yucca fillamentosa

StashBC(z3NWBC)July 25, 2005

Or also known as Spanish Bayonette....ooh, that just moves my inner Zorro into flamenco-mode...lol...it is also known as Adams Needle.....

Is anyone growing it in zone 3....or 4? I know trials have been conducted to see how it grows in zone 4...all be it with winter mulch..... ?

I just fell in love bigtime upon seeing it all over Vancouver,BC in July.... what a coup against the zonal tyrants if this northern BC boy can pull this yucca rabbit out of the hat,eh!


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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Zonal tyrants? LOL.

Ron, I've grown yucca filamentosa for approximately six years. I started with the basic green one, and last year planted a variegated one called 'color guard'.

I've concluded that they are impossible to kill. The only problem for me is that the bladed leaves, which are suppose to be evergreen, sometimes get damaged by winter and dry up (winter dessication). However, and here's why I say it's impossible to kill, the rhizomes below the soil quickly send up new leaves and the plant looks surprising good by mid summer.

I've only had blossoms on mine one year, however, so I am not sure why or why not it doesn't bloom. I have yet to leave my plant in one place for a few years so maybe it hasn't matured yet.

Not sure if it needs winter protection. Some years mine comes through winter fairly well with just a good mound of snow. Last year I actually wrapped mine loosely in burlap and it came through winter beautiful, but somehow after I uncovered it we had a hard freeze and the leaves dried up. They have since regrown. Actually, I think the spring weather damages the plant more than winter, just like a cold spring might damage a cedar with the cold temps and the bright sun.

I know they like dry soil, but I have mine in regular clay garden soil and they do seem able to handle periods of rain where the soil stays wet for a bit.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 11:11PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

7 or 8 years for ours now - very tough plants, no protection required here despite lack of snow, nor special soil. One plant is blooming this year - only the second such event, unfortunately.
Actually, I expect the more spectacular yuccas one sees in Vancouver are much less hardy species than filamentosa...that is, if you are lusting after the various species that form the spikey trunks with the flowering rosettes on top? But that having been said, filamentosa and glauca are the ones that are hardy here - not quite so spectacular, but they make an interesting effect in the landscape.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 11:23PM
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Thanks,Glen and AB, great anecdotal advice.... your successful attempts to import such an 'exotic' really encourage me to add this plant to my floral menagerie.... the squirrels and hummingbirds will be both bewildered and bedazzled.... I can see the latter little levitational legion drooling juices of salivational delight...lol

What other 'exotics' are you guys growing?


    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 12:10PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I suppose the key word is "trying" to grow, since some of the plants need winter protection or don't perform as well as they might in warmer zones...

ginkgo biloba (major winter damage unless wrapped for winter, hopefully hardier with age.)
sungold falsecypress (survived one winter very well just covered in burlap and buried in snow)
arctic beauty kiwi (definitely hardy to zone 3 but not as quick growing as I thought)
ampelopsis porcelain vine (started from seed, has yet to go through winter)
paulownia tomentosa (roots survive winter, growing by stooling each year so that it develops interesting looking stalk).
catalpa speciosa (I discovered there are older trees growing near the MB Legislature)
vinca minor 'illumination' (survived and done well against north side of house)
korean maple (good snowcover)
taxus media hicksii - hick's yew (wrapped very well for winter, in shady spot on north side of house).
Japanese maples (still small, 2 feet high, basically bury in peat moss for winter and then mounds of snow)
blue girl/boy holly (survived winter in perfect condition but were surrounded with a box and filled in with leaves)
royal star magnolia (no blooms, still 2 feet high after five years)

Of course the above is supplemented with regular hardy stuff. I always think clematis look exotic, or mounds of lamium filling in a 1 x 6 foot strip beside the pond. Am trying or summer bulbs such as taro, caladium, coleus, canna for that colorful look as well.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 12:31PM
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ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, Glen, you are a horticultural guerrilla gracefully fighting the good fight!!!!!

