What Is Soapweed Yucca – How To Grow A Soapweed Yucca Plant

What Is Soapweed Yucca – How To Grow A Soapweed Yucca Plant

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Image by MicheleVacchiano

What is soapweed yucca? This distinctive member of the agave family is an attractive clumping perennial with grayish-green, dagger-like leaves that grow from a central rosette. During the summer, stout stalks lined with creamy, cup-shaped blooms rise 2 to 3 feet (1 m.) above the plant. Growing soapweed yuccas isn’t difficult as long as you can provide the right growing conditions. Let’s learn how to grow a soapweed yucca.

Soapweed Yucca Information

The Native Americans of the Great Plains valued soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), using it for aches and pains, sprains, inflammations, and also to staunch bleeding. The roots were used as a laxative and the soapy juice was an effective treatment for poison ivy and other minor skin irritations. The stout fibers were incorporated into sandals, baskets, brooms and whips.

Soapweed yucca, with a taproot of up to 20 feet (7 m.), is a hardy plant that stands up to drought, wildfires, and grazing. Although it is admired for its ornamental qualities, soapweed yucca can sometimes become a nuisance in pastures and rangeland.

Growing Soapweed Yuccas

Soapweed yucca requires well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. Low light results in spindly growth and fewer blooms.

Allow plenty of space for soapweed yucca. The leaves are sharp enough to cut skin, so be sure to plant soapweed yucca safely away from sidewalks, driveways and play areas.

With regards to soeapweed yucca care, you’ll want to remove dead leaves in early spring. Pruning the yucca at this time will encourage new growth and tidier plants. Cut the stiff flower stalks when the blooms fade. Always wear long sleeves, long pants and sturdy gloves when working with yucca plants.

Soapweed yucca is drought tolerant but benefits from an inch of water every week to 10 days during hot, dry weather. However, if you forget to water, the plant will survive.

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