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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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Saturday - October 05, 2013

From: Saginaw, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Growth of yucca from seed pods from Saginaw MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How do you grow a yucca plant from the pods? Do I need to dry out the pods first?

ANSWER:

We very much hope that the yucca you hope to propagate is Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle). There are 28 species of the Hesperaloe (yucca) genus native to North America. Of those exactly one, Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle), is native to Michigan. There are several other northern states in which this yucca grows, all of which would normally be considered inhospitable to what we think of as a hot desert plant. If you have obtained the seeds of any other yucca, we would suggest you think twice before you go to the trouble of propagating it, because it probably won't survive your winters. If you follow the plant link above you will find these propagation instructions:

Propagation

Description: Yuccas will germinate promptly from fresh seed held over winter. Seeds germinate best in 60-70 degree temperatures. Yuccas may also be grown from rhizomes, stem cuttings, or by digging offsets from the side of established plants.
Seed Collection: Gather capsules (pods)as they begin to dry but before they split. Allow to dry, then crush to remove seeds. Overwinter, keep seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator. For longer storage periods, keep in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Also important on that page are the growing conditons of this plant:

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Coarse, dry sands.

You should compare the conditions you have in your garden with those requirements to assure that the plant will prosper there. You might find the posts in this Dave's Garden Forum on Yucca filamentosa useful as well. Several of them are from states in the north, including Michigan. Also, here is an article from SF Gate on Propagating Yucca, which includes propagation by stems, offsets, rhizomes and seeds. The pictures below, from our Image Gallery, are of a blooming Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle) and of not quite mature pods. Here also is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on the propagation of yucca.

 

From the Image Gallery


Adam's needle
Yucca filamentosa

Adam's needle
Yucca filamentosa

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