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Growing Yucca Plants

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Growing Yucca Plants

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Overview

Yucca plants are woody, perennial shrubs native to North America, South America, Central America and some parts of the Caribbean. Yucca is valued for its attractive evergreen foliage, which is topped by showy white flowers that appear on waxy flower spikes during the summer months. Yucca can reach an overall height of up to 10 feet and makes a dramatic statement in the home garden. Yucca plants, hardy in zones 4 through 10, are easy to grow once established and require very little maintenance to thrive.

Step 1

Plant container-grown yucca plants in spring or fall. Choose a planting location that receives full sun and has well-drained soil. Yucca plants will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions including poor, dry soil, but they perform best when planted in rich soil with good drainage.

Step 2

Use a garden tiller to loosen the soil at the planting site to a depth of at least 12 inches. Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic compost over the loosened soil and incorporate into the soil with a garden tiller prior to planting.

Step 3

Dig a planting hole of equal depth and width to the container in which the yucca plant was previously grown. Place the plant into the hole carefully, and then backfill with soil. Water immediately after planting to settle the soil and initiate new growth.

Step 4

Water yucca plants sparingly, about once every two weeks, during the hot summer months and during periods when two weeks pass without any natural rainfall. Otherwise yucca needs no supplemental watering.

Step 5

Prune yucca plants after flowering by removing the dead flower stalks with pruning shears. Remove dead leaves, if desired, to improve the aesthetic appeal of your plant, or wait for them to fall off on their own, in late fall or early winter.

Step 6

Propagate yucca plants by removing the "pups," or small plants that appear around the outside of the mother plant. Use a sharp garden spade to gently dig up the pups and plant in small pots. Grow indoors in high-quality potting soil, water once per week and keep in full sun until roots form. Plant in the garden in spring or fall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear sturdy garden gloves when handling yucca to prevent potential injury from the sharp tips of the plant's leaves. Grow out of reach of children and pets.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden tiller
  • Organic compost
  • Pruning shears
  • Garden spade
  • Potting soil

References

  • Clemson U. Extension: Yucca
  • "Taylor's Master Guide to Gardening"; Rita Buchanan, Roger Holmes; 2001
  • "Taylor's Guide to Growing North America's Favorite Plants"; Barbara Ellis; 2000
Keywords: yucca plants, yucca plant, yucca

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 Gardenguides.com.

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