Cultivation of Yucca:

In pots:
In raised beds:
Care during the winter:
Planting of Yucca's:
Propagate by Seeds:
Propagate by Cuttings:
Diseases in Yucca's:
Where to get Yucca plants or seeds from?

In pots:
I grow most of my Yucca species in large pots, that are stored inside the unheated green house during the winter (October 1st. to May 1st), the few unreliable hardy species I store in my frost free hobby room from mid October to mid April, then they are placed inside the greenhouse for a few weeks until the danger of frost is smaller. It's very important to slowly introduce the plants to direct sunlight, place the potted plant in a shady place, and then slowly move it to a sunny position. Yucca are not particular fond of pot cultivation, but if there are used large pots they do OK. I use 3 liter rose pots for 0 to 3 year old seedlings, and 10 liter pots for older plants, the 10 liter are often too small and 20 or even bigger pots would be much better, but I don't have room for such big pots (not with all those plants I grow!!!). The potted Yuccas don't get as big and don't grow as fast as those who is planted in a bed with free root run, often they get a dwarfish look, which can be quite nice too.

The soil the potted Yuccas are planted in are the following mix:
3 parts pea sized Leca (LECA = Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate)
4 parts gravely sand
1 part ordinary garden soil.

In the bottom of the large pots I have a 5-10 cm layer of pea or nut sized Leca, for drainage.

Yuccas and Opuntias in front of the large greenhouse.
Yuccas and Opuntias in front of the "large"  greenhouse.
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©1999-2005.

Potted Yucca plants, Inside the greenhouse during the winter.
Potted Yucca plants, are during the winter stored, dry inside my two small unheated greenhouses  (from October 1st. to May 1st). The frost sensitive species are stored in my frost free hobby room, with out any light and water. But they do prefer to be store in a sunny place and kept slightly moist during the winter.
Photo is from March 3rd 1998.
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©1998-2005.

Yuccas in frames
The last four winters have I had many Yucca in frames that are covered from October to late April, the plants are not watered during the winter.
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©2000-2005, July 2000.

In raised beds:

Of course I also grow many Yucca plants in the garden, they are planted in well drained raised beds. Some of beds are protected against winter moisture, and in others the Yucca plants are grown unprotected. The most reliable species for the unprotected beds are Yucca filamentosa, Yucca flaccida, Yucca glauca, Yucca angustissima ssp. kanabensis, Yucca 'Karlsruhensis', several unidentified hybrids such as Yucca 'Hybrid No. 500' and Yucca 'Hybrid No. 1402'.

Construction of raised beds to hardy succulents:

The bed must raised and lean to the south (on the Northern hemisphere!!), so the plants get "baked" by as much sun as possible. To raise the bed above the subsoil, I use granite boulders which can be found at the farmers field here in Denmark. In the bottom of all beds there are a 20 to 40 cm thick layer of granite stones, on top of this is a 5 cm layer of gravel, and above this is a 15 to 25 cm layer of the soil where the plants shall grow in (gravely sand with lot of stones in all sizes. The sand I use contains a little yellow clay). On top of it all I have a 3-5 cm layer of 1- 1,8 cm granite chippings. The granite chippings will help keeping the root neck dry, and prevent that the rain splashes soil on the plants.

South Dakota bed under construction
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©1999-2005.
This picture is from the construction of the bed for my plants from South Dakota.

It is also important that there are many large rocks, they are to be used when you have to walk in the bed, and they make a healthy micro climate for the plants. It is not advisable to walk on the soil, while some of the Yuccas has horizontal rhizomes just below the surface of the soil, and often just below the granite chippings.

Utah bed under construction
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©1999-2000.
On this picture you can see a bed where the granite stones for drainage are on their place, and the large stone for walking too, now all that miss is the small stones, the gravely sand, the granite chippings and then the bed is ready for the planting of  the Yucca and Cactus. (This bed is for my Utah plants.)

The South Dakota bed after 2 growing seasons
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©1999-2000.
This is how my South Dakota bed looked in June 1998
The Utah bed after 2 growing seasons
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©1999-2000.
This is how my Utah bed looked in June 1998

Care during the winter:

Here in Northern Denmark, where we can have frost one day and rain the next and then followed by -15C as maximum day temperature!, The Yuccas do a lot better if they are protected against winter moisture. This can be done with a sheet of glass or another clear material. If it's a very moisture sensitive species, it's best to cover the entire bed.

