By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener
Yuccas make a lovely low maintenance screen or garden accent, especially the yucca plant flower. When your yucca plant doesn’t bloom, this can be frustrating for the home gardener. However, knowing more about what it takes to get blooms on yucca plants can help alleviate this frustration while answering the question of “how do I get my yucca to flower?”
Growing Yucca Flowers
Yucca plants are members of the Agave family and include over 40 different types of shrubby perennials that grow in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Yuccas are slow growing evergreen plants with sword-like leaves. All yucca flowers are bell-shaped and sit on top of tall stems.
Yuccas are very easy to grow and can be put in containers or planted in the ground in well-drained soil. Yuccas are drought resistant and can survive for many months without water.
They are not picky about sun or shade but do need bright light if indoors. Check your species to be sure that you are providing the right growing conditions. Not enough light can sometimes discourage blooms on yucca plants.
Regular fertilization and trimming will also help keep the plant healthy and encourage both growth and yucca flowers. Adding phosphorus –rich fertilizer or bone meal to the soil can often help encourage a yucca plant flower to form. The best time to prune yucca plants is in early October.
How Do I Get My Yucca to Flower?
If your yucca plant doesn’t bloom, it could be due to several things. Yuccas only bloom when they reach a certain age of maturity and they all bloom according to their own schedule.
Blooms on yucca plants generally appear during the warmest part of the growing season but differ slightly with each species. The same yucca may bloom at an entirely different time the following year, as yucca flowers tens to bloom sporadically.
Keep your yucca fertilized and cut the old flower head and stalk from the previous year to encourage new blooms to form.
The yucca plant flower also has an interesting relationship with a moth that pollinates the yucca and survives on its nectar. That said, the yucca plant will oftentimes not bloom unless this moth is present. In places where there are no yucca moths, the plant must be hand pollinated.