'Palm' Yuccas

abqpalms(Albuquerque, NM)October 14, 2005

Wondering if any good-hearted souls could give some input -

While Albuquerque has many very common varieties of yuccas obviously growing around, the one common kind I personally enjoy quite a bit are the "Palm" Yuccas - the often-large trees with the "shaggy" trunks and the stiff, green (leaves? - not sure what you refer to them on yuccas as) that have the appearance of a palm/yucca cross.

At any event, one can tell I am a real novice - I only moved to ABQ a couple of years ago.

A) I see them marked as "Palm" Yuccas at local nurseries such as Rowlands (may they rest in peace) and Osuna Nursery...however, I am not sure what their real/scientific name is. Can anyone enlighten (and pardon me for my ignorance)?

More importantly...

B) The price tag on these guys - they are SO expensive when I find them in nurseries - even rather young/small ones still run $150+, and big ones up to $400! Again, with excuse to my ignorance, that somewhat surprises me due to their very "common" nature all across the city. I really would like to get one of these for my house along with my actual palm trees, and am willing to get a younger one and have it grow, but stomaching such a steep price is somewhat tough for me to do! I was wondering really if anyone had any experiences / suggestions / ideas of where perhaps I could go to find / purchase one of these on a bit more of an economical basis (or am I just SOL here).

[Also, realizing my novice status, any ideas of why they are so expensive despite their very common status of finding anywhere and everywhere around town? Or are they "just that way" due to their bigger-than-most-yucca size?]....

Thanks in advance!

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adp_abq(7b NM)

yucca faxonia?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 2:07PM
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Yucca faxoniana would be my guess too. I know the landscape size specimens are expensive. The only small ones I've ever seen were at Santa Fe Greenhouses about a month ago. These were in little pots though, not landscaping size, although I guess you could plant them out in the yard. They were about $9 each. It sounds like you're looking for something larger. Maybe one of the nurseries in town can special order one that's not so expensive. Good luck.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 4:41PM
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Most of the Yucca faxoniana you see in town are old and were collected from the wild, on ranches in the W Texas mtns. (they are regional natives, not local natives)

While they are definitely hardy in Abq (and I think even Santa Fe), that rather rough transplant process causes a low survival rate---plus any agave snout weevil that they had in their native habitat gets brought here, too! They are expensive since they are big and heavy, making them awkward to move.

There are some seed grown plants avail., though I agree they are small. But in a few years, I bet they also would not be dead, unlike many collected ones would be.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 1:49PM
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adp_abq(7b NM)

Just saw someone chop a mature one down on ladera (off coors). Too bad you didn't catch them in time.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 3:45PM
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abqpalms(Albuquerque, NM)

adp_abq / cactus dude -

Thanks much for the input; yep, I believe indeed the yucca I really like is the common-yet-beautiful Yucca faxoniana; I may just have to start little by going to Santa Fe and buying one and raising it. I just cannot stomach paying $400 for a tree. [And how heartbreaking indeed that I could not have been around when they were chopping the mature one down on the west side near Coors - I would gladly taken it off of their hands!] - I think that is what I need here now, someone wanting to remove one and find a new home for it!

quercus_abq -
Very, very interesting - thank you so very much for the history! That is intriguing stuff. While it is regrettable to me why they are so costly, at least it makes sense why the tags are so high. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 1:44PM
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Plants of the Southwest and Bernardo Beach Native Plant Farm both buy plants from a large wholesaler, who grows different yuccas from seed, including some affordable sizes.

Both often sell their 5 and 15 gallon sizes of the following Yuccas, which have grown well in Abq for decades:
Y. faxoniana / carnerosana
Y. torreyi (not sure)
Y. baccata (local Abq native)
Y. thompsoniana
Y. elata (local Abq native)
Y. rostrata
Y. decepiens
Y. baileyi / harrimannae
.....and if you are lucky, Y. schottii

I bought a large 15 gallon Y. baccata for a large, blue pot to view off our dining room, and it is huge and bold, but it was heavy!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 8:54AM
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I recently bought a Y. faxoniana at Great Outdoors Nursery up on 2nd St. here in Albuquerque. Nice, helpful people, by the way.
This tree is about 4 1/2 feet tall and has been in the ground about 3 weeks.
Immediately upon transplanting, the flower stalk sagged and I have noticed some of the lower blades have turned brown. There is still plenty of healthy-looking green at the top.
The tree has received nearly daily deep watering and frequent doses of root stimulator.
Any suggestions on how to treat this plant in the immediate future to make sure it takes root and stays healthy would be greatly appreciated. Also suggestions on future watering and maintenance as well.
Thanks for any help.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 6:55PM
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In my experience, most yucca species don't transplant very well. They just seem really touchy, especially compared to other xerophytic plants. I would recommend posting your question as a new thread not only in the SW Gardening Forum, but also in the Cacti & Succulents Forum- you'll probably get some good advice. Good luck!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 11:46AM
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Steve, you might want to decrease your watering to every 10 days through the next few months, every 2 weeks in Sep and Oct if it stays on the hot side, and stop watering around Nov 1st until mid March or early April.
These beautiful large yuccas are more often killed by overwatering than underwatering. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 3:01PM
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