Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yucca, yucca, yucca

This is for Merle, whose eighteen month old yucca has yet to bloom.  Of course I noodled my way across the internet, and have pretty much confirmed yucca behavior we observed here at home.

Our yucca is close to twenty five years old.  Jan planted one here in the corner after the sidewalk was laid, twenty five years ago. 

It grew, but never bloomed.  Then another yucca sprang up ten feet away, and then one behind it.  They bloomed.  So did the original yucca.

Our conclusions:

Yucca roots travel and send up new plants until they find their happy place, and bloom.

Yucca are incredible resilient.  Tom is a burn and destroy kind of guy; he will weed whack any area of green taller than his ankles.  This front garden has been relentlessly weed whacked, and only one yucca has succumbed.

All these plants have been weed whacked each fall, so they have a misshapen appearance. The leaves should be at least twice as tall and pointed, not sliced off near the ground. Another testament to their hardiness.
(Interestingly, when the kids and I screened all that dirt in this garden, and sorted out the plants we wanted to keep, Hamilton found one lavender plant with a stalk more than an inch thick, with a few puny leaves struggling from the sides.  I planted a lavender bed there twenty five years ago, and it bloomed away for the couple of years prior to weeding by whacking.  The survivor is happily nestled with the new lavender.)

From the net:

All yucca flowers are white and pollinated by moths at night.

A group of many flowers is called an inflorescence.

The flowers appear from midsummer to mid-fall.

The plants grow very slowly to maturity, then bloom. (No additional information of the age of maturity.) 

When a yucca does bloom, it can be expected to bloom the same time each subsequent year.

Yucca can be transplanted in the fall; just slice through the root and move the plant to another full sun location.

The front flower bed faces another face lift in the fall; the day lily bed will be ruthlessly thinned, and the yucca will be moved back from the sidewalk’s edge.  I counted ten additional yucca plants crowded around the original, and another ten around the happy bloomer, the fellow that escaped and now has the tallest bloom every year. Let’s see if I can give them happy new homes in the garden.


  1. I like your garden path with the bench to sit and relax. Yuccas certainly are resilient. It never ceases to amaze me just how resilient some plants really are.

  2. I don't know what variety you have but some of them can get incredibly tall.

    1. I have no idea, but the blossom in the foreground is over my 5'4" head.

  3. It always seems a little strange to me when we Buckeyes plant yuccas in Ohio.... we have one in the corner by the road... I really can't remember whether Bill "smuggled" it from New Mexico or where it came from.... but apparently it does bloom. We aren't in Ohio when it does, but there's the dried, mummified stem still there when we do head that way. I envy you your lavender, though.... I had enough to sell at the Farmer's Market.... still miss it 12 years later. Anyway, your yucca deserves some applause for hanging in there... despite living in the snow belt!

  4. Thanks for that, I will keep my fingers crossed and hope mine flowers.

  5. We have yuccas here in Adelaide too, some in the Botanic Gardens and others in random cottage gardens. I've even seen a few planted as the focal centre in waterwise garden, with other smaller succulents and pebble mulch around them. Plenty of them have flowered so they must all be old enough.

  6. "An inflorescence of yuccas"

    This phrase makes me unaccountably happy.

  7. Hmmm . . . wonder if we could grow it here?

  8. I love your descriptions " weed whacked "

    I'd love to hear a recording of your voice telling all these stories but for now can only imagine it.

  9. I think that any plants that live in hot climates must be pretty resilient.
    One thing I always wanted to ask you Joanne, is the story behind the name of your blog? I like it very much, it's so memorable - and I always think there must be a reason behind it. :)

    1. Click on the Inquiring Minds tab; I re-posted the post of the cup I left on a bus.