En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Infrequently blooming yucca in Harrison AR

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
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 for common names of plants in the United States
January 16, 2008 - Hello Mr. Plants! I am writing to you on behalf of Carol Sharp who is one of the leading plant and flower photographers here in the UK. We will shortly be making her collections of work availab...
view the full question and answer

Red bluebonnets in the garden
March 11, 2010 - I bought 6 blue bonnet plants at Lowe's last fall. They survived the winter in my garden fine and they are now blooming (3/11)but they are red! Did I buy a wrong variety or is there something about...
view the full question and answer

Rhizobium Source for Bluebonnets
December 20, 2010 - Trying to find a source for rhizobium for bluebonnets.
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets for wedding in February
August 04, 2008 - I'm getting married in February 2009. My father passed away when I was younger and thus, won't be there to walk me down the aisle. His favorite flower was bluebonnets and I would like to include t...
view the full question and answer

Source for Dryopteris Filix-max Rhizomes in East Hanover NJ
June 15, 2009 - We are in search for 100kg Dryopteris Filix-mas (Male Fern) Rhizomes to extract oil Kindly send your offer
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center