Plants: Yucca filamentosa - Adam's needle

Posted by 25.09. 2016 20:15:20 (988 readers)

Adam’s needle is a great plant which looks as if stolen from sandy deserts in Mexico. Truth is that this plant is native to southern parts of the USA, not necessarily the driest. In both Czech and Slovak republic this plant has been slightly overused over the past few decades in either neglected gardens or in gardens with no style. It seems that everyone who had a cottage needed to have one Adam’s needle without thinking too much of how it will look there. This might be a reason why some young gardeners do not think that yucca is worth growing. I believe they are wrong.

Yucca filamentosa - Adam's needle

Yucca is a fantastic plant which does resemble exotic parts of the world but is extremely hardy. It is an evergreen shrub with basal rosettes of erect, inversely lance-shaped, pale green leaves which are rigid but not sharp when touched. In second half of June it produces numerous creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers on sturdy stems, up to 180 cm tall. When in full bloom it looks like a giant lily-of-the-valley. Cut off the stem right at the base after flowering.

Yucca looks great if we let it show its architectural character. Thanks to its grass-like appearance it will combine easily with compact conifers and other evergreen shrubs with leathery leaves of various shapes and sizes. Its tropical feeling will be of use in exotic-styled landscapes and can be enhanced by mulching with white or light grey stones around.

Adam’s needle is not fussy about soil type provided it is well-drained. We also grew it in partly wet site where it does surprisingly well but does not flower. Grow it in full sun and expect it to expand by making young plants near mother plant. Unwanted plants can be easily removed and transplanted in spring or autumn. Fully hardy to -30°C (USDA zone 5), perhaps a little bit more.

TIPS for luxurious care: Remove spent flowers as soon as possible. They may deface the plant, especially in rainy weather when they tend to rot soon. Remove any old, ill-looking leaves after winter leaving only stiff, healthy leaves for a great looking plant. If you feel that the mother plant is going down after flowering cut it off right at the roots leaving its young nursling around that will quicker become strong adults capable of flowering.

Size/type: low or groundcovering
Usual height: 0.5-0.8m
Usual width: 0.5-1m
Leaves: evergreen broadleaf
Colour of leaves: green
Flowers: showy
Colour of flowers: white
Blooming time: june - july
Location: full sun
Usda zone (lowest): 5 (down to -29°c)
Belongs to categories: evergreen broadleaf
Milan Havlis, Specializované zahradnictví
155 00 Praha Stodůlky, Za Mototechnou 2673/-11, Czech Republic
www.havlis.cz

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