Yucca brevifolia (Joshua Tree)
Yucca brevifolia (Joshua Tree) is a tree-like Yucca, up to 40 feet (12 m) tall, with a columnar, much-branched trunk forming a weird and…
Beaked Yucca, Big Bend Yucca
Perhaps the most handsome yucca, Yucca rostrata (Beaked Yucca) is a very ornamental, slow-growing, evergreen tree-like yucca forming a perfectly symmetrical pom-pom, full of hundreds of 2 ft. long (60 cm), sharp-tipped, pale bluish-green leaves. This shimmering rosette is mounted atop a tree trunk, which is covered with the soft gray fibers of the old leaves, creating a silver haze. This Yucca is topped in late spring with yellow-orange flowering stalks that rise above the foliage on mature plants, and bear large clusters of white flowers. Although it can branch, Yucca rostrata is usually seen with a single trunk. Often confused with Yucca rigida, Yucca rostrata lacks the stiffness in the leaves characterizing Yucca rigida, making this plant less dangerous than most others of the genus. This species is highly tolerant of drought, heat and frost. It withstands temperatures as low as - 10°F (-23°C).
- Adds interest to the garden and grows up to 6-15 ft. tall (180-450 cm) and 4-10 ft. wide (120-300 cm).
- Easily grown in dry, well-drained soils in full sun. Occasional to infrequent summer irrigation needed, but will grow faster if well watered. Prefers alkaline conditions.
- Deer and rabbit resistant, this plant attracts hummingbirds
- Provide a striking focal point in beds and borders, gravel gardens, xeriscape gardens, Mediterranean gardens or containers.
- Easy to propagate from seeds or cuttings
- Native to South western Texas and northern Mexico.
Yucca Plant: Different Types, How To Grow and Care
Yucca plants are popular all over the world, prized for their adaptability both indoors and outside. Native to hot, arid environments like the Carribean, the American Southwest, and South America, yucca plants are incredibly diverse.
However, there are many types of yucca plants to choose from. Whether you’re an inexperienced gardener with no idea where to start – or you’ve been in the hobby for quite some time – the vast quantity can be downright overwhelming.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to grow and care for your yucca plants – as well as which types of yucca plants will be right for you – you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you everything you need to know!
Range from zones 5 to 11, depending on type.
Varies by type. Smaller varieties can be 2 to 4 feet tall and wide, and larger tree types can reach 30 feet tall and spread to 25 feet wide with offsets. If offsets are allowed to remain, clumps can grow to be many times the size of the individual plant.
Full sun. A lack of sunlight can cause spindly foliage growth and decreased flowering.
Varies by type some will begin blooming in spring and others mid-to-late summer. Most varieties will bloom annually throughout their life — these are called polycarpic perennials. There are also monocarpic varieties, like Hesperoyucca whipplei (syn. Yucca whipplei), that flower only once then slowly decline and die, similar to many of their close relatives, Agave spp..
Color and characteristics:
Leaves can be thick or thin usually long and narrow, sword-shaped, spine-tipped and arranged in rosettes. Foliage on some can be razor sharp. Flowers bloom on large stalks that emerge from the center of the plant, some over 10 feet tall. Flowers are usually white or cream, and some varieties may have a hint of pink, purple or green.
The sharp and spiny nature of some yuccas is usually enough to steer animals (and people) away. However, if they are ingested, they can be moderately toxic to cats, dogs, and humans.
Yucca vs. yuca:
Yuccas are no relation to yucas (one ‘c’), although they are quite often, understandably, confused. Yuca, also commonly known as Cassava, is a plant with edible, starchy tubers/roots that tapioca and cassava flour are made from. The roots of the yucca plant are not edible.
Yucca Plant Diseases and Other Growth-Related Problems
Though yucca is a hardy plant, lack of appropriate care can make it susceptible to a host of pest attacks and growth issues.
Problems associated with Inadequate Care
Excess watering can lead to yellow leaves with brown tips, dead leaves, and root rot. Follow the right watering schedule to prevent it from occurring.
Exposing the plant to hot and bright sunlight suddenly from a shaded environment can lead to the formation of yellow and white blotches on the leaves (sunburn) as a result of a lack of acclimatization. So, when replacing an indoor yucca plant to an outdoor location, do it gradually over the course of a week so the plant gets a little time to adjust.
Excessive application of high nitrogen-containing fertilizers can result in browning and burning of leaves. Follow the appropriate fertilizing schedule to prevent it.
Fungal and Bacterial Issues
Fungi like Cercospora, Coniothyrium, and Cylindrosporium often affect the plant due to overwatering, causing fading of the leaves. Application of copper fungicide or neem oil may help in removing the spores from the leaves.
Leaf or blight spot is another common bacterial disease characterized by dark lesions on the leaves. Water the plant properly at the base and allow it to dry between watering sessions. Also, apply a good sterilized soil free of disease-causing bacteria and spores.
Lack of sunlight can cause the leaves to become outstretched and leggy, especially when the plant is grown indoors. Exposing all the sides of the plant to the required amount of light will reverse the problem and ensure a uniform and healthy growth.
Scale insects are relatively common, feeding on the sap, leaving behind deposits in the form of yellowish-white or black spots. Spraying light alcohol solution or insecticide over the affected areas could be useful. Agrave plant bugs attack in a similar manner, sucking out the juices from the plant, causing browning of leaves. Application of insecticidal solution directly over the leaves may help in controlling the problem.
It is also often infested by other insects such as mealy bugs, aphids, and weevils that could be eliminated by water sprays and insecticidal soap solutions.