Thanks, so very much for sharing this list of challenges with me and others... and the very specific ways in which you employ to frustrate easy zonal victories.... I just love the big box and leaves cuddling the holly!!!!! Is it a single trunked/stem holly? Does it remain in darkness for freeze/frost months?

Could you somehow 'tent' the Japanese maples? I would like to have some form of Japanese garden here without potting the maples but if one must bring the little darlings in from the freezer so be it..... so many ways to try to 'skin the cat' before one throws in the towel,eh..... keep on imaginatively improvising winning tactics!


    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 2:28PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Perennials for me, rather than woody plants, but over 650 species at present, and upwards of hundred more added this year for testing...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 6:40PM
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Well, AB..... you too are an amazingly passionate floramesiter....lol.... and I am certainly glad to have you to get some pointers from.... thanks for making yourself available to us beginners..... do you have fritllarias in your gardenscape?

Botanus has many fritillarias from Turkey and Central Asia .... I would like to try a few.... seeds first and then plants that are hardy bulbs that can stay overwinter in our gardens.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 8:37PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

I'd recommend Fritillaria meleagris as a very easy intro. I have a few other species, and there are many other hardy ones I've yet to come across. The only trick, if you acquire them as bulbs, is to plant them promptly in fall, as the bulbs are prone to drying out.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 10:46PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Ron, you can 'tent' them, but I don't think it would be quite enough winter protection in zone 3. On this forum, do a search for a posting titled "Japanese Maples in MB"

In it, everyone has contributed various ideas on winter protection.

Another alternative might be for you to try Korean Maple, acer pseudosieboldianum. It has leaves which closely resemble a Japanese type maple and is hardier. Mine has done fairly well for me, but maybe I just lucked out.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 10:39AM
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Thanks,AB.... good advice regarding my intro into the fritillarian zone..... the prices for these little beauties tend to be high so one needs to exercise fiscal restraint and control one's appetite,eh!

I notice that seed suppliers like Botanus sell seed,not bulbs, at very reasonable prices..... is this how you propagate your plants.... or do you plant nursery roots/bulbs?


    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 11:29AM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

I only grow from seed what I can't buy as bulbs/plants...hence I am generally starting at least some seeds each year. (And, I do tend to be out ahead a couple or more years of the local greenhouses - although some of them have started expanding their horizons of late, much to my delight.) A good selection of fritillaria can be had from the better bulb suppliers - much faster results than with seeds, needless to say.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 9:19PM
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This is what is all about, pushing the hardiness limit. Way to grow!I'm game to try just about any plant that may have half a chance. If it's marginal you'll find it in my garden. If you like Yuccas, then you you should also give Y.glauca a try, it's very hardy. Good Luck, Banana Joe

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 11:31PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Yes, Yucca glauca is native to Alberta and Saskatchewan, barely sneaking across the border - so obviously very hardy.
But what yuccas are you growing?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 8:27PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

And here we have it...for only the second time in the aforementioned 7-8 years...a flower stalk on one of my Yucca filamentosa!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 1:21AM
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Wonderful, Sweet Alberta!!!! Your yucca yeastingly yummifies my iner filaments of desire!!!!

I think I will try to grow one or two Yf's in a rock girded pocket in full sun.....perhaps also an inner rubber tire for greater holding of warmth and perhaps with some kind of reflecting sheet of foil nearby to reflect more light/heat yuccaward.... and perhaps one in a good sized container that can be taken indoors for winter hibernation.... or are these manouevers needlessly over the top in my bid to have a little desert beauty flowering in my northwest niche?

Man-made microclimates are definitely crucial in any gardeneer's bid to expand the zonal strait-jacket,eh!

Great pics...thanks...Ron

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 11:29AM
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esofva(7b VA)

Has anyone tried putting a clear plastic tent over their yuccas that are hardy to the zone but not to the winter moisture??? Any luck??

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 2:09PM
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