Yucca rostrata is just as unique as its name. Native to Western Texas and Northern Mexico, this tree-like yucca is an ornamental and slow-growing evergreen, perfect as a xeriscaping plant. Known to be one of the toughest trunk-forming yuccas, Yucca rostrata is drought-tolerant and a popular garden attraction in the UK, US, and Canada.
The plants form a dramatic, shimmering rosette over the tree trunk in your garden. Covered with pale gray fibers of old leaves, the rosette displays a silvery haze. Yucca plants can reach grow up to 15′ feet tall and are an excellent candidate for rocky slopes, canyon bottoms, and ridges.
|Common Name(s):||Beaked Yucca, Beaked blue yucca, Big Bend Yucca, Adam’s Yucca, Nordstrom’s Yucca, Silver Yucca, yucca rigida|
|Scientific Name||Yucca rostrata|
|Height & Spread:||6-15′ tall and 4-10′ wide|
|Soil||Well-draining, acidic soil|
|Pests & Diseases:||Agave bugs, aphids, mealybugs, scale, mites|
Hailing from the family of Asparagaceae, Beaked Yucca is extremely tolerant to heat, drought, and frost. It can withstand temperatures as low as -10° degrees Fahrenheit. It offers a striking focal point in gravel gardens, Mediterranean gardens, and borders.
Yucca rostrata has sharp-tipped, bluish-green leaves that sprout from the trunk, resembling a symmetrical pom-pom. It produces yellow-orange flower stalks in late spring that bears beautiful clusters of white flowers. They can easily thrive on neglect with full sun and well-drained soil.
Types of Yucca Rostrata
There are over forty species of the Yucca plant. Yucca rostrata is often confused with a similar member known as Yucca rigidia, which is a slow-growing, medium-sized tree-like yucca, native to Mexico.
Yucca rostrata also has a cultivar called “Sapphire Skies” that produces creamy-white flowers between mid to late summer. It can grow up to 5′ feet tall and resemble a palm tree. The cultivar likes full sun and dry soils.
Beaked Yucca Care
Yucca rostrata adds bold beauty of your garden. Deer and rabbits are not attracted to it. Here are the guidelines to grow these plants well.
Light & Temperature
Big bend yucca needs to grow in full sun for best results. Place it in a well-lit spot in your backyard. As a winter hardy plant, it’s suited to USDA Zones 5 through 11.
Water & Humidity
This yucca needs regular watering – once a week – while it’s growing in summer and spring. Water it as soon as the soil looks dry. However, don’t drown the roots in excess moisture as the plants thrive well in dry soils. As soon as the temperature drops in fall and winter, cut down the watering to once a month.
The plant prefers dry, well-drained soil that is either neutral or alkaline, but if you only have slightly acidic soil, don’t fret. It can handle a wide pH range if necessary.
Fertilizer isn’t necessary. However, if you want to boost plant growth, add a balanced, time-released fertilizer during spring. Water well afterwards.
When repotting, use a container at least 2-4″ inches larger and cut off 1-2 inches of the root mass. Prepare a container with good quality potting soil, and place the yucca plant in it. Add more soil beneath the root ball until the base of the stalk is at the same level as the rim of the pot. Add the remaining soil and press it down. Since it’s a slow-grower, the plant doesn’t need frequent repotting.
These plants can be propagated via stem cuttings and seeds. However, since they grow slowly, seedlings can take longer to germinate. Add the seeds in well-drained soil and place them in a well-lit spot. Keep the soil evenly moist until they start growing.
If you’re taking stem cuttings, snip off 3-4″ inches of the plant as cutting and remove the top few leaves to reduce excess moisture. Place the yucca plant in a cool place for 4-5 days. Once the cutting is fully dry, place the cutting in a container with potting soil and indirect light. It will take about 3-4 weeks for the roots to grow. Keep the soil evenly moist until germination.
You can prune off the dead, brown, and old leaves during spring.
Beaked yucca is a drought-tolerant, sturdy plant that requires low upkeep. However, it is susceptible to a few pest problems. Let’s learn about them.
As a winter-hardy, tough plant, Yucca rostrata rarely ever has any growing problems. However, make sure not to overwater as that can lead to root rot, yellow leaves, and spongy trunk. Always drain the soil well and hydrate only when the soil is dry.
Beaked yucca is susceptible to red spiders. To keep them away, spray water on the leaves during dry seasons and regularly clean the dust off the leaves. You may also encounter spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and aphids.
These plants are virtually disease-free. However, avoid over watering as it leads to root rot.
Q. How fast does Yucca rostrata grow?
The plant is a slow-grower, it takes about 10 years to reach its max height. Eventually it becomes a major focal point in your garden.
Q. Why is my Yucca plant dying?
The most common culprit is over-watering, which causes a spongy trunk and pale leaves. For rapid recovery, increase the drainage in the container / ground or allow the soil to dry out completely.
Q. Can Yucca rostrata grow in colder regions?Yes. The plants are winter-hardy and can survive in temperatures as low as -10°F (-23°C).