Posts Tagged ‘nodding yucca’

Yucca Conquers Dismal Driveway Dirt

My front garden is a difficult site.

Since the house is barely 50′ off the street, most of the front yard is driveway or reclaimed driveway.  Of course, driveway equals compaction.  So only the toughest plants will survive.

Last year I lost a few newbies from drought.  This year I have had the opposite problem.  We have had tons of rain and a few plants  have succumbed to root rot diseases.  Let me clarify, however, that I am NOT complaining about the rain.

The plants that survive here are tough cookies.  I study them daily often finding something that attracts my attention when I am on my way to the mailbox.

One of the most interesting events this summer was the first blooming of my nodding yucca (Yucca cernua).  This is a rare yucca that came to me from my East Texas plant bud, Peter Loos.   I will admit that I kept it in the pot for an embarrassingly long time.  I couldn’t find the right place for it plus was not really sure I wanted a yucca!  But then I saw it in bloom in a friend’s garden and decided to work it in to the driveway bed.

During the first year I admired the dramatic sword-like foliage and decided that maybe I was wrong to have waited so long to plant the yucca.

In late May I noticed the first bloom stalk.  Every day as I ran errands or went to my consulting  job I would stop and take note.  The stalk grew to 2′, 4′, 6′ and finally stopped around 8′ or so.  It dominated the front yard like a totem and I began to notice that on sunny days a dragonfly was always perched on the tip.


The nodding yucca flower stalk seemed to dominate the front garden forever like a giant pencil pointing toward they sky.

It seemed to take forever for the flowers to emerge from the naked stalk.  After about two weeks, a crop of lovely florets hovered above – like small dangling orchids.   A constant stream of pollinators visited them every day.

The pendant flowers of the nodding yucca took over 2 weeks to emerge from buds after the stalk reached its ultimate height.

For over two weeks my front garden was graced by a giant bouquet of pristine white blooms on an 8′ stem.  It politely flowered in harmony with the gardenia in my front foundation planting.

I most definitely was wrong to keep the poor old nodding yucca languishing in a pot for so long.   It has rewarded me well for a chamce to grow in my dismal driveway dirt.




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