Plant of the Week
Yucca recurvifolia is a great choice for xeric gardens that contain more desert type plants, because aesthetically it looks great next to those. But it is a native to the Southeastern U.S. so it may also fit in well with more tropical looking landscapes. It's native to Florida and west, almost to our area.
Per its name, the leaves are soft, not pointy, so it's a good one in areas of garden traffic. You'll often this one in commercial parking lot strips. It grows in sun to part shade and has very low water requirements. It is deer resistant, but like all plants, not deer proof!
When this plant is young, the growth is more bushy and stays close to the ground. But as it ages, it becomes more treelike with an upright single trunk. It may develop what we call pups or plantlets at the base and those may either be removed, if you wish, or left to form a more bushy, thicket type growth of multiple plants.
It flowers in summer with white pendulous flowers typical of the Yucca genus. Flower stalks, perhaps several, will shoot up into the sky, towering at least 3 to 5 feet from the top of the plant. The natural pollinators for yuccas are bats, so this type of flower stalk gives them easier access to that nectar. It gets about 6 to 8 feet tall and typically only 3 feet wide. But it may be wider, especially if you leave plantlets at the base and you allow it to grow into a thicket. It's a very slow grower so be patient with it.
It's hardy to zone 6 but also very heat and drought tolerant. So once established, it really needs no supplemental irrigation except during its first year to get those roots going. Perhaps also, if we have extremely long dry spells, you might give it a little bit of water.