With their unique, spiky shapes and superb drought tolerance, yuccas are the star of xeriscapes and water-wise gardens.
But these denizens of the desert are equally at home growing in containers and garden beds in a wide variety of climates.
Highly versatile plants, these flowering evergreens have long, swordlike leaves that grow in rosettes at ground level or on stalks, adding interesting architectural shapes in a variety of growth patterns including shrubs and trees.
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Many varieties have leaves with razor sharp margins and spiny tips that need to be handled with care when planting and pruning. And it’s advisable to avoid placing them where they can inadvertently poke anyone passing by.
The size of different types varies significantly, with some garden varieties growing up to 20 feet tall! Alone, they make superb specimens or accent plants, and are highly attractive in mixed beds or grouped into barriers, hedges, screens, and rows.
In summer, they produce big, bold spires of edible, bell-shaped cream or white flowers that attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and specialist yucca moths.
Easily cultivated, yuccas are low maintenance and mostly pest free, and they’ll grow in almost any type of soil, as long as it’s well-draining.
The basics are to give them a full sun location, in loose, free-draining soil and avoid overwatering, which is the most common cause of problems – check out our guide to growing yuccas for all the cultivation details.
Now let’s have a look at how to use them in some different landscape settings.
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