18 Best Types of Yucca Plants to Grow at Home

With over 40 species of yuccas to choose from, you’re bound to find a plant you love. While all species of yuccas have sword-shaped leaves and large flowers, their native ranges and ideal growing conditions differ. Here, we’ve rounded up 18 of our absolute favorite yucca plants, and we’ve included expert care instructions and key considerations for each so you can find your perfect match.

Best Types of Yucca Plants to Grow at Home

1) Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s needle)

Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle)

This yucca grows in a rosette of broad leaves with spines on their tips. Each leaf has curly, fibrous filaments growing off of its leaf margins. The plant can grow up to eight feet tall and three feet wide.

Yucca filamentosa is easy to grow as long and is tolerant of rabbit, deer, moderate drought, and rocky soils.

While it’s native to sandy areas of the Southeast United States, Yucca filamentosa can now be found growing throughout the East Coast. You can successfully grow it outdoors in zones 4-11.

2) Yucca gigantea (Spineless yucca)

Yucca gigantea (Spineless yucca)

Known as Yucca gigantea or Yucca elephantipes, the spineless yucca can grow up to 40 feet tall. The plants produce thick trunks topped with rosettes of narrow, spineless leaves. 

A fun fact is that the edible flower of this yucca is used throughout El Salvador where it is the national flower. The plant is native to Central America. 

Spineless yucca is a great landscaping plant due to its lack of spines and easy to care for nature. You can grow it outdoors in zones 10 and above, and grow young plants indoors.

3) Yucca rostrata (Beaked yucca)

Yucca rostrata (Beaked yucca)

The beaked yucca has narrow blue-green leaves that cluster together to resemble a pom-pom. While the leaves begin as a rosette on the ground, they eventually grow atop a trunk.

Yucca rostrata is native to Southern Texas and Northern Mexico.

You can grow this yucca outdoors in zones 5-11 and indoors in containers. The plants can grow up to 15’ tall outdoors, but they will take at least 10 years to reach this height.

4) Yucca gloriosa (Spanish dagger)

Yucca gloriosa (Spanish dagger)

Native to the Southeast United States, the Spanish dagger grows as a large shrub or small tree. It has long green leaves with sharp tips. People used this plant’s leaves to make rope, cloth, and other materials.

You can grow Yucca gloriosa outdoors in zones 7-11, even in salty coastal areas. The plant also grows well indoors as a houseplant.

It can grow up to 15’ outdoors, but it has a slow growth rate.

5) Yucca aloifolia (Aloe yucca)

Yucca aloifolia (Aloe yucca)

Also known as the Spanish bayonet, Yucca aloifolia is native to sandy regions in the Eastern United States, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean. People sometimes plant it as a living fence in warm regions.

It has a trunk topped with clusters of thin leaves with very sharp margins and tips. Like all yuccas, it will produce a tall panicle of white flowers.

You can grow this plant outdoors in zones 6-11. You can try to grow it indoors, but it is unlikely to flower.

6) Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree)

Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree)

Found throughout the National Park of the same name, the Joshua tree has a thick trunk and branches. Clusters of pointed green leaves sit atop the end of each branch.

Yucca brevifolia can grow up to 50 feet tall, but it often stays smaller. You can grow it outside in zones 6 to 10 in sandy soil and full sun.

While you can start growing these plants in containers indoors, you’ll eventually need to plant them outside. They are low maintenance and easy to grow in the right environment.

7) Yucca baccata (Banana yucca)

Yucca baccata (Banana yucca)

Unlike most other yuccas, Yucca baccata has soft, fleshy fruit that resembles short green bananas. Southwestern Native Americans and Mexicans baked and pounded the fruit’s flesh to make sun-dried cakes.

The plant has a rosette of blue-green leaves which grow up to 30” long. The leaves sit on the ground or on top of a short stalk.

You can plant the banana yucca outdoors in zones 6-11. The banana yucca’s flower stalks are shorter than those of other yuccas, so it’s a good choice for areas with limited height.

8) Yucca schidigera (Mojave yucca)

Yucca schidigera (Mojave yucca)

Native to the Mojave desert, Yucca schidigera grows on sandy soil and rocky areas. It grows as an evergreen tree with a thick trunk or multiple stems topped with clusters of long, sharp leaves.

The plant grows slowly, but it can reach 30’ tall. This yucca thrives in arid conditions and can be grown outdoors in zones 7-11. 

Some companies add the Mojave yucca to pet food to help with joint health and arthritis.

9) Yucca glauca (Soapweed yucca plant)

Yucca glauca (Soapweed yucca plant)

The soapweed yucca plant grows on the ground in a spherical shape. It has narrow, sharp leaves that grow up to two feet long.

