Yucca; architectural, drought tolerant and tough desert plant

Yucca aloifolia 'Variegata'

An Old Favorite, New Again

Luckily, Yucca has once again found favor among landscapers and homeowners alike, especially those that are interested only in growing plants that thrive on drought.

Although the long sword like leaves of these plants are not really succulent, it does fit neatly into the category of ‘succulent plant’ because of the fleshy roots, designed to store water for times when the lack of rainfall extends into years.

Some species and varieties of Yucca, also known as Spanish Bayonet and Adams Needle, are armed.  The ends of each leaf have a strong barb – you can see why these plants got such interesting common names.

The roots are like white plump tubers, growing in a clump under the crown of the plant. 

These can be divided easily to form new plants.  They take a few years to grow big enough to plant in their allotted space, so a nursery area is a good idea.

Once the plant has gained its full size, about 60 cm across (2′) it will start to bloom, fairly reliably every year. 

The flowers are borne on a tall stalk, and are waxy white or pink depending on the variety.

These are great landscape plants where they are given enough room – don’t put them right up against a building, or along a pathway. 

They need space around them to look good. 

Combine them in a bed of well drained soil with cactus, Aloe, Agave and other succulents for a great desert landscape.


Author: Dennis Hickey

There are no limits to success to those who never stop learning. Learning will nourish your personal growth. I hope you enjoy this website and visit often so you keep learning and growing too!

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