Drought Tolerant Gardening with the Spineless Yucca

A drought tolerant perennial shrub, the spineless yucca is one of 40 yucca species and does well in containers and indoors. It is an evergreen. Other names for the plant include giant yucca, Yucca gigantea, Yucca guatemalensis, and Yucca elephantipes. A member from the Agave family of plants, according to Floridata.com, it lacks the typical sharpness on its spines of other yucca varieties.

Spineless Yucca Description

Growing up to 30 feet tall with a 4 foot wide trunk, the spineless yucca has pliable leaves that form from a shiny green rosette. It will not have the typical hard spines (hence the name “spineless”) that other yuccas will have. The trunk thickens as it ages and forms a swollen base. Flowers will bloom in the summer, with tall stalks of white bell-like blooms. It is a large plant that creates a striking display.

Growing a Spineless Yucca

Grow a spineless yucca plant in any well-drained soil. It is tolerant of acidic soils, salty soils, drought, and salt sprays. It even can grow in lighting conditions from full sun to full shade. This easy to grow and incredibly low maintenance plant can be propagated by seed or by cuttings in USDA hardiness zones of 9 through 11.


Spineless Yucca in the Landscape

Using this plant as a centerpiece in the landscape works well, as it works better in larger yards than small patches. It can go where other yuccas may not work simply because it will lack the painful spines of others. It works well in containers and in succulent gardens. Planted close together, these yuccas can make for a barrier.

Eating Yucca elephantipes

According to Floridata.com, the flowers and stem tips can be eaten. However, you must remove the anthers and ovaries on the flowers as they are very bitter. Some individuals add the flower petals to salads for extra calcium, vitamin C, niacin, and potassium. They can be used raw or boiled.

Pests of Spineless Yucca

According to PlantCare.com, this plant has a problem with getting scale and mealy bugs. Both can cause the plant to have a stunted growth. Misting the plant with a mild soap solution (Ivory diluted with tap water makes for a good spray) should take care of the mealy bug problem should it happen to your plant.

Spineless yucca can really make a landscape pop with its foliage. It is one of several Agave plants that work well in water wise garden plots.