It is native to Central North America in areas including Alberta, the Dakotas, and Texas. It is exceptionally cold tolerant and can be grown outdoors in zones 4-9. 

This yucca is relatively easy to care for in the right environment. It can survive drought and cold, but it doesn’t do well in coastal areas.

10) Yucca elata (Soaptree yucca)

Yucca elata (Soaptree yucca)

The soaptree yucca starts out as a shrub before developing trunks and growing into a tree. It can grow up to 12 feet tall.

Yucca elata is native to the Southwest United States as well as Northern Mexico. It is relatively cold tolerant and can be grown outdoors in zones 6-11. It isn’t recommended for indoor growth.

The interior of the trunk and roots contains a soap-like substance that the Zuni used to make soap.

11) Yucca pallida (Pale-leaf yucca)

Yucca pallida (Pale-leaf yucca)

As its common name suggests, this yucca has light blue-green leaves. Compared to other yuccas, the leaves are quite wide.

The pale-leaf yucca grows as a rosette on the ground. The leaves grow about a foot and a half tall with a flower stalk that can reach eight feet tall.

It is cold hardy down to 0°F, so it can be grown outdoors in zones 6-10. However, it’s rarely used as a landscaping plant.

12) Yucca faxoniana (Giant white yucca)

Yucca faxoniana (Giant white yucca)

The giant white yucca grows as a large shrub or small tree with one thick trunk and potentially multiple branches. Each branch is topped with a rosette of long, dark green leaves. This yucca can reach 25 feet tall, but it grows slowly.

Yucca faxoniana is native to the Chihuahuan Desert in Northern Mexico and Texas. As you might expect, it has tolerance to both high heat and cold.

You can grow the giant white yucca outdoors in zones 6-11 as long as the area is dry. It is not recommended as a houseplant.

13) Yucca x schottii (Mountain yucca)

Yucca x schottii (Mountain yucca)

Also known as Schott’s yucca or hoary yucca, this yucca is a natural hybrid of Yucca baccata and Yucca madrensis.

It is a tree yucca with thin trunks that can grow over 15 feet tall. The trunks may branch or remain as one trunk.

The mountain yucca is found at higher elevations than many other tree yuccas, hence its name.

You can grow this yucca outdoors in zones 5-10.

14) Yucca thompsoniana (Thompson’s yucca)

Yucca thompsoniana (Thompson's yucca)

Thompson’s yucca is native to Texas and Northern Mexico where it thrives on rocky hillsides.

It grows up to twelve feet tall and six feet wide with a slightly branching trunk and slender leaves. The old leaves fall neatly around the trunk, unlike many other yucca species.

You can plant them outdoors in zones 7-11. These plants are low maintenance as long as you provide lots of sun and a well-drained location.

15) Yucca flaccida (Weak-leaf yucca plant)

Yucca flaccida (Weak-leaf yucca plant)

Yucca flaccida grows as a stout, stemless shrub. It has pointed, dark green leaves that can grow up to two feet long. The leaves fold down over time, leading to the common name.

This yucca is native to the South-Central and Southeast areas of the United States. It can grow to two feet tall and five feet wide.

You may plant this yucca outdoors in zones 5-11. It is also suitable as a houseplant.

16) Hesperaloe parviflora (Red yucca plant)

Hesperaloe parviflora (Red yucca plant)

While people call this plant a yucca, it is actually a member of the false yucca genus. It’s native to the Chihuahuan Desert.

The plant produces narrow, green leaves with white threads along its margins. The red yucca plant can grow up to six feet tall and wide. Unlike true yuccas, it produces a tall stalk of pink flowers.

You may plant it outdoors in zones 5-10. It isn’t commonly grown as a houseplant.

17) Yucca rupicola (Twisted yucca)

Yucca rupicola (Twisted yucca)

Twisted yucca is a small plant with leaves that remain under two feet tall and flower stalks that grow up to five feet tall. The leaves emerge straight but become twisted as they grow older.

It’s native to Texas where it grows in full sun or part shade.

You can grow the twisted yucca outdoors in zones 6-10.

18) Yucca wipplei (Our lord’s candle)

Yucca wipplei (Our lord's candle)

Yucca wipplei has long leaves with sharp tips and serrated edges. It grows about two to three feet tall over the course of around ten years. At this point, it sends up a 10-15 foot tall flower spike and then often dies.

This yucca is native to California and Baja California, where it grows in scrubby and woodland habitats.

The plant is relatively easy to grow in its native range but difficult to care for outside of this area.

Contributing Editor | briana@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.

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