Zone 7 Yuccas: Choosing Yucca Plants For Zone 7 Gardens
By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer
When you think of yucca plants, you may think of an arid desert full of yucca, cacti, and other succulents. While it’s true that yucca plants are native to dry, desert-like locations, they can also grow in many cooler climates. In this article, we will discuss growing yucca in zone 7, where many hardy yucca plants grow quite well.
Growing Yucca in Zone 7 Regions
Yucca plants are evergreen, even in cool climates. With heights up to 7 feet (2 m.) and sword-like foliage, they are oftentimes used as dramatic specimen plants in landscape or xeriscape beds. Even smaller varieties are excellent plants for hot, dry rock gardens. Yucca does not fit into every landscape though. I frequently see yucca plants that seem out of place in formal or cottage style gardens. Think carefully before planting a yucca plant, because once they are established, they can be very difficult to get rid of in the garden.
Yucca grows best in full sun but can tolerate part shade. Plant zone 7 yuccas in sites with poor, sandy soil, where other plants have struggled. Once established, they produce beautiful displays of lantern shaped flowers on tall spikes. When the blooms fade, deadhead these flower spikes by cutting them right back to the plant crown.
You can also try growing yucca in zone 7 within large urns or other unique planters for a less permanent but still dramatic or whimsical garden accent.
Hardy Yucca Plants
Below are some hardy yucca plants for zone 7 and available varieties.
- Adam’s Needle Yucca (Yucca filamentosa) – varieties Bright Edge, Color Guard, Golden Sword, Ivory Tower
- Banana Yucca (Yucca baccata)
- Blue Yucca (Yucca rigida)
- Blue Beaked Yucca (Yucca rostrata) – variety Sapphire Skies
- Curved Leaf Yucca (Yucca recurvifolia) – varieties Margaritaville, Banana Split, Monca
- Dwarf Harriman Yucca (Yucca harrimaniae)
- Small Soapweed Yucca (Yucca glauca)
- Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata)
- Spanish Dagger Yucca (Yucca gloriosa) – varieties Variegata, Bright Star
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HOW TO PLANT YUCCA
When to plant:
Start seeds indoors at any time, or outdoors in spring. To start hardy varieties outside, spring temperatures should be 55 to 65°F. Wait until temperatures are 66 to 75°F for more tender varieties.
Where to plant:
Select an area that receives partial to full sun, but most importantly, a location that is well-draining. Yuccas will develop root rot quite easily if there is residual or standing water. When choosing a location, consider the mature size of the yucca plant, as some grow to be quite large. Locate in areas where they can be appreciated, but not where their sharp, spiny leaves can be accidentally bumped into away from walkways and play areas. Massive root structures can grow over time that have the power to crack foundations, disrupt retaining walls, and invade pools and irrigation pipes. These large root structures are extremely difficult to get rid of and any remnants left behind can grow more yuccas.
How to plant:
Soak seeds for 24 hours prior to planting to help with germination, or rub with sand paper to scar the surface. Plant at a depth of one to two seed lengths. Keep the seeds moderately moist, and you should begin to see signs of germination in about 3 to 4 weeks. Transplant the seedlings at about 8 weeks into bigger pots or permanent location. See more about growing from offsets below, under Propagation.
Yucca growth is quite slow and variable, especially if grown from seed. It may take a few years until they flower.
Rebutia has become popular mainly because of its freely flowering nature and small size. They produce flowers that have a wide range of colors and are usually large compared to the body of the cactus. They range from Bolivia to Argentina, and can form large clusters in cultivation. Some species can tolerate frost and grow well in cooler temperatures. A popular one is Rebutia Muscula or Orange Snow Ball or White Haired Crown cactus. They are densely covered with furry white spines and produce bright orange flowers.
Please click on frost protection to get some recommendations on where to purchase frost cloths, frost blankets and greenhouses.
If you are wondering where you can purchase succulents and cacti online, please check out my Resource Page to get some ideas.