. Purple and off-white flowers will start to appear from mid-April to July.

• Yucca carnerosana ( Yucca faxoniana). This variety can grow 12 feet tall by six feet wide and is native in Mexico and Texas. It grows in part shade and full sun in zones 8a to 11, although gardeners from zone 6 particularly in Denver, CO are reported to be growing yucca successfully. They produce white flowers that will turn into a pretty shade of pink in mid to late spring when the plant blooms.

• Yucca glauca. Produces grey to green leaves that form two foot mounds across the dry South-western part of the United States. This variety requires a dry climate and sandy soil in order to bloom. Flower stalks shoot will start to appear in early summer from the plant’s crown. Each stalk can produce up to 15 aromatic, greenish white flowers. The crown of the plant will die after blooming.

• Yucca pallida. This variety is alternatively referred to as pale yucca due to its grey-green or blue-green leaves that form a rosette one or two inches tall. It is natively grown in Texas. Pale-leaf yucca can tolerate partial shade and full sun and its white flowers will start to appear in mid-summer; these are held on upright stalks a couple of inches from the leaf tips.

• Yucca rigida. A beautiful yucca palm that is also called as Blue yucca or Palmilla due to its striking blue-gray leaves; these go well with its creamy yellow flower clusters. It is known to be enduring of zones eight to ten, and has also been reported as surviving the Phoenix, Arizona winters. The branching canes of Yucca rigida can grow up to 15 feet tall and six feet wide.

• Yucca rupicola. Fascinating type of yucca as its leaves are unique from that of other yucca leaves. The leaves are dark green in colour; strap shaped, two inches wide, and form rosettes not greater than two feet tall. It is also termed as the Twisted-leaf yucca due to the ability of its leaves to twist with age. Yucca rupicola features red or white edges as well as curly white hairs, which are yuccan fiber. It can grow in partial shade and full sunlight and is native in Texas.

• Yucca schidigera. Also known as Mojave yucca, this is basically a yucca tree. One of its common names is Spanish Dagger because of the sharpness of the tips of its yellow-green leaves. Its heavy canes can reach around six to 12 inches when the plant matures and will produce white flowers with a purple tinge. Yucca schidigera should be planted well away from foot traffic. It is closely related with Yucca baccata, and hybridizes freely with it; they both inhibit the same range. Yucca schidigera is native to the Sonoran and Mojave deserts of Arizona, Nevada and California.

• Yucca gigantea (Synonyms: Yucca elephantipes and Y. guatemalensis). this is the tallest if the yuccas and can reach heights of thirty feet (9 M). It is commonly referred to as the Giant, Spineless, or Soft-tip Yucca. It blooms with white flowers in the summer. The Yucca elephantipes plants are drought-tolerant and often grown indoors as house-plants when they are young.

Yucca plants (shrubs variety) can be grown both indoors and out. Bigger varieties are planted outdoors whilst smaller ones can occupy spaces indoors. They can also be planted in pots and containers as well as in garden beds, depending on what is available to the gardener. Many people enjoy growing yucca plants indoors because they are low maintenance and have the ability to clean the air. They are also used as decorations to enhance a home and perhaps give it a Southwestern USA theme. Growing Location and Soil Condition

Yuccas are not overly fond of pot cultivation but they are usually fine when large pots are used. A three litre rose pot for a young seedling up to three years of age. For older plants, use ten litre pots or bigger. Make sure the growing spot has access to full sun as yuccas planted indoors with limited light and root run, often have a dwarfish look. Though this look is actually the desired one for some indoor yuccas.

Raised Beds: Outdoor planting for most species requires well-drained raised beds. Although some varieties can be grown unprotected, some beds need to be protected against winter moisture. Species that can be grown in unprotected beds include Yucca glauca, Yucca filamentosa, Yucca ‘Karlsruhensis’, Yucca flaccida, Yucca angustissima ssp. kanabensis, and several hybrids such as Yucca ‘Hybrid No. 1402’ and ‘Hybrid No. 500’.

Place two to three inches of the soil mixture into the bottom of the hole and put the root ball of the yucca plant on top of it. Ensure that the plant is straight and centered. Fill in around the root ball with the remaining soil mixture until it reaches the soil surface level. Gently press the soil to release any pockets of air. Sprinkle light water to the plant. Additional water can be added two to three weeks after planting. Yucca Plant Care and Pruning How to care for a yucca plant

Outdoor yucca plant care: Plants prefer dry soil that has full access to the sun. Avoid overwatering the plant as this can cause rotting of the roots. Cut off all the dead leaves in order to keep the plant neat. Make sure to wear heavy gloves to prevent the leaves from cutting your hands. Yuccas are not fond of being transplanted, so make sure that you will choose the right location before planting them. A once a year feeding is sufficient as yuccas survive well in areas of low nutrients and are light eaters.

For potted houseplant – Yucca plant care indoors: make sure that the plant has sufficient access to intense light. Use heavy pots as yuccas tend to be heavy in both their stem and foliage. When watering, simply sprinkle water on the top of the plant if the soil feels dry. Although yuccas do not prefer to watered heavily, draught or lack of water can cause the leaves to turn brown or yellow. Other than pruning a Yucca plant pretty much cares after itself.

When propagating it is important to use mature tissue (in order to prevent root rot), and perform propagation in the spring. Cut off the leafy top after marking the trunk, remove all of the upper leaves and then plant the trunk in potting soil with the end that formerly had the leaves pointing up. Now relocate the pot to a shady area. The trunk is expected to have rooted itself within two to three weeks of planting, and will start to produce new leaves. Troubleshooting Problems