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How do I Grow a Yucca Flaccida?

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  • Written By: Angela Williams Duea
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Yucca flaccida, also known as weak-leaf yucca or spineless yucca, is a tall ornamental plant from the agave family. Most yucca plants have large, sword-shaped stiff leaves, but the leaves of the yucca flaccida are thinner and more pliable, bending slightly away from the upright trunk and central flower spike. Because the plant is easy to maintain and survives in many growing conditions, it is a popular garden plant.

This plant can be propagated in many ways. Seeds from the tall flower spike can be germinated indoors, and the seedlings can be planted as soon as the danger of frost has passed. Root divisions can be made with a sharp spade; the new plantlets should be planted in early fall. Often the plant will produce side plants that can be detached and replanted in a new area. If purchasing a yucca flaccida from a grower, it is important to choose a specimen that is free of leaf spot and pests and shows a healthy root ball when pulled from the pot.

Yuccas can thrive in many soils, from sandy to clay, but will grow best in soil that is slightly alkaline. The plants can also tolerate dry conditions, making them an excellent choice for a xeriscape, or desert, garden. Yucca flaccida will thrive in direct sunlight, but will also tolerate semi-shady or shade garden areas. As a hardy perennial, the plant can survive at temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius).

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A yucca shrub is so hardy that it will continue to propagate from small pieces of root and is difficult to eradicate. The plant can grow to 10 or 12 feet (3 to 3.5 m) tall. For this reason, gardeners should set the plant in a permanent location where it will have room to grow. If the gardener is planting several, the shrubs should be 12 to 15 feet (3.6 to 4.7 m) apart. Each plant should be placed in the soil so the entire root ball is covered, and the soil should be tamped down around the plant.

While yucca flaccida is drought-resistant, the roots can rot in a garden with poor drainage or over-watering. The plant is fairly free of diseases but can be susceptible to anthracnose and fungal disease that causes crown rot. Agave weevils and yucca moth larvae may be a problem, and deer and rabbits will sometimes eat young, tender plants. A healthy plant in an ideal location, however, will live and bloom for a long time.

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