Yucca : Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
In recent years two species, Yucca aloifolia from South-Eastern USA and the West Indies and Y. elephantipes (Y. guatemalensis) from Central America, have become very successful and popular houseplants although they are not favourites of mine. They are similar, but the latter is of softer appearance and more branching than the former. They are frequently sold as chunks of stem which can be rooted in water and subsequently potted up. Old plants can be propagated similarly by sawing the trunk into sections about 10-13 cm (4—5 in) long. It pays to seal the top with wax to prevent moisture loss while rooting. One of these would not be out of place lending height to a collection ofand . A well-drained loam suits them best and the biggest danger would be from overwatering. I would prefer to grow Y. brevifolia, the Joshua Tree, which is a familiar site to travellers through its home, the Mojave desert of Southern California. The gaunt twisted shapes of these are very sinister against the backdrop of the desert. While young they make interesting small pot plants as their thin leaves are not too long. There is a smaller form, Y. b. jaeferiana. Seed of these is easily obtainable and will germinate with no trouble sown just covered at 15-18°C (60-65°F).