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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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

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Monday - March 23, 2009

From: Calgary, AB
Region: Canada
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Can I have success planting Adams Needle in Calgary, Alberta? Maybe.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Calgary, Alberta and am wondering if I could have success planting Adams Needle in this climate (lots of chinook winds in the winter with large fluctuations in temperatures).

ANSWER:

Adam's Needle Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle) is a hardy plant that  is widely distributed in the U.S., extending north into Montana. It can be grown in USDA zones 4-9. A check of the Hardiness Zones map indicates that Calgary is in zone 3a. The average minimum temperature in zone 4 ranges from -34.4 °C to -28.9°c. The range in zone 3a is from -39.9°C to -37.3°C, so you are right on the edge in terms of temperature. The plant grows about 2-3 ft tall and 2 ft wide with a flowering stalk up to 6 ft tall. This could be a problem in strong winds.

Another Yucca, the Soapweed yucca Yucca glauca (soapweed yucca)  is similar in growth habit to Adam's Needle and naturally occurs in Alberta. It can grow in zone 3.

This link takes you to a website  with a discussion about growing these two Yuccas in Canada.

 

 

 

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