Image by terren in Virginia
By Shari Armstrong
Yucca growing isn’t just for indoors. The yuccas plant’s sword-like leaves add a distinctive look to any area, including the landscape. It is a perennial, evergreen shrub that comes in several species. Let’s take a look at landscaping with yuccas and caring for yucca plants in your yard.
Yucca Growing Outdoors
As it is a native of the southwestern United States, it thrives in soil that drains well and can be in full sun. It is also able to withstand temperatures as cold as 10 degrees F., so you can grow a yucca plant in many different climates.
The creamy-white flowers bloom best in full sun, during mid to late summer, with some yucca growing as tall as 10 feet and leaves that reach about 2 ½ feet in length.
Landscaping with Yuccas
When landscaping with yuccas, it is best to keep them away from sidewalks and other high traffic areas as the leaves are extremely sharp and can cut someone if they should brush up against the plant.
The yucca plant is very forgiving when it comes to soil types, as long as it drains well. This is especially important during the first year when you grow a yucca plant, giving it time to adjust to the soil and local rainfall.
You have to be sure to leave plenty of room to grow a yucca, as a mature plant can reach up to 3 feet across. They also have a fairly extensive root system and another plant can appear a short distance away. Even if the plant is removed, it can be difficult to get rid of the entire root system and the yucca will regrow from any root left in the ground.
Caring for Yuccas
Caring for yucca plants is fairly simple. When older leaves die on a mature yucca plant, simply cut them away, usually in the spring. Caring for yuccas like this helps the rest of the plant look nicer, and allows the newer leaves to grow.
When caring for yucca plants, it is a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands from the sharp leaves. After the yucca has stopped flowering and the fruit has appeared, prune back the flower stalk. The stalk should be cut clear to the ground.
When you decide to grow a yucca plant in your yard, you adding a striking feature to your landscape. The good news is that caring for yuccas is easy. With a little care and maintenance, your yucca plant should thrive for years to come.