How to Grow Yucca Plants in Clay Dirt


The yucca plant enjoys arid conditions. Its sword-like leaves grow 1 to 2 feet long from a center core, making it look like a shrub. The shrub-like portion of the yucca can reach widths of 3 to 6 feet depending on the variety. In the spring, a shaft about 1 inch in diameter emerges from the center of the shrub-like base. The shaft can reach heights of 12 feet in a few weeks. Large, white bell-shaped blooms will droop in clusters from the shaft. By amending the soil, you can successfully grow yucca plants in clay dirt.

Step 1

Choose a sunny, well-drained location to plant yucca. Dig a hole three times as wide as the potted plant or rootball and two times as deep. Place the removed dirt in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp. Digging a hole larger than the plant will help the roots expand into loosened soil.

Step 2

Mix up to 50 percent organic matter, like leaf mold or compost, or potting soil into the removed soil.

Step 3

Backfill the hole halfway. Place the plant in the center of the hole, and make sure the top of the rootball is level with the ground. Add or remove soil as needed.

Step 4

Remove the yucca from the pot, and place the plant in the hole. If the yucca is burlap-wrapped, leave the burlap on when you place the plant in the hole. Backfill the hole halfway up the side of the plant. If the rootball was covered with burlap, pull the burlap back so the top half of the rootball is exposed.

Step 5

Water the partially filled hole to settle the soil mixture. Finish backfilling the hole and water again. Regular rainfall should be sufficient to keep a yucca healthy. Water only if there are extended dry periods, like more than two weeks without rain.

Step 6

Apply about 2 inches of mulch across the surface.

Tips and Warnings

  • An established yucca can be difficult to remove from the landscape. It's deep and far-reaching roots can send up new sprouts several feet away. The sturdy, pointed leaves can poke tender skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Tarp or wheelbarrow
  • Organic matter
  • Mulch


  • Dayton Nursery: Adam's Needle, Yucca Filamentosa
  • Nursery and Garden Center: Working with Clay Soils
  • New Mexico State University: Yucca and Medicinal Plants
Keywords: yucca, planting in clay soil, plant yucca

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.