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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Things You Will Need
- Coarse sand
- Garden hoe
- Pruning shears
- Yucca relies solely on the pronuba moth, also known as the yucca moth, for pollination. If the moth does not live in your area, pollination will not occur.
- Yucca requires no supplemental fertilizing or mulching. Occasional watering and grooming are the only necessities for this easy-to-grow plant.
- Reduce watering if the leaves begin to turn black in color.
- 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.
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