Yuccas are evergreen, perennial shrubs that are native to the hot and dry parts of the Americas and the Caribbean. They are very common in landscape designs. Some yuccas can grow into a tree-like form instead of a shrub form.
They produce sword-shaped leaves that grow densely in whorls from the ground or along a long stalk or trunk. The flower head is usually large, often exceeding 3 feet (90 cm) in height and 2 feet (60 cm) in width and consists of a single upright stem with radiating clusters of creamy-white flowers, often tinged with purple. Each flower is around 2 inches (5 cm) long and tulip-shaped with 6-pointed, downward-facing petals.
This plants flower once each year, generally from the middle of summer to early fall, depending on the variety. Once a Yucca is mature and blooms, it re-blooms typically at the same time each year. All Yuccas develop similar inflorescences on tall spikes, but some varieties, such as Yucca aloifolia, have flowers that completely cover the spikes, making a particularly impressive display. If untrimmed, the flower spikes can remain for up to 2 years after flowering, eventually turning an unsightly brown. You can remove them when flowering is over.
Yuccas do well and flower best when grown in locations with full sun and sandy, deep, well-drained soil. They tolerate soil of any pH and will grow in compacted or poor soil, making them excellent choices for urban environments. Natural inhabitants of arid regions, Yuccas tolerate drought extremely well, but they do poorly in wet areas or those with poor drainage. These plants generally grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, although some types, such as Yucca gloriosa, are more tender and hardy only in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 and above.
- Back to genus Yucca
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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