Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - June 10, 2011

From: Harrison, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Infrequently blooming yucca in Harrison AR
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My Yuccas have only bloomed once in 8 years. Looking at the Internet I think mine is Elephantis variety - I did buy them at a nursery; they are in full sun.

ANSWER:

Yucca elephantipes is native to southeast Mexico and Guatemala. As such, it is not in our Native Plant Database. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which they naturally grow. The yuccas that grow natively to Arkansas are Yucca arkansana (Arkansas yucca), Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle), Yucca glauca (Soapweed yucca), and Yucca glauca var. glauca (Narrow-leaf yucca).

From the  University of Oklahoma Department of Botany and Microbiology we found this article on  Yucca elephantipes, which says theirs has never bloomed.

University of Florida Extension Spineless Yucca has these notes under "Use and Management:"

"The two to three-foot-tall bloom is produced on top of the stalks once the plant is 8 to 10 feet tall. Spineless Yucca grows easily in full sun or partial shade on any well-drained soil. Do not plant Yucca unless drainage is superior. Yucca grows well as a houseplant in a well lighted area."

Yuccas require a specific moth for pollination, and if the right moth isn't around, you won't see fruit develop even though the plant produces flowers. Since your plant is not native to your area, the yucca moths that pollinate it will not be present, either, but that still doesn't explain why your plant doesn't bloom. One more thought: this plant is cold tolerant in Zones 9b through 11; Boone County, in northwestern Arkansas, is in USDA Hardiness Zone 6a, which means the plant shouldn't be able to survive outside, much less bloom. Some of the information we saw referred to it as a house plant, but with a projected height of 30', we don't see how that would work. You already said it was in the sun, so we are assuming it is outside. The only other possibility is that you are feeding it with too much nitrogen-high fertilizer, which will frequently retard blooming.

 

 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Source of article on Great St. Johns-wort (Hypericum ascyron)
August 11, 2005 - I found the following comment on your database when reading about Hypericum ascyron: Comments: The scattered distribution of this plant in Ontario is thought to match historical aboriginal encampment...
view the full question and answer

Source for wintergreen to make tea in Waynesboro GA
April 26, 2010 - I want to know where to buy a wintergreen tree to make tea from. Thanks. I live in Waynesboro,GA.
view the full question and answer

Source of Tridens flavus, purple-top grass
February 23, 2005 - Will you kindly refer me to a grower from whom I may purchase plugs of Tridens flavus, purple-top grass. for a meadow installation in zone 6.
view the full question and answer

Source for Lenophyllum texanum (coastal stonecrop)
September 29, 2008 - Hi, Where can you purchase native coastal stonecrop or texas sedum; preferably out in East Texas? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Sources of information for design of prairie meados in Georgia
January 25, 2006 - Dear Ms. Smarty Plants, I am designing a prairie meadow in Covington GA (Zone 7) at the edge of piedmont and coastal ecosystems, primarily lower piedmont. I am trying to restore a 1/2-acre site over ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.