How to Grow Yucca brevifolia Plants in your Garden

Yucca brevifolia, better known as the Joshua tree or Yucca palm, is native to the Mojave Desert in the American Southwest.

It is an evergreen perennial capable of growing in hardiness zones 6a to 10, with plants generally being hardier the more sandy and poor the soil.

As a garden or landscape plant it is best to locate Yucca brevifolia in full sun and in a sandy soil.

Joshua tree
Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) photograph by Joshua Tree National Park.

The plant can be grown in a pot or container for the first couple of years of its life.

However, as Yucca brevifolia is a fast growing succulent that can grow around 12 inches (30 cm) a year it will eventually need to be planted in the ground.

People typically grow Yucca brevifolia for its striking form, which is unique to the Mojave Desert region of the United States.

It has garnered an almost reverential reputation that makes growing it desirable for gardeners and plant lovers alike.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Joshua Tree / Yucca Palm

Yucca brevifolia is a fairly simple plant to care for when placed in the right conditions.

As mentioned previously, one should plant Yucca brevifolia in a spot in a garden that receives full sun and contains a sandy, well-drained soil.

If growing from seeds, they will need to be chilled for at least three months to stimulate growth.

Soak the seeds after chilling and sow them in pots filled with moist sand.

They should be kept in an area that is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21°C).

Young plants will require more water than mature ones, and should be watered weekly.

Only water mature plants in periods of drought or high heat. Mature plants will flower between March and May (spring to early summer).

It is important to pluck wilting flower stems to help the plant conserve energy and grow heartily.

Yucca brevifolia Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Yucca brevifolia
  • Common Name: Joshua tree
  • Growing Zone: USA: 7 to 11
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Tree

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 180 to 300
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 120 to 180
  • Time of Bloom: Summer
  • Flower Details: White
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Upright / erect

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Partially shady to full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Medium paced
  • Suitable Soil Types: Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Dry

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance:
  • Propagation: Seed
  • How to Prune: None
  • Pests: Subject to herbivores when young.
  • Diseases:

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of: Drought
  • Best Garden Use: Border, En masse, Specimen
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Closely Related Species: Asparagus.

  • Miscellaneous: North American native, Is not a native plant of N. America, Blooms are very showy
  • Genus Detail: Yucca
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Yucca brevifolia. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: grow Yucca glauca and Yucca schidigera.