How to Grow & Care for Yucca Plants


Yucca, also known as Adam's needle, is an evergreen perennial grown for its attractive flowers, drought tolerance, ornamental foliage and ease of care. The plant blooms during late spring and mid-summer, producing large, white blossoms on tall flower stalks that reach up to 6 feet in height. The fragrant flowers attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other beneficial creatures to the garden. Native to North America, yucca thrives in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9 and commonly finds its home in rock gardens or perennial borders.

Step 1

Plant yucca during spring, summer or fall, as long as the soil is warm and workable. Choose a location that receives full sunlight throughout the day and consists of well-drained, fertile soil. Space additional yucca plants 20 to 24 inches apart to allow enough room for mature growth.

Step 2

Use a shovel to dig a hole at the planting site of equal depth and twice as wide as the yucca's root ball. Place the roots into the hole, and then gently back-fill with soil. Water lightly to compact the soil and introduce moisture to the roots.

Step 3

Spread a 1- to 3-inch layer of mulch over the ground surrounding yucca plants to insulate the soil, deter weeds and improve moisture retention. Begin the mulch layer at least 3 inches from the plant's crown to allow air circulation and prevent stem rot.

Step 4

Water yucca plants once per week during the first season of growth to help establish the roots. Reduce the watering frequency thereafter to only during periods of extreme heat or drought, or when two weeks have passed with no rainfall. Do not water during winter.

Step 5

Feed plants once per year during early spring, just before new growth begins. Use a general purpose 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer to provide proper nutrition for growth. Apply at the rate recommended on the package. Water after applying to distribute the nutrients throughout the soil and prevent root injury.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves when handling yucca, as the sharp, needle-like leaves can cause minor injuries.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer


  • Monrovia Plant Catalog: Adams Needle
  • Tesselaar Plant Care and Growing Guides: Yucca
  • "New York Gardener's Guide"; Ralph Snodsmith; 2004

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: yucca plants, grow yucca, Adam's needle

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including