yuccas for landscaping

Yuccas for landscaping

Yuccas for landscaping (Agavaceae). Here are a few drought-tolerant Yucca plants that can be used just about anywhere the sun shines. Depending on the variety they can grow from east Texas, Denver, and to southern California.  Many have blooms that are a spectacular pale white color and often will have several spikes shooting out at the same time.

They are slow-growing however, additional summer watering will help speed up the process. Yucca faxoniana is hardy to about 10° f. It’s also called a Spanish Dagger.

The torreyi yucca is hardy to about 0° f. Yucca aloifolia has very stiff leaves and is a bit faster growing than the above-mentioned. This one does well in containers with fast-draining soil. A little shade will help darken the color of the leaves if it gets too much sun.

Yucca Care

Yuccas are drought tolerant. Many landscapers will install a drip system for these types of plants. But you should remove the drip system after 3 years of growth.

They are quite often overwatered. However, if you have your Yucca plant in a container it will require more watering as opposed to normal ground planting – Mainly during the hot summer months.

Yuccas Require little water

Very little water if any during the winter months. They thrive in sandy soils and lots of full hot sun.  You would apply insecticides the same as other non-drought tolerant plants.

Most are very low maintenance. Prune or remove dead or dying leaves to encourage new growth.  They are durable easy to grow plants but they can get diseases and insects will eat the fronds.  Grubs are also a problem in a landscape environment. Grubs will eat the root system of Yucca.

Types of Yucca’s

Yucca rigida.  Also called the Blue Yucca because of its blue very sharp fronds.  It will grow up to 12 ft. in height.  Like most Yuccas, it will shoot out nice white plumes typically around mid to late spring.


The Soap tree Yucca flower is New Mexico’s State Flower.  There are many species of the Yucca plant but the flower will bloom on most of these species.  Yucca Elata (Soaptree Yucca photo below) – This one is the most common yucca around the southwest.  Very slow-growing thin leaves with creamy white-colored flowers during the spring months.  When the flower seeds dry up the wind will blow them into the soil and with a little rain, they will germinate.

Yuccas for landscaping

Yuccas for landscaping


Red Tip Yucca

Hesperaloe parviflora.  A great-looking Yucca for xeriscape landscaping. They do well in rock gardens or as stand-alone plants.  Long spiky stems with red tip flowers during mid-spring till midsummer color. There is also a yellow variety.

Red tip Yucca
Nice looking Red Tip Yucca inside a courtyard

Brakelights Yucca

Yuccas for landscaping
Brakelights Yucca in a rock landscape

A brighter red tip Yucca.  This is a smaller version of the red-tip yucca.  It does not set seed pods so there is less maintenance and it is an evergreen in the Southwest.  It can be used in a container and is perfect for Xeriscape or rock gardens.


Yucca for landscaping
Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay

Adams Needle – Yucca filamentosa.  A perfect Yucca for a container.  Slow-growing Yucca with sharp-edged dark green fronds. Beautiful fragrant snow-white blooms during late spring or early summer.  It will retain its color and fronds during the cold months.  Easy maintenance and care.


Yuccas for landscaping
Yucca recurvifolia

Yucca recurvifolia – Also called soft leaf Yucca.  Great blue-green fronds create an interesting year-round color. Tall flower spike white blooms. An excellent accent plant that really grabs attention! A great choice for containers or as a specimen.  Another great evergreen yucca that does well in and around a patio, porch, or front entrance.

Yuccas for landscaping
Variegated Spanish dagger leaves – Latin name – Yucca gloriosa Variegata

The Variegated Spanish Dagger (Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’): Perfect in a decorative formal pot.  Easy care very low water.  Hard and rigid fronds that will easily poke anyone who brushes against it.  Make sure your container drains well. Do not confuse it with the Agave Americana also known as the Variegated Century Plant – they look similar.


Spanish Dagger

Yucca treculeana – Spanish Dagger. It resembles a type of palm but it is a true Yucca. It can grow up to 20 ft. in height. The long dark green bayonet-type fronds will grow about 3 ft. long. You can remove the bottom bark for a smoother trunk design.


Yuccas for Landscaping
Nice looking Banana Leaf Yucca and a Variegated American Agave.


The Banana Leaf Yucca (Yucca Baccata) and the Variegated Agave (Americana Agave Variegated).
Both require very little water.  Plant them in a desert landscape with rocks and other low-water-type plants.  Yuccas are somewhat susceptible to mealybugs.  Look for a white cotton-like appearance along the inner sides of the fronds.  Spray with neem oil to kill them.

Yuccas for landscaping.

If you are looking for some in-depth information on all types of Yucca you might like to view Dave’s Garden on Introduction to Yuccas.






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