Yucca Plant Care and Growing Tips

Find out if a yucca plant is right for your yard. See the zones and growing conditions these sun-loving plants need to bloom and thrive.

How to Grow Yucca Plants

water wise plants, Color Guard Adam's needle is a yucca with wide yellow stripes.Doreen Wynja for Monrovia
Color Guard Adam’s needle yucca features wide yellow stripes.
  • Yucca
  • Yucca species and cultivars
  • Zones 4 to 11, depending on variety
  • Light needs: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-draining

Its swordlike evergreen leaves grow in a starburst pattern that sets yucca apart from ordinary garden plants. And there’s a good reason why so many gardeners, especially those in the Southwest, use yucca as a backyard centerpiece. Yucca is known for being water-wise once established.

Check out more flowering full sun desert plants to grow.

These perennials are also a good choice for your moon garden because the flowers stay open into the evening.

A few favorites to look for: Yucca rostrata ‘Sapphire Skies’, Yucca cernua and Yucca flaccida ‘Golden Sword.’  Color Guard Adam’s Needle, Yucca filamentosa, is an especially striking variegated plant with towering white flower stalks.

These plants appeal to pollinators, too. Yucca’s nectar-rich blooms attract plenty of hummingbirds. Scott’s orioles are known to nest in yucca’s dense foliage clusters.

Drought-tolerant agave plant grows well in containers.

Yucca Not Blooming

Portrait Of Yucca Plant With Blossoms.IdealPhotoArt.com / Alamy Stock Photo
Make sure your yucca plant has enough sunlight.

“My six yucca plants send up new leaves, but only two of them bloom. What can I do to get more flowers?” asks Birds & Blooms reader Steve Richman of Athens, Pennsylvania.

Horticultural expert Melinda Myers says, “Yuccas thrive and flower best in full sun and well-draining soil. Make sure all six plants are receiving sufficient sunlight. Avoid excess fertilization. Too much nitrogen fertilizer promotes leaf growth and can interfere with flowering. See if the nonflowering plants are more exposed to fertilizer that’s applied to the surrounding area or lawn.”

“Yuccas also tend to be biennial flowering plants,” Melinda says. “This means you may see flowers every other year, or different plants may flower in alternating years.”

Next, learn how to grow a desert rose plant.

Lori Vanover
Lori has 20 years of experience writing and editing home, garden, birding and lifestyle content for several publishers. As Birds & Blooms senior digital editor, she leads a team of writers and editors sharing birding tips and expert gardening advice. Since joining Trusted Media Brands 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing magazines and books, curating special interest publications, managing social media accounts, creating digital content and newsletters, and working with the Field Editors—Birds & Blooms network of more than 50 backyard birders. Passionate about animals and nature, Lori has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Communications from the University of Illinois. In 2023, she became certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener, and she is a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and sits on the organization's Publications Advisory Committee. She frequently checks on her bird feeders while working from home and tests new varieties of perennials, herbs and vegetable plants in her ever-growing backyard gardens.