Saturday, November 24, 2007


Yucca filamentosa, aka Adams Needle is an excellent architectural plant for the landscape. The yucca does not disappear in the wintertime like most of the other perennials I have planted in my garden. I warn you though, wherever you plant it you are likely to have it there forever. My friend Deb and a few of her neighbors don't like their yuccas so they gallantly volunteered the plants to me-if I wanted to dig them out. Dig them out I did! My friend Gerianne also dug several as well. Digging and transplanting them does not seem to harm either the transplanted yucca, or the roots left behind. You see, after a small length of time, the yuccas resprout in the exact same location where they were dug. I am afraid Deb and her neighbors are stuck with their yuccas.

I transplanted the some yuccas in July 2006. They did not require any water this year and have thrived in this inhospitable location next to a busy road and my driveway. I think near a road or a driveway are really good spots for these stalwart natives and got the idea to plant mine here from several local houses with yuccas prominently displayed near the road for all to see. Another alternative is in a dry hot garden designed with xeriscaping (low water garden) in mind, or in a desert themed garden. This yucca is hardy here and requires no maintenance other than cutting off the flower stalk after it has bloomed in June. You can leave the stalk on, but I prefer to cut mine off. The bloom is beautiful but I find it doesn't last long. Also, sometimes the yucca will bloom more heavily one year and not the next, which is a drawback in the year of light blooms. The yucca root is a tuber somewhat resembling a potato, which I am sure gives it staying ability in dry inhospitable conditions. Digging yuccas and coming across the root can be shocking if you are not sure what it is-so be prepared.

I had this posting all ready to go when over the Thanksgiving weekend I discovered this beautiful grouping of yuccas at Mr. Fix-it's parents home in North Carolina. I already knew of it, but thought the coincidence of being able to photograph the grouping BEFORE I did this posting was a good thing. Comparing my little yucca I planted last year to my in-law's yuccas is like comparing a cherry tomato to a beefsteak tomato-really no comparison. But unlike the cherry tomato which will never catch up to the beefsteak, my little yuccas will someday grow into beautiful specimens like those pictured here. I think yuccas look best grouped together and this grouping is very effective with the added bonus of a lacecap hydrangea thrown in the mix (to the right and rear of the yuccas).

I want to thank my friend Deb for her yuccas and give you all the idea that if you feel you want some yuccas and have a friend who has some-ask her if you can dig them and I am sure the answer will be yes because in all likelihood the yuccas will grow back.

in the garden....


  1. Nana loved yuccas but they do not grow well here...too cold. But there are a couple down by what was Frabaiso's.

  2. i did not know nana loved yuccas. i remember her always growing peonies, brown eyes, statice and strawflowers. i will have to check out those at frabizios when next we come up to maine. how is dawn's prickly pear doing? i will do something on that soon and was wondering about hers. maybe too cold? bye now, love ya

  3. I knew I did not spell Frabizios right. LOL It is much colder up at Dawn's and they are so busy tring to get into the house she probably just stuck it in the ground and won't bother with it again till summer. The kids just left half an hour ago. Brian and Sarah and the big guy and Christy and a friend came down and I cooked doughboys, ect for all. Love you.

  4. I have spotted some yucca growing across the street on some county right of way. I asked the Saint a while back (2 years ago) to dig them out for me. To this day, they remain where they are. Not sure where I would plant them but I may get them one day....

    Do you know if they are native to our area of Georgia? I wonder if those are wild or not. If not, wonder how they got there???

  5. Yuccas are native to Georgia. Someone probably planted them there many years ago or maybe they seeded themselves. Hard to say. Since you have that nice hedge in front maybe you could put the yuccas out back by the boat house? Just remember, once you plant them they will be there forever!

  6. I have three yuccas at my driveway entrance. I dug them from along side the road about 15 years ago. This past spring I saw a picture and instructions in one of my gardening magazines for cutting flowers from colored egg cartons and slipping over the tips of the yucca blades (mine looked like tulips). Rather whimsical!

    There was an article covering the bottle trees in the March/April 2007 issue of Backyard Living.

  7. I have three yuccas at my driveway entrance. I dug them from along side the road about 15 years ago. This past spring I saw a picture and instructions in one of my gardening magazines for cutting flowers from colored egg cartons and slipping over the tips of the yucca blades (mine looked like tulips). Rather whimsical!

    There was an article covering the bottle trees in the March/April 2007 issue of Backyard Living.

  8. Hi Nina!
    My blog email must be messing up because I usually get an email when someone posts a comment so I am so sorry I have not responded sooner.

    I am going to have to pull out that Backyard Living magazine and see the article on bottle trees. Do you have a bottle tree? You sound like a good gardener and one who loves whimsy! My kind of gardener.

    I learned of putting egg cartons on yucca leaves at Felder Rushing's website. He has a picture of a boy putting them on the yuccas. It is soooo cute that I may do it next year for Easter. I like to decorate for Easter and this would really tie in with my Easter eggs hung in the tree. You know what? I believe unless people see you put the egg cartons on the yucca leaves they would actually think the yucca was a new variety that grew the flowers and may stop to ask where you got it:) Maybe not but who knows. It really looked cool.

    Can you send me instructions? Do you cut the cartons up a certain way? He doesn't show how to do it...

