Yucca plants are popular in landscapes for their grey-green, spiky leaves and towering flower stalks, dotted with white, bell-shaped flowers. Native to the desert, these drought-resistant beauties can be overwintered as far north as Ohio, with proper shelter and preparation. Yucca cannot tolerate a long, deep freeze, but can be transplanted or propagated from leaf cuttings indoors if winter conditions become too cold.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Yucca plants
- Garden gloves
- Leaf rake
- Leaf litter
- Medium-sized flowerpots
- Potting soil
- Garden sand
Stop watering yucca plants in early fall, even if they look like they're beginning to wilt. Yucca will stop storing water in its dormant phase in anticipation of freezing temperatures, so watering them at this time will increase the chances of plant death.
Cut back flower stalks to the centre of the plant when they die back naturally to prevent water from wicking down into the plant and freezing there.
Check that the soil around yucca roots is draining well. Water pooling and freezing around the plant's base will kill it. Pour a small amount of water into the soil. Amend it with handfuls of sand if it does not drain quickly down and away.
Rake up fallen leaves in late October and pile them loosely on top of yucca plants to insulate them from cold temperatures and snow. Some will blow away, but enough will be caught in the yucca's spikes to do the job.
Break off a few yucca leaves and root them in a potting mix that is two parts sand to one part potting soil. Take them indoors and place them in a sunny window. Allow to dry out between waterings throughout the winter. If your outdoor yucca plants do not survive, you will have fresh stock to plant in the late spring.
Tips and warnings
- Wear gloves and long sleeves when working around yucca plants. Their leaves are sharp.
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