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How to Grow a Yucca Plant

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How to Grow a Yucca Plant

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Overview

Yucca is a perennial evergreen shrub native to arid regions of North, South and Central America. In the United States, yucca thrives in hardiness zones 4 through 10. Gardeners value the plant for its ease of care, bold foliage and attractive flowers. During the summer, the yucca plant produces tall spikes of waxy, bell-shaped white flowers that tower above its stiff, sword-shaped leaves. Gardeners often plant yucca in desert-themed gardens or as borders and edging. Several yucca species exist, but all share the same care requirements.

Step 1

Choose a planting location for yucca that receives full sunlight throughout the day. Spread a 1-inch layer of coarse sand over the planting site and use a garden hoe to incorporate it into the soil to increase drainage to adequate levels.

Step 2

Plant yucca during spring or summer. Use a shovel to dig a hole in the soil of equal depth and three times as wide as the root ball. Place the root ball in the hole and backfill with soil. Water lightly to compact the soil and initiate growth. Space yucca plants two to three feet apart.

Step 3

Water once each week during the first month of growth to help the root system become established. Reduce the frequency of watering thereafter to once every two weeks, but only on weeks with no natural rainfall or when temperatures exceed 100 degrees F.

Step 4

Prune yucca immediately after flowering ends to help the plant conserve nutrients. Use pruning shears to remove the dead flower spike and any leaves that appear diseased or damaged. Do not remove any healthy leaves, because this can increase the chance of infection.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plant yucca out of reach of children and pets. The plant's needle-like leaves can cause serious injury. Likewise, always wear gloves when handling the yucca plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Coarse sand
  • Garden hoe
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears

References

  • Clemson University Extension: Yucca
  • "Taylor's Guide to Growing North America's Favorite Plants"; Barbara Ellis; 2000
  • "New York Gardener's Guide"; Ralph Snodsmith; 2004
Keywords: yucca plant, growing 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.