The Q&A Archives: Blooming Yucca

Question: I'vs had a cactus/yucca or flax-like shrub in my garden for 10 or 12 years. This is the first time it has ever bloomed. It has this huge stalk that came right out of the middle of the plant, which is only 2 feet high with slender, long blades of leaves. It's blooming much like a century plant, but this is not a century plant. The plant is much smaller with skinnier, softer leaves. The bloom stalk is around 20 feet high. The flowers are nothing spectacular -- a pale yellow. Do you have any idea what this plant is and how long it will bloom. And why hasn't it ever bloomed up to now? Thank you!

Answer: Yucca is a member of the Agavaceae family so similar looking plants should fall into that same category. Some of the plants in this family have sharp pointed stiff leaves and others are softer and friendlier to have around. The blooming cycle of each differs and will depend upon plant maturity, soil conditions and sunlight. An excellent book to help you determine the identity of your yucca-like plant is "Succulents - The Illustrated Dictionary", by Timber Press, Portland, Oregon. ISBN# 0-88192-398-2.

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