Protection the cactus beds with trapez plastic on wooden frames
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©1999-2005.
This is how it looks when I cover the entire bed, it usually only takes about 1/2 hour to cover a bed with help from a friend or two.
Protected bed with trapez plastic on wooden frames
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©1999-2005.
When the cover is on place it looks like this for 7 months:

In the protected beds I grow the following species:
Yucca arkansana
Yucca glauca
Yucca glauca ssp. stricta
Yucca baileyi ssp. intermedia
Yucca glauca ssp. stricta
Yucca baccata
Yucca constricta
Yucca harrimaniae (I have only tried this three winters, which were VERY mild)
Yucca nana (I have only tried this two winters, which were VERY mild)
Yucca pallida (The leaves doesn't survive below -15C)
Yucca elata (I have only tried this three winters, which were VERY mild)
Yucca elata ssp. verdiensis (I have only tried this three winters, which were VERY mild)

Planting of Yucca's:

The best time for planting Yucca plants is in the late spring, this will give the plant a long growing season and get well settled before the winter. If it's a new cutting it must allow to dry for a few days. If the cutting has roots I always plant it in a way that the cutting scar can allow or dry for a few days, and when it feels hard and dry I finish the planting. Some species can be very slow to make roots and new rosettes, so you need to be patient! If I get a potted plant I always remove all the soil, so I don't get infested soil, bugs and slugs into my garden!!!! I always give my newly planted Yucca a little water, as I have noticed that they seems to start quicker if watered. Also you might like to have a look at the page about propagation of Yuccas.


I used to make my own fertilizer, which was made of this:

1 liter solid potassium phosphate 0-22-28
1 liter liquid fertilizer with trace minerals. I use the brand "Hornum gødning"
8 liter water.

Put 1 liter potassium phosphate in a 10 liter can and add 4-5 liter warm water (NOT HOT WATER!!!!), when it's dissolved (needs a lot of shaking!!!), I add 1 liter liquid fertilizer and finally I fill the can with cold water.

The above fertilizer is used in this strength:

1 dl. to 10 liter water which is enough for 10 square meters.

I fertilize every two weeks from May 15th to August 15th, and always in the morning before the sun hit the plants (or on a rainy day). Remember! to rinse away the fertilizer on the plants, or they might get burned spots on the leaves, by the remaining fertilizer salts!!!!  I just give the plants a quick shower with tap water.

In the summer of 2003 I have used another fertilizer which is the liquid fertilizer "Hornum gødning" which was all needed trace minerals. I have used it in a 0,25% solution, every time I have watered the potted plants, and when I have watered the beds (approximately every two three weeks or so).  So far I haven't seen nothing but good results with the change of fertilizer, but It's the winter that might make the difference? Time will tell if I should go back to the old home made fertilizer!

Diseases in Yucca's:

There can occur rust fungus, specially after a wet warm winter, If the damage is done there are noting to do, but the rust fungus rarely spread to the new growth. The rust fungus can be prevented if the plants are protected against winter moisture from May 1st to October 1st., or with a sheet of glass

Snails and slugs can be a little hard on seedlings and they can be killed with poison or with the beer method!

In the cold wet summer of 2000 my Yucca seedlings got "attacked by some sort of mildew, it only infested the soft leaves which are on 1 to 2 year old Yuccas, the older stiff and hard leaves where not infested. I did manage to stop it with one spray with a fungicide.

Yucca seedlings after an attack of mildew!
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©2000.
Yucca seedlings after an attack of mildew!
July 24th. 2000.

One of my Yucca friends the late nursery owner P.C.O. Nørgaard from the Isle Mors in Denmark, had a very bad experience with lack of Manganese in the soil, the leaves started getting yellow spots, and suddenly all the rosettes where dead. After he had fertilized with Manganese the rhizomes has made new rosettes which are looking much better, but it did take 5 years for the plants to recover fully from the lack of Manganese. This shows how important it is to use a fertilizer with micro trace elements.!

I have never had other diseased in my Yucca.

But you can look at this site for various leaf diseases in Yucca and Sansevieria:

Where do you get Yucca plants or seeds from?

Benny's kaktus:
Owner: Benny Moeller Jensen
Aalborgvej 305, Haestrup
DK-9800 Hjoerring

Usually have a few spare plants for sale or trade. I always have plants of #49 Yucca flaccida and #500 Yucca sp. potted and ready to go, prices from DKr. 35,- to DKr. 125,-. for details look at my plant list: Benny's Plant list.

Mesa Garden, P. O. Box 72, Belen, New Mexico 87002, U.S.A.
Owner: Steven Brack.
Home page:
VERY large seed list..., and nice plants too. Many Yucca seeds.

Navajo Country:
Web site:
Owner: Fritz Hochstätter.
Seeds of Extremely many species of Yucca, Pediocactus, Sclerocactus, has also seeds of other cactus and succulents and a  few plants for sale. He as a Yucca CD-ROM for sale, it contains more than 1000 photos of Yucca plants. And is the author of two very good books about Yuccas.

Link to Tropengarten
Dr. Michael Lorek
Grillparzer Weg 35a
D-42289 Wuppertal

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