  9. Good Morning Tina, I cut out the egg carton cups leaving some extra around the top, then cut the tulip design. I put two slits in the bottom of each and ran the yucca blade (spike) up through one slit and down the other. I didn't have anyone stop (as far as I know) to admire my creation? There is a good picture, that looks basically like mine at

    I do not have a bottle tree, but my dear husband has added that to his Spring to do list.

    I'll be in the yard today picking up and storing patio furniture and
    yard art. I'm running behind schedule, but have been busy with caring for my elderly Dad.

    Sorry for the double post last time, I don't know what happened!!

  10. Good morning Nina. There is no problem about double posts at all. I love getting comments-even double ones! It happens to me sometimes too.

    Thanks for the instructions on the tulips. I am definitely doing it in my yard next spring. I never would have thought to run the yucca leaves up then down again. That would keep it from blowing away. I may check out the picture at family crafts but I so much prefer people's pictures. So if you wouldn't mind, send me a picture of yours when you decorate them and I will do a post on them-complete with a link to family crafts and credit to you as you are the first local to come up with the idea. I think others would like the idea and I know I do.

    Bottle trees are a must you must have a good husband to add it to his list.

    Does your father like gardens and does he play on the computer? Maybe I could do something on here for him? You are a saint to care for him and I hope others appreciate you. I know it cannot be easy.

  11. What kind of yard art? I want some metal scultures in my yard. The kind Paul James has on his show which he personally made. Do you have some like that?

  12. Well chores are finished, furniture stored and leaves raked with the help of a good family friend.

    I know who Paul James is, but I don't know what kind of yard art he does. I have what I call trellis (for lack of knowing what to call them) made from wall sculpture's that my husband has welded a rod on them for sticking them down in the dirt. I have two twin size steel headboards that my husband has embellished with some wrought iron. I also have some concrete statuette's rabbits, roosters etc. In one flower garden I have a collection of birdhouse on post.

    I try to scatter things through the gardens. I try not to go overboard, which is very hard to do.

    My Dad was a farmer in his day. He is 99 years old so the computer is something he has never tried to do.

  13. Hi Nina,
    I am glad you got the leaves raked and everything put up. Now you can sit back and relax until spring. I always get that nesting feeling this time of year so I feel safe when things are put away.

    Paul James has a silhouette of a rusty metal girl he actually made in a foundry. He also has birdhouses. I too have birdhouses, concrete statues and a bed frame in my garden. Some gardeners say every gardener needs a "garden bed", hence the bedframe.

    It is hard not to go overboard. I think I may have gone overboard, even my mother says I have so much where would I put anything else. But it is truly what makes us happy and if we go overboard then so be it.

    God Bless your dad! 99 years old! To be a farmer he must have taken good care of himself and maybe all the farm work helped him stay healthy. What did he farm and is he where you get your love of gardening from? I bet you had a vegetable patch growing up?

  14. Hello Tina, The main crops were corn and tobacco. We always had a large garden. He worked hard to rear six children. He gives God the credit for a good long life.

    I don't do vegetable gardens. Just flowers and only started that about five year ago when I retired. My gardens aren't well established yet. I have been told it takes about seven years, but I have decided they will always be work in process!!

  15. Hi Nina,
    I am so glad you said you heard gardens take seven years to grow in. I really didn't know and have been waiting 4-5 years and my gardens are still not full. I was thinking it was me but maybe I just need some more of that elusive time! You see, I have learned something from you!

    Your dad sounds like a great man and I hope he knows how special you are to care for him (and your siblings). There comes a point when we all are faced with this and while I am sure you do it gladly, it is not easy. 'nuff said.

    I have lots of extra plants and am always happy to share. Let me know what you might like as I do like to share and think that is what gardens are for. Spring would be best for me because I just finished moving stuff around for the year and now they need to get established. Gardens are work in progress-for me it depends on the season what takes precedence-bad habit. You see, now I wind up digging up fall plants to plant bulbs which defeats the purpose. Oh is the joy and the moment.

    If you don't mind, what did you retire from? Isn't it great being retired and able to garden and take one day at a time-no rushing.

  16. Good Morning Tina, I would love to share plants. I am always happy to share any plant that I have and even happier to receive a new one from someone's garden.

    I can't say I have a favorite. I started out with several hydrangea, but found the deer to like them as well as I did. So now I try to look for "deer resistant" plants.

    I retired from the accounting field, my husband is retired Army.

  17. Hi Nina and Good morning!
    You will have to come by sometime and visit my garden and see what you like. I love hydrangeas too. Especially the oakleafs and peegees. I don't have a deer problems-thank goodness. I do have some deer "resistant" plants though. Artemesia 'Powis Castle' is deer resistant. I can save you one as I bring in cuttings each fall to use in my garden and share them with others. It is the silver plant in the Garden of the Month posting. It is fragrant when touched or rubbed up against but does not have a big bloom. It is a foliage plant and I think deer do not eat it because it is so fragrant. I have other plants of course. We will have to get together sometime and visit each others gardens. Is your garden shady, sunny or some of both?

    My daughter started college for accounting, now she is finance. I started college for accounting but after my very first accounting class, I changed my major to Business. Couldn't hang with those debits and credits and balance sheets! You must've liked it though to retire from it.