How to Grow Yucca elephantipes Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Spineless Yucca

Yucca elephantipes Syn. Yucca guatemalensis is a large succulent with green leaves that are long, look like swords, and stick out from the tops of multi-stemmed trunks.

The plant can grow either indoors (where it will grow to be about 10 feet (3 m) tall) or outdoors in USDA zones 9 to 10.

Spineless Yucca
Spineless Yucca photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

Outdoors plants will typically reach from 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 m) in height.

The species is known by several different names, including Giant yucca, Yucca guatemalensis, Spineless yucca, Yucaa cane and Stick yucca.

Spineless yucca

Yucca elephantipes (Spineless yucca) photograph by Forest and Kim Starr.

The plant belongs to the Asparagaceae family, and is native to the regions between Mexico and Guatemala.

People like to grow them because of their bold and striking appearance in modern homes and gardens.

Yucca elephantipes needs to be planted in an area where it can access at least eight hours of full sun every day.

Guatemala Yucca
Guatemala Yucca, image by Mauro halpern; CC.

Because the roots can grow up to 20 feet (6 m) deep, they need to be planted away from any buildings.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Spineless Yucca

Plant your Spineless yucca in well-draining soil, which can be created with the addition of sand. This will help to avoid potential root rot and fungal problems.

Do not overwater. Water the soil rather than the plant, and the soil should completely dry before watering again. Avoid watering in the winter.

The Yucca needs to be fertilized during the growing season, which is typically during the months of April to September where it is native.

Do not over-fertilize, and keep an eye out for pests, especially scale. If scale does occur, scrape off the brown spots with a toothbrush and pat with an insecticidal soap.

If this type of Yucca plant is grown indoors, contain in a pot no larger than 17 inches (43 cm) in diameter to prevent its growth.

Plants can be moved outdoors in warm climates where it will do well in the summer season.

Yucca elephantipes Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Yucca elephantipes.
  • Common Name: Spineless yucca, Guatemala Yucca, Giant yucca.
  • Growing Zone: USA: 9 to 11
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Indoor Plant, Perennial, Succulents and Cacti

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 180 to 300
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 120 to 180
  • Time of Bloom: Summer and Autumn
  • Flower Details:
  • 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 to Moist (Medium Moisture best)

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Low
  • Propagation: Seed when warm in spring, hand pollinate flowers, root cuttings (winter)
  • How to Prune: Pruning not usually required
  • Pests: aphids and snails
  • Diseases: Leaf spot

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Air Pollution
  • Best Garden Use: Container Garden, Specimen
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Closely Related Species: Asparagus, Brimeura, Dracaena, Lirope, Muscari, Agave, Nolina, Eucomis, Hosta, and Paradisea.

  • Miscellaneous: Attractive foliage, North American native, Edible, Attractive flowers / blooms
  • Genus Detail: Yucca
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

Yucca elephantipes plant
Yucca elephantipes plant, photograph by Drew Avery?; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Yucca elephantipes. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Mesembryanthemum plants and Veltheimia.