Some Yuccas can grow into a tree-like 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. Flowers are tulip-shaped with 6-pointed downward-facing petals and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long.
Yuccas bloom yearly, generally from mid-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 an 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 the flowering is over.
Yuccas do well and flower best when grown in full sun and 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 do poorly in wet areas or 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.
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