How to Grow Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Adam's Needle 'Color Guard'

Yucca filamentosa ‘color guard’ is a broad-leafed evergreen succulent shrub that is often labelled as a type of cactus.

In the 'color guard' variety, the plant’s broad green, sword-shaped leaves have wide yellow stripes down them. With the edges of the leaves having a white thread-like filament over them.

As with other Yucca plants, this plant goes by several commonly used names such as Adam's Needle, the Common yucca, Spoon-leaf yucca, and Needle-palm.

The Yucca filamentosa plant is part of the Asparagaceae family, which is a group of flowering plants related to Garden asparagus.

Adam's needle

Yucca 'color guard' (yucca filamentosa) at Denver Botanical Garden photograph by Drew Avery.

It is a native plant to the south-eastern united states and is best grown in a subtropical or mild temperate climates.

In the garden, Yucca filamentosa ‘color guard’ is typically used to add height to the architecture of the garden.

While the leaves of the plant only reach 2-3 feet (60 to 90 cm) in length, the beautiful flowery stalks that grow from early to midsummer can reach up to 4-6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 m) in height.

Many parts of the plant have culinary use. The white bell-shaped flowers can be used in salads, and the plant’s fruit may be cooked and eaten once the seeds are removed.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Adam's Needle Color Guard

Yucca filamentosa ‘color guard’ can easily be grown in well-drained, sandy soils. The plant is heat and drought tolerant, and can even withstand the salty air of a coastal garden.

The best way to grow an Adam's Needle plant is to propagate a root cutting taken in winter or to remove one of the plants rooted suckers.

It requires full sun to grow best, but it can tolerate a few hours of shade if needed.

Yucca filamentosa Color Guard Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Yucca filamentosa Color Guard
  • Common Name: Adam's needle
  • Growing Zone: USA: 4 to 10
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Perennial, Succulents and Cacti

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 24 to 30
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 36 to 72
  • Time of Bloom: Mid to late summer
  • Flower Details: White
  • Leaf Foliage: Green, Variegated, Yellow
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Rounded

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Grows slowly
  • 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: Rooted suckers or take root cuttings in winter
  • How to Prune: Remove spent flowering stems
  • Pests: aphids
  • Diseases: Leaf spot

Further Information

  • Can Attract: Butterflies
  • Tolerant of: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Container Garden, In the control of erosion, Foundation Plant, En masse, Rock garden, Seashore, Specimen
  • Family: Asparagaceae, learn how to grow Asparagus.

  • Miscellaneous: Entices birdlife to the garden, Attractive foliage, North American native, Attracts butterflies, Attractive flowers / blooms.
  • Genus Detail: Yucca.
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Yucca filamentosa ‘color guard’. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Asparagus densiflorus and Liriope.