Yucca aloifolia, a member of the Agavaceae family, makes an elegant addition to any xeriscape.
Commonly called Spanish bayonet, Spanish dagger, Aloe yucca, and Dagger plant, it features green, sword-shaped leaves. Be careful not to let them poke you!
Yucca aloifoliais deer resistant, drought tolerant, and makes a lovely border.
Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet, dagger plant); Habit at Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii. photograph by Forest and Kim Starr.
This evergreen shrub grows 10 - 15 ft (3 to 5 m) tall and 3 - 5 ft (0.9 to 1.5 m) wide. Its stocky trunk may be branched or unbranched.
In spring and/or summer, plants carry fragrant clusters of creamy white, bell-shaped flowers on tall spikes.
These are followed by large, oval-shaped fruits. According to NC State Extension, the flowers and fruits can be eaten raw or cooked.
Yucca aloifoliais native to coastal areas in the American south. As a result, it tolerates salt spray and prefers well-drained, sandy soil. NC State Extension recommends it for USDA Hardiness Zones 6a - 11a.
Gardener's HQ Yucca aloifolia Growing Guide
You can propagate plants from cuttings or seeds.
To obtain seeds, harvest seed capsules from an established plant as they start to dry. When they have finished drying, crush them open.
Initially, keep the seeds in moist sand in your fridge winter-long. Sow them out when temperatures average 60 - 70°F, after the last frost.
This plant grows slowly. Water Yucca aloifolia weekly during its active growth period, but sparingly in winter.
In spring and summer, apply liquid-soluble fertilizer every third watering.
Yucca aloifolia Growing and Care Guide
Scientific Name: Yucca aloifolia
Common Name: Spanish bayonet
Growing Zone: USA: 8 to 10: UK H3 - hardy to –5°C.
Life Cycle / Plant Type: Indoor Plant, Perennial, Succulents and Cacti
Plant Height (Inches): 120 to 180
Plant Spread (Inches): 36 to 72
Time of Bloom: Spring and Summer
Flower Details: White
Leaf Foliage: Green
Growth Form: Upright / erect
Ideal Growing Conditions
Best Light Conditions: Partially shady to full sunlight
Rate of Growth: Grows slowly
Suitable Soil Types: Acidic, Alkaline, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Well drained
Soil Moisture: Dry
Level of Maintenance:
Propagation: Seed, sown in spring at 19-24? C. Flowers may need hand-pollination to set seed. Rooted suckers can be removed in spring or take root cuttings in winter
How to Prune: Pruning not usually required
Pests: aphids and snails
Diseases: Leaf spot
Can Attract: Moths
Tolerant of: Drought
Best Garden Use: Border, Container Garden, En masse, Seashore, Specimen
Closely Related Species: Asparagus.
Miscellaneous: North American native, Attracts butterflies, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers / blooms