Friday, January 13, 2012

Plant Trends

Yucca trucleana or Spanish Daggers
The past year, we've noticed many more calls at our nursery about plants that use very little water - such as this Spanish dagger (Yucca trucleana).

It's native to the Rio Grande Valley and west Texas - flourishing in the dry ranch country.   These are slow growers.    The one pictured was sold at our wholesale nursery, Simmons Oak Farms -  this will make an instant impact, won't it!  I love the sculptural quality of these big yuccas.   

In the spring, yuccas bloom with clusters of beautiful white flowers that some people harvest to eat.   Mockingbirds like to hang out in Spanish daggers - not sure if they are feeding or they just like the cover and protection.    If you want a full Yucca, do not remove the flower pods.    We have noticed that removing the pods before they are nice and dry keeps the branch from splitting into two  heads.  

Be careful that your yucca doesn't get too much water.  To much water will cause the plant to rot.   We had a large Spanish dagger in a planting bed near a huge old ash tree.   That planting area was watered with grey water from our home and everything seemed to be pretty happy there -  until Hurricane Dolly came along.   It tore up the ash so badly that we had to remove it.   That changed everything!  Suddenly there was lots more water and lots more sun.   The Yucca loved the sun - but not the water.   To try to remedy the problem, we've planted a Montezuma bald cypress in the area - maybe in another year or two, the cypress will use enough water that the yucca thrives again. 

Yucca trucleana would be a great addition to your water-wise garden

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