Growing Yuca Vines – How To Care For Yellow Morning Glory Yuca

Yellow Morning Glory Yuca Vines
morning glory yuca
(Image credit: Carita Liberato)

The introduction of flower vines in the landscape can be an easy way to add dynamic height and interest to the home flower garden. Attractive vining flowers draw pollinators with ease, not to mention add an extra element of privacy to small urban yard spaces. Choosing the right vine for the flower garden can be challenging, though.

Growers who experience extended periods of high temperatures and drought throughout the growing season may find the task of choosing vines even more difficult. However, one type of vine - the yellow morning glory yuca – is able to thrive under adverse garden conditions with relative ease.

Yuca Vine Information

While commonly referred to as yellow morning glory yuca (Merremia aurea), it is actually not a type of morning glory at all, though it is in the same family. These drought-tolerant vines are native to Mexico and portions of California. While evergreen in some climates, yuca vines are also grown as an annual flower. Resembling that of morning glories, hence the name, their delicate yellow flowers bloom in even the hottest regions.

Wait, so why are they called "yuca" vines? Ah, yes! Aren't common names great? Not to be confused with the ornamental yucca commonly grown in landscapes or the yuca (cassava) grown for its starchy roots, this Merremia plant may have derived the "yuca" moniker from its past use similar to that of the yuca. Native inhabitants of the region were thought to have used the fleshy roots much like potatoes (though this isn't recommended unless you know it's safe to do so).

Yuca Vine Care

Gardeners can begin growing yuca vines in a couple of ways. Often, the vine can be found as transplants at local garden centers or plant nurseries. However, those outside of typical growing zones for the plant may have great difficulty finding it. Though seeds are available online, it will be important to order only from reputable sources to ensure viability.

Yuca vines are well suited to a desert growing environment. This makes them an ideal option for xeriscape and water-wise landscaping. Planting soil should demonstrate exceptional drainage in order to achieve the best results. Those with heavy or clay soils may find the health of their yuca vines decline quickly.

After planting, these drought-tolerant vines require little care. It will be necessary to construct a garden trellis or net in which the plants will be able to climb. Since yellow morning glory yuca are twining vines, they will be unable to climb surfaces without the help of support.

Growing yuca vines in a location that receives full sun is ideal. However, the vines may lose some leaves when exposed to excessive heat. To remedy this, choose a flower bed that allows for partial shade during the hottest hours of the day. While intense heat may cause some vine leaf drop, yuca vines will likely recover once the temperatures begin to cool.

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel