31 Finest Yucca Varieties for Your Drought-Tolerant Backyard


Scorching, drought-prone areas are not any drawback for rugged yuccas. Whereas many gardeners seek for unique cacti and aloe varieties to fill a dry, rocky panorama, these native vegetation actually shine in sandy, free-draining soils. Whether or not you’d like an enormous tree or a low-border shrub, the varied world of yucca varieties gives one thing distinctive for each panorama.

From scorching southern deserts and high-elevation canyons, these spiky agave relations are among the many most resilient North American native vegetation you may develop. The genus contains species native to the Southwest, Southeast, dry Colorado plateau, and past.

Let’s dig into 31 hanging yucca varieties for drought-prone landscapes!

How Many Totally different Varieties Are There?

Close-up of plant flowers against green tropical foliage in a garden. These blossoms emerge on tall, sturdy spikes and are characterized by pendulous, bell-shaped structures. The flower petals are creamy-white in color.
The genus includes 40-50 species, starting from tall Joshua timber to compact dwarf yuccas.

The Yucca genus contains 40-50 species of perennial timber and shrubs with recognizable rosettes of sword-shaped leaves. All yuccas are members of the agave subfamily of the asparagus household (Asparagaceae). These succulent vegetation are principally stemless and bloom creamy white panicles of terminal flowers. 

They vary from 30+ foot tall Joshua timber to stout, compact dwarf sorts that keep smaller than 1 foot. Most species thrive in arid desert climates with well-drained sandy or rocky soil and many daylight.

Whereas many have sharp spines on their leaves, the spineless yucca (Y. elephantipes) or mushy leaf yucca (Y. recurvifolia) are nice decisions for extremely trafficked areas or indoor houseplants. There are additionally hanging cultivars, akin to banana yucca (Y. baccata), with big edible bell-shaped blossoms and distinctive fruits.

31 Varieties for Drought Tolerant Gardens

The genus is wealthy in distinctive spiky specimens tailored to further dry environments. Searching for varieties can generally be complicated as a result of many species are referred to as the identical frequent names. To search out the very best yucca on your backyard, take care to analysis native varieties and use the scientific names to establish them at your native nursery. 

Banana Yucca (Y. baccata)

Close-up of a blooming Banana  (Yucca baccata) in a sunny garden. This yucca species features a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves. The leaves are bluish-green and have edges lined with curly fibers, resembling coarse threads. The plant produces tall flower stalk that bears pendulous, bell-shaped flowers with creamy-white petals and a hint of purple or greenish markings.
Unrelated to bananas, this plant produces distinctive fruit and thrives in arid areas.

This native perennial has no relation to bananas. Relatively, it will get its identify from the distinctive fleshy inexperienced banana-shaped fruits that seem in late summer season. The candy, nutritious fruits had been a standard native meals within the Southwest, usually roasted or pounded right into a pulp cake and sun-dried. This species thrives in arid plains and hilly grasslands of Arizona, California, southern Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and components of Utah.

As a panorama plant, the banana yucca supplies plenty of aesthetic enchantment with little or no effort. It takes care of itself so long as it has sandy or rocky, well-drained soil, and many sunshine. It may deal with partial shade however actually prefers plenty of warmth and solar. 

The clump-forming rosettes attain 4-6 ft tall, with slender leaves averaging 30 inches lengthy. The needle-sharp ideas make this plant an ideal border plant to maintain undesirable guests out of your backyard. When it blooms within the late spring, it sends up a central flowering stalk as much as 40 inches tall with stunning fleshy, pendant, whitish flowers generally tinged in purplish purple. 

These flowers are solely pollinated by a particular yucca moth (Tegeticula spp.) that developed a mutualistic relationship with the plant for greater than 40 million years. The species can not unfold within the wild with out this moth, and the moth larvae can not survive with out the seeds of the plant.

Adam’s Needle (Y. filamentosa)

Close-up of a blossoming Adam’s Needle in a sunlit garden. This species showcases a distinctive rosette of slender, sword-like leaves. The leaves are green with a sharp-pointed tip and margins adorned with curly filaments, adding a unique texture. Rising above the foliage is a tall flower stalk crowned with clusters of cream-colored, pendulous flowers that impart a delicate charm to the landscape.
Fashionable for gardens, Adam’s Needle has hanging foliage and blooms, subsisting in various circumstances.

The three-foot clumps of dramatic blue-green dagger-like leaves, and big 6-foot-tall stalks of white blooms make Adam’s Needle some of the standard backyard varieties. Native to the Southeastern United States, Y. filamentosa is a superb choice for the Southern and Japanese states from Florida to New York and all through the Midwest.

It stays evergreen in zones 4 by means of 10 and withstands excessive warmth, poor soil, drought, and feeding from herbivores. The bell-shaped panicle flowers are noticeably stunning within the panorama and appeal to a variety of bees, butterflies, and moths.

A number of types of this species can be found in nurseries, together with ‘Variegata’ (bred for distinctive striped leaves) and ‘Colour Guard’ (bred for yellow-margined leaves). They’re simple to plant and propagate so long as the soil is totally drained. As soon as established, Adam’s Needle doesn’t want a lot else past occasional moisture.

After being pollinated by the yucca moth, Adam’s Needle will naturally self-sow its seeds and produce new vegetation close by. You may go away the younger vegetation to mature in place or use a shovel to relocate them.

Weak Leaf Yucca (Y. flaccida)

Close-up of a Weak Leaf (Yucca flaccida) in a garden with mulched soil. This species boasts a cluster of flexible, arching leaves that lend a graceful appearance. The leaves are green and edged with fine threads, contributing to its ornamental appeal.
Just like Adam’s Needle, Yucca flaccida has slender leaves and fits varied climates.

The favored Yucca flaccida is usually referred to as Adam’s Needle, nevertheless it has minor variations, akin to thinner, extra versatile leaves and finer, straighter filaments that define the foliage. Some researchers say it’s the identical species as Y. filamentosa, whereas others insist it’s totally different, however we are able to develop them mainly the identical method in our gardens.

Weak leaf has a stunning rosette kind and doesn’t thoughts colder, damper climates of the northern U.S. It handles saturated soils higher than different varieties but nonetheless produces the signature fleshy white flower clusters.

Weak leaf yuccas tolerate partial shade however received’t flower in full shade. The leaves are tipped with stiff spines, so keep away from planting too near walkways. 

Soapweed Yucca (Y. glauca)

Close-up of a Soapweed (Yucca glauca) in the garden with a sign. The sign indicates the type of plant. This yucca species features a basal rosette of blue-green leaves, displaying a unique glaucous hue. The leaves are edged with curly fibers, resembling coarse threads, enhancing its visual interest.
Named for its soap-producing roots, soapweed yucca is a horny, spiky decorative plant.

Soapweed yucca obtained its identify as a result of the roots had been historically used to make cleaning soap. Folks indigenous to the Americas additionally used the roots to make hair wash for lice, baldness, and dandruff. Within the panorama, this plant is extremely decorative and spiky, like a cute little porcupine.

Generally referred to as “plain’s yucca”, it’s native to the Nice Plains and grows wild as far west as Montana and Wyoming. In June or July, you’ll be stunned by the white or palish inexperienced flowers with tinges of pink. The large elongated stalks complement different rock backyard vegetation like spiral aloe or sedum.

This a lot stouter species grows simply 3-4 ft broad and as much as 5 ft tall when in flower. The evergreen leaves final for a few years and resist extended droughts. Plant soapweed in a xeriscape setting with exceptionally gravelly, well-drained soil. These vegetation can die if uncovered to oversaturated clay or standing water. 

Soaptree Yucca (Y. elata)

Close-up of a Soaptree (Yucca elata) standing tall on the beach in sunlight. This species showcases a cluster of rigid, lance-shaped leaves, imparting a bold and architectural aesthetic. The leaves, greenish-gray in color, are adorned with curly fibers along the edges. The plant produces a towering flower spike bearing pendulous, bell-shaped flowers with creamy-white petals and delicate greenish accents.
Identified for its saponin-rich roots, soaptree yucca is a slow-growing, decorative selection.

Like soapweed yucca, soaptree yucca was most well-known for the saponins within the roots and trunk. When mashed, they make a sudsy resolution to make use of as shampoo or cleaning soap. This fine-leaved tree-like plant is thought-about some of the decorative varieties, and its edible flowers odor pleasant.

It varies from a stout 5-foot single-trunk shrub to an enormous 20-foot tree. The 4-6 foot flowering stalk seems in early summer season from mature vegetation, yielding big bell-shaped clusters of white flowers just like others within the genus. 

The leaves have bluish undertones and white strains. The grass-like heads atop the shreddy trunks create a palm-like look. One native identify, Palmilla, references this resemblance to a small palm

Soaptree yuccas develop extraordinarily slowly (about one inch per yr), however supplemental irrigation helps them attain bigger sizes extra rapidly. They thrive in desert mesas and grasslands. Their native vary encompasses a lot of the Southwestern U.S., from Texas to Arizona, particularly within the Chihuahuan desert. This plant is cold-hardy all the way down to 0°F (-18°C) and ruggedly drought tolerant. It wants no upkeep as soon as established from rhizome, seed, or offset.

Spanish Bayonet or Spanish Dagger (Y. aloifolia)

Close-up of a Spanish Bayonet plant in full bloom. This species presents a rosette of stiff, sword-shaped leaves that add a dramatic touch to the surroundings. The leaves are bluish-green and feature edges lined with curly fibers. Atop a tall stem, the plant produces pendant, bell-shaped flowers with creamy-white petals.
Reaching as much as 10 ft, Spanish bayonet’s sword-shaped leaves add an unique contact with minimal care.

This woody evergreen shrub grows a hanging 6-10+ ft tall and has multi-branched stems with lengthy inexperienced leaves that every finish in some extent. Generally, the trunk doesn’t department and grows as a stocky, central column. The vegetation add an unique look to your panorama and require little to no care. 

The Spanish bayonet obtained its frequent identify from the sword-shaped rough-edged leaves that resemble weapons utilized by Spaniards on the muzzles of their rifles. This species naturally happens within the coastal southeastern plains of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Carolinas. It additionally grows all through the Caribbean.

It prefers sandy dunes and generally brackish marshes. In your backyard, it readily thrives in sandy soils amended with pumice, perlite, or advantageous gravel. 

Spanish Dagger (Y. gloriosa)

Close-up of a Spanish Dagger  in a sunlit garden. This species boasts a basal rosette of robust, sword-like leaves that command attention with their architectural presence. The leaves are green with edges adorned by curly fibers, and creamy stripes along the edges.
Perfect for humid climates, Y. gloriosa types spiky clumps with trunk-like branches.

Should you dwell in a damp local weather with sandy soil, Y. gloriosa is ideal for a massive border backyard. Juveniles begin about 3 ft broad and tall in huge clumps of spiky rosettes that ultimately develop upward from every stout trunk or department.

Generally referred to as Spanish Bayonet or Spanish Dagger, or curved leaf yucca, Y. gloriosa has plenty of misnomers. It’s visibly just like the Y. aloifolia, however the rosettes develop nearer to the bottom moderately than atop an enormous trunk. They’ve easy margins however very sharp factors.

Variegated cultivars like ‘Shiny Star’ have ivory leaf edges and shades of pink in cooler climate. They thrive in zones 7 by means of 12 and turn out to be extra tree-like over time as they develop trunks. The vegetation kind suckering colonies by branching out and spreading underground. Hold this species farther towards the backyard margin to keep away from it taking on your backyard or poking individuals as they stroll by.

Spineless Yucca (Y. elephantipes)

Close-up of a potted Spineless Yucca in the garden against the backdrop of a flowering garden. This species features a cluster of smooth, lance-shaped leaves that contribute to its sleek and modern appearance. The leaves are green and free of spines, providing a clean and minimalist aesthetic.
Perfect for houseplants, spineless yucca options spine-free, shiny leaves atop stout, branched trunks.

For many who have had painful run-ins with the sharp spikes of this genus, spineless yucca is the proper resolution. The spine-free shiny leaves appear like welcoming pom poms atop stout branched trunks. The trunks have thick, tough bark and a bent to department from the plump base.

Spineless yucca is standard for houseplants, however is unlikely to flower in a pot. Nonetheless, it’s nice for northern growers who wish to add a desert vibe to their home plant choice. The potted yucca enjoys dry environments with low humidity and loads of vibrant mild.

As an outside specimen, it is just hardy in zones 9 to 10 and must be protected against frosts. Spineless yucca is native to japanese Mexico and Central America. This evergreen can attain a whopping 20-40 ft in its wild habitat however is extra prone to keep underneath 20 ft in a domesticated panorama. Present loads of area and soil drainage for this species.

Mojave Yucca (Y. schidigera)

Close-up of a Mojave Yucca in bloom against a blue desert sky. This species showcases a rosette of stiff, lance-shaped leaves with a blue-green hue. The leaves have edges lined with curly fibers. Rising above the foliage is a tall flower stalk bearing pendant, bell-shaped flowers with creamy-white petals.
The beautiful Mojave yucca is hardy in zones 9 and above.

This little evergreen can develop as a humble 3-foot mound on the bottom or a stout 10-15-foot tall tree. It may solely survive outside in zones 9 and hotter, as temperatures beneath 20°F (-7°C) will kill this desert plant.

The Mojave yucca is exclusive as a result of its big inflorescence happens down within the middle of the spiky cluster moderately than elongating on a tall stalk. The massive clumps of creamy flowers are spectacularly dense and fleshy, rising only a bit above the leaves as if held by a bowl of foliage. The leaves vary from darkish inexperienced to yellow to bluish, with stiff spines on the ends and curly white filaments lining the margins. 

Unsurprisingly, this yucca thrives within the Mojave desert areas of California, Nevada, and Arizona. It’s insanely rugged, sun-loving, and very drought-tolerant. The comparatively small measurement ensures it doesn’t take up a lot sq. footage in a small xeriscape. 

Close-up of a Navajo (Yucca baileyi) in full bloom in a sunny garden. This species features a rosette of slender, lance-shaped leaves with a greenish tint. Atop a sturdy stem, the plant produces pendant, bell-shaped flowers in creamy-white tones with subtle purple markings.
This yucca types low mounds with slim blue-green leaves.

The tight-clustered mounds of Navajo yucca create good, dense colonies of low-growing foliage for a drought-prone panorama. The leaves are slim, blue-green, and about 3 ft lengthy, rising from the middle rosette like a low-growing spiky pom pom.

Navajo has a comparatively slim vary in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, however it might survive in heat xeriscapes all through the southern states. Somewhat water after planting is normally all it must survive. 

Beaked Yucca (Y. rostrata)

Close-up of a Beaked Yucca in a sun-drenched garden. This species presents a rosette of stiff, sword-like leaves with a striking blue-green coloration. The leaves are edged with curly fibers, resembling coarse threads, enhancing its visual interest. The tips of some leaves are dry and brown.
This tree-like selection types symmetrical pom-poms on cylindrical trunks, including desert attraction.

Need a drought-resilient panorama that appears like a desert oasis? As top-of-the-line tree-like varieties, the beaked yucca grows completely symmetrical pom-poms of sharp-tipped leaves atop engaging cylindrical trunks.

Plantings with desert palms, saguaro, and prickly pear cacti add an intriguing vertical dimension to the panorama. As older decrease leaves die, they flip brown, yielding a shaggy look over the trunk-like stem. Luckily, these fibrous leaves are mushy. This plant behaves extra like a tree, which suggests it’s much less spiky and harmful to run into in comparison with different varieties. 

Beaked yucca survives all the way down to zone 5 and doesn’t thoughts partial shade so long as it will get at the least 4 hours of direct solar. Within the late spring, yellowish-orange stalks emerge from the highest middle of the plant, yielding white flower clusters that some say resemble birds’ beaks. It’s generally referred to as Huge Bend yucca as a result of it’s discovered all through Huge Bend Nationwide Park in southwest Texas. Crops develop extraordinarily slowly, so persistence and enough spacing (at the least 3-5 ft) are important for comfortable mature vegetation years down the road.

Smooth Leaf Yucca (Y. recurvifolia)

Close-up of a blooming Soft Leaf Yucca  in a sunny garden. This  species showcases a rosette of flexible, arching leaves. The leaves, a soothing bluish-green, exhibit edges adorned with curly fibers, resembling coarse threads. Rising above the foliage is a tall flower stalk that gracefully bears pendulous, bell-shaped flowers with creamy-white petals, accented by a hint of purple.
With non-pointed leaves, this yucca prefers xeriscape gardens and requires minimal upkeep.

Talking of softer varieties, this exotic-looking species doesn’t have the sharply pointed leaves of its cousins. Smooth leaf yucca is an evergreen perennial usually planted in xeriscape borders, poolsides, and rock gardens.

Its sleek blue-hued leaves fold over in a pleasant open rosette that doesn’t look fairly as “desert-like” as different sorts. The big central flower stalks are a baffling sight in the summertime, reaching as much as 8 ft tall and grabbing your consideration from afar.

This plant seems finest with supplemental water throughout institution and thru scorching summers, nevertheless it doesn’t thoughts extended warmth and drought. It tolerates clay however prefers sandy loams. The one upkeep required is aesthetic, akin to eradicating spent blooms and outdated foliage. Smooth-leaf is hardy to zones 7-10 and appears particularly beautiful alongside yarrow, sedum, sempervivum, and evergreen timber.

Dwarf Yucca (Y. harrimaniae)

View of Dwarf Yucca plants in full bloom, gracing a sunlit garden with its petite charm. This species features a compact rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves. The leaves, with a delicate bluish-green hue, boast edges lined with curly fibers. The tips of the leaves have a yellowish tint.
A tiny and low-maintenance shrub, dwarf yucca fits small areas and gives aesthetic versatility.

Should you don’t have a lot room for an enormous plant however nonetheless wish to fill a rocky or sandy space with fairly desert-like assertion items, dwarf yucca is ideal for you! This extraordinarily low-maintenance mini shrub is the littlest kind you should buy, remaining underneath 1 foot tall by 1 foot broad at maturity. The compact rosettes are slim, cute, and cluster-forming. They develop fairly spike-balls alongside the bottom or in containers.

The white filaments create a mystical aura to this little plant. Fashionable cultivars embrace ‘Magenta Magic,’ with fairly purple-striped leaves, and ‘Nana,’ which is extra blue-green. Dwarf yuccas are hardy in zones 5-10 and don’t thoughts frost so long as their roots are protected against oversaturated or soggy soils.

‘Blue Boy’ (Y. desmetiana)

Close-up of 'Blue Boy' in a sunny garden. This species presents a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves with a captivating bluish-green tint. The upper leaves are shades of purple and burgundy.
Compact, flexible-leaved ‘Blue Boy’ is ideal for small areas.

This compact, flexible-leaved yucca is one other nice accent plant for small-space xeriscapes, borders, and container plantings. The foliage continues to be pokey however not as intensely in order different varieties. 

‘Blue Boy’ is the preferred cultivar, with gray-green younger leaves that flip purple or maroon-tinted within the winter. It’s native to northern Mexico and hardy to zone 8. Crops attain about 5 ft tall and broad at maturity however can stay smaller if planted shut collectively.

New Mexico Yucca (Y. neomexicana)

Close-up of a New Mexico Yucca (Yucca neomexicana) in full bloom, gracing a sunlit garden. This yucca species features a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves with a muted bluish-green coloration. The leaves display edges lined with curly fibers. Atop a sturdy stem, the plant produces tall flower spikes adorned with pendant, bell-shaped flowers in creamy-white tones, accented by subtle hints of purple.
Compact and spiky, the New Mexican Spanish Bayonet thrives in chilly climates.

Generally referred to as the New Mexican Spanish Bayonet, this small shrubby plant grows in acquainted spiky rosettes all through New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Its flowering stalk is longer than the basic Spanish bayonet, and its flowers are generally tinted with a reasonably purplish-red.

This species is much less frequent in cultivation however can be an awesome choice for gardeners as chilly as zone 5 in its native vary. Rocky or gravelly soil is good.

Carneros Yucca (Y. carnerosana)

View of Carneros Yucca (Yucca carnerosana) with desert and rocks in the background. This yucca species showcases a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves with a bold bluish-green color. The leaves exhibit edges adorned with curly fibers, resembling coarse threads, enhancing its visual interest. The plant is tall and the trunk is covered with dry drooping leaves.
Standing tall at 20 ft with a thick trunk, Carneros yucca is a hanging West Texas native species.

At as much as 20 ft tall with a 1-foot diameter trunk, Carneros is likely one of the most noticeable tree species of yucca you will note when driving by means of West Texas. The stiff, dagger-like leaves radiate out from central rosettes on prime of the thick trunks, producing an enormous central flower stalk that grows floral clusters weighing as much as 70 kilos! Nonetheless, they don’t reliably flower yearly.

Its comparatively slim vary confines its wild habitat to limestone soils at 3,000 to five,000 ft elevation. Nonetheless, gardeners in West Texas ought to definitely take into account this native species as a part of their panorama. Carneros survives impressively sizzling temperatures and lengthy, dry summers.

Narrowleaf Yucca (Y. angustissima)

Close-up of a Narrowleaf Yucca (Yucca angustissima) in full bloom, gracing a sunlit garden with its slender beauty. This yucca species presents a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves with a narrow profile. The leaves are bluish-green and feature edges lined with curly fibers, resembling coarse threads. Atop a sturdy stem, the plant produces tall flower spikes adorned with pendant, bell-shaped flowers in creamy-white tones. An unusual purple ground cover plant grows nearby.
Thriving in dry landscapes, narrowleaf yucca is a wonderful selection for native plant fans in arid areas.

For dry sagebrush landscapes in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, narrowleaf yucca is keen to develop no matter water. This selection isn’t cultivated, however native plant lovers ought to definitely take into account it in extraordinarily drought-prone areas.

You may spot narrowleaf as a result of its spiky foliage is finer than most all different varieties. Nonetheless, it’s generally mistaken for a Dracaena or Hesperaloe species. You may establish the vegetation by trying to find the advantageous white curly-q threads alongside the middle and edges of the plant.

Historically, the fibrous leaves had been used for needle and thread, cordage, basket weaving, and sandals. The recent flowers are edible and delightful. 

Arkansas Yucca (Y. flaccida)

Close-up of Arkansas Yucca (Yucca arkansana) inflorescence in bloom. A tall flower stalk bearing pendulous, bell-shaped flowers with creamy-white petals and a hint of greenish markings.
Perfect for prairie gardens or meadow landscapes, this yucca thrives in zones 6-9.

One other so-called “soft-leaf yucca,” Arkansas yucca can be the proper addition to a drought-prone prairie backyard, meadow panorama, or perhaps a walkway border. This clump-forming evergreen enjoys partial shade and grows extra flower-like than others.

Its versatile, leathery leaves common 2 ft lengthy and radiate from a central trunkless base. The inflorescence is comparatively quick (about 3 ft tall). Arkansas yucca is extraordinarily hardy in zones 6 by means of 9 and ideal for temperate climates.

Chaparral Yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei)

Close-up of Chaparral Yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei) plants in a garden among blooming native wildflowers. This yucca species showcases a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves with a distinctive bluish-green hue. The tips of the leaves are pointed and brownish in color.
This yucca boasts hanging purple flowers however takes 5-10 years to succeed in maturity.

The flamboyant purple-hued flowers of Chaparral yucca add a singular look to a dry panorama. The pendant flowers are completely fascinating to stare at.

Nonetheless, this species requires 5-10 years to flower and attain maturity. Generally referred to as Our Lord’s Candle or the Quixote plant, the silvery vegetation seems very good in containers or borders, reaching as much as 4 ft tall and broad. 

Twist Leaf Yucca (Y. pallida)

View of Twist Leaf Yucca (Yucca pallida) plant in the garden among the stones. This yucca species features a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves with a subtle bluish-green color. The leaves exhibit edges lined with curly fibers and finely serrated.
The twist-leaf yucca is good for shadier rock gardens with its compact measurement and distinctive, less-spiky options.

Shadier, small-space rock gardens are completely fitted to the twist-leaf yucca. This species has blue-green leaves that twirl as they age, forming fairly olive-green wavy clusters. They aren’t as harmful or spiky as different species.

The flowers are a lot smaller and fewer fleshy than different varieties, but nonetheless placed on a singular upright summer season present. Crops common 1-2 ft tall and broad and thrive in a variety of soils so long as there may be enough drainage. They reliably overwinter in zones 7-9.

Texas Yucca (Y. rupicola)

Close-up of a Texas Yucca (Yucca rupicola) in full bloom, gracing a sunlit garden with its southwestern charm. This yucca species showcases a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves with a vibrant bluish-green color. Atop a sturdy stem, the plant produces tall flower spikes adorned with pendant, bell-shaped flowers in creamy-white tones.
It is a compact species with twisting, wider leaves, appropriate for shaded rock gardens.

The adaptable Y. rupicola can also be referred to as twist leaf yucca, however this species has flatter, wider leaves that flop out sideways. Maxing out at 2 ft tall, this species is nice for partially shaded understories. The foliage additionally twists with age and is usually edged in reddish or white margins.

The early summer season flowering stalk emerges as much as 5 ft tall and bears bell-shaped flowers averaging over 2 inches lengthy. Texas yucca does extraordinarily properly in shaded rock gardens with limestone or sand.

Moundlily Yucca (Y. madrensis)

Close-up of a Moundlily Yucca (Yucca madrensis) in a large clay pot in the garden. This yucca species features a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves with a bold bluish-green color. The leaves exhibit edges lined with creamy white stripes.
Native to Florida and Georgia, Moundlily Yucca thrives in sandy, well-drained soils, forming spectacular rosettes.

Florida and Georgia growers take notice! This selection is endemic to sandy dunes close to sea stage. It has wider bayonet-like leaves that develop in a rosette as much as 5 ft tall and broad. It may develop in lots of soils so long as they’re well-drained, and is likely one of the mostly cultivated sorts in zones 7 by means of 10, accessible in a range of cultivars with yellowish or white stripes. 

Within the wild, moundlily grows on sand mounds and slopes close to seashores, marshes, and woodlands in partial shade to full solar. The massive spiky spherical form may be very intriguing when scattered amongst taller timber, and the cream-colored flowers reliably seem each summer season as soon as the vegetation mature.  

Thompson’s Yucca (Y. thompsoniana)

View of Thompson's Yucca (Yucca thomsoniana) stands out with a unique rosette of slender, lance-shaped leaves. Rising from the center is a tall flower stalk adorned with pendulous, bell-shaped flowers with creamy-white petals.
This selection reaches 12 ft tall, blooms in full solar, and withstands zones 7-11.

A trunk-forming species, this plant is just like beaked yucca however barely smaller at about 12 ft tall and 6 ft broad. At maturity, Thompson’s Yucca produces a flower spike that matches its big stature. It thrives in full daylight and is hardy in zones 7 by means of 11. It doesn’t thoughts mild frosts however does finest in dry, sizzling circumstances. 

Joshua Tree (Y. brevifolia)

View of Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) against a desert background with rocks. The tree boasts a distinct appearance with its large, branching stem and long, narrow leaves clustered at the ends. These spiky, bluish-green leaves create a surreal silhouette against the desert landscape.
The enduring Joshua tree is a hanging, low-maintenance desert plant, reaching 30 ft tall.

A well-known icon within the Southwestern deserts, Joshua Tree is, in truth, a yucca species. This Dr. Seuss-style tree is mystical and various in its development behavior. It’s the largest member of the genus, generally reaching 30 ft tall and spreading 15-30 ft broad. The multi-branched trunks are topped with distinctive pom poms of foliage that bloom clusters of greenish-white flowers after spring rains.

This low-maintenance desert plant supplies lots of aesthetic enchantment for little or no effort. Though it’s slow-growing (1-3 inches per yr), Joshua Tree fans can contribute to preserving a species that grows for 150 years or extra! You don’t have to do something to keep up this species. It’s particularly helpful to let outdated leaves dangle in place to protect moisture and canopy the trunk and stems as they do naturally. 

For fowl lovers, Joshua Tree is a vital drought-tolerant backyard plant, as over 25 species of birds use this big yucca as a nesting website. The yucca moth pollinates the flowers in the summertime, supporting a millennia-old symbiosis between the 2 species. A local to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California, Joshua Tree tolerates zones 6-10 and doesn’t thoughts chilly desert nights.

Palm Yucca (Y. decipiens)

Palm Yucca (Yucca decipiens) graces the garden with its graceful appearance, featuring a rosette of slender, arching leaves. The leaves, green and flexible, add a touch of softness to the landscape.
This species can attain 20 ft and thrives in zones 8-11 with daylight and well-drained soil.

Palm yuccas are shut relations of Joshua Bushes. That is one other branching tree-like selection that grows as much as 20 ft tall. It’s hardy in zones 8 by means of 11 and doesn’t require any particular circumstances apart from amply drained soil, full sunshine, and heat. 

Big White (Y. faxoniana)

View of several Giant White Yucca (Yucca faxoniana) in a sunny garden. The plant presents a striking display with its large, rigid leaves. These bluish-green leaves, lined with curly fibers along the edges, contribute to its visual appeal.
A Mexican native, this yucca grows right into a 15-foot single-trunk tree, adapting to numerous climates.

This Mexican native selection usually grows as a single-trunked tree and is usually known as Big White Spanish Dagger or Faxon yucca. Reaching about 15 ft tall and 6 ft broad at maturity, Y. faxoniana turns into enlarged on the base because it matures.

On prime of the engaging trunk is a symmetrical and distinctive rosette with sword-shaped leaves. Its snow-resistant foliage can develop as far north as zone 5. The plant particularly thrives in tremendous sizzling areas however appreciates supplemental irrigation within the driest summers. It’s popularly planted alongside roadsides or in massive containers with gravelly soil.

Creeping Dwarf Yucca (Y. endlicheriana)

Close-up of Creeping Dwarf Yucca (Yucca endlicheriana) in a black plastic pot against a gray concrete wall. The plant has slender, blue-green, arching leaves that form a rosette.
This endangered Chihuahuan desert native types spreading clusters underneath 3 ft tall with blue-green leaves.

Categorised as an endangered species, this Chihuahuan desert native is very uncommon and distinctive. It isn’t technically a creeping groundcover, nevertheless it does kind good spreading clusters.

The vegetation keep underneath 3 ft tall and develop blue-green leaves that stand straight and upright like a Dracaena. Sandy or rocky soils are ideally suited. Develop this species in zones 8 by means of 11. 

Coahuila Soapwort (Y. coahuilensis)

Close-up of a Coahuila Soapwort plant (Yucca coahuilensis) in the desert. The plant showcases a rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves with a greenish tint. These leaves, adorned with curly fibers along the edges, contribute to its ornamental appeal. The tips of the leaves are dry and brown.
Native to south Texas and northern Mexico, Coahuila yucca is blue-silver, deer-resistant, and cold-tolerant.

Native to the grasslands of south Texas and northern Mexico, the Coahuila yucca is superbly blue or silver-hued and appears just like its agave cousins. The concave leaves develop right into a 3-foot broad rosette that makes a good border for holding deer out of your backyard.

The white hairs alongside the leaf edges add a reasonably, mysterious look. The bell-shaped, white flowers are beloved by hummingbirds. It tolerates climate as chilly as zone 8.

Buckley’s Yucca (Y. constricta)

Close-up of Buckley's Yucca (Yucca constricta) in a sunny garden. This Yucca species impresses with a rosette of slender, lance-shaped leaves. The leaves, green and rigid, feature edges lined with curly fibers, adding texture to the plant's appearance.
This species has stiff, slim leaves with curly fibers.

The wild-looking Buckley’s yucca grows wild in rocky limestone areas of Texas. The stiff leaves common about 2 ft lengthy and ¾ inch broad, with curly white fibers clustered across the ends and soil floor. Buckley’s yucca is extraordinarily drought-tolerant however very fragile to transplanting. It’s best to develop this species from seed or preserve them in a container. 

Carrii (Y. carrii)

Close-up of a blooming Carrii Yucca (Yucca carrii) in a sunny garden. The plant graces the garden with a rosette of slender, arching leaves. These leaves, green and flexible, create a graceful and cascading effect. Rising from the center is a tall flower stalk crowned with pendant, bell-shaped flowers featuring creamy-white petals.
This recently-discovered yucca species grows close to the Gulf of Texas and tolerates moist, salty circumstances.

This newly recognized species is native to the Gulf of Texas close to brackish or salt water. It’s most likely the most moisture-tolerant selection, finest for soils with much less drainage and extra rainfall. Crops kind little clustered colonies that ship up further tall flower spikes alongside the Galveston coast. It could be troublesome to search out exterior of its native area.

Cape Area Yucca (Y. capensis)

Close-up of a Cape Region Yucca (Yucca capensis) in a garden. The plant captivates with a rosette of slender, lance-shaped leaves. The leaves, green and rigid, contribute to its architectural appeal.
Endangered in Baja California, this species is now standard in Southwestern gardens.

This closing species is extremely endangered attributable to habitat destruction. It’s native to Baja California however is a well-liked decorative in Southwestern gardens in zones 9 by means of 11. Crops attain as much as 15 ft tall and produce further massive and dense flower clusters. They’ve intriguing trunks as a result of the lifeless leaves add fairly straw-like protection.

Closing Ideas

From big, centuries-old Joshua Bushes to little dwarf soapworts, Yucca is a broadly various genus with choices for almost each drought-tolerant backyard. The important thing factor all these vegetation have in frequent is their love of well-drained soil.

Completely amend with sand or gravel earlier than planting, and select a species that may face up to your coldest winters. Make sure to preserve the spikiest specimens away from closely trafficked areas and as an alternative go for soft-leaf or spineless varieties.

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