Friday, November 30, 2012

How to Start a New Yucca Plant

Do not attempt now!     I uploaded the pictures for this tutorial, but forgot about it. Yuccas are sharp spiked shrubs found around many rural cemeteries in the Appalachian area and on homestead around the south. According to Decoration Day in the Mountains:Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians, a book that explains church homecomings & decorations in the south, states that yuccas were once placed on graveyards to prevent animals from scavenging the freshly buried bodies or the superstitious says the spikes keep away demons. Our yucca in the front yard came from a transplant, similar to the specimen below, came from my home church over ten years ago. The plant is now over eight feet tall, with pruning. These are intriguing old plants that take little care to grow and are great conversations pieces, not to mention the beautiful tall blooming milky white blooms that it casts in the summer. I will advice not planting these near places were children play or there is high traffic because the spikes are needle/knife sharp; our main yucca... it's by the front door.. my mom thought it would stay little.. oh well.
I learned the technique of transplanting young yuccas by thwoing ripped up suckers, small sprouts at the base of the mother plant, into the woods. You can see small roots emerged when the plant lodged itself into a mound of mulched leaves.
This is simple: pull a sucker or a small yucca out of the ground, maybe from the side of the road or from a family cemetery, it's okay these suckers have their name for a reason they suck nutrients from the mother plant. Second strip off the old dried leaves. Even if the plant has no roots place cleaned plant into soil until the white is covered, it will root on its own like it would in nature. Keep soil moist until roots establish, then treat it like a cactus or sedum.. water sparingly.

Yuccas are strong survivors. These roots are very young, yet thick and white: a sign of health.
This is an established yucca with the old leaves ripped off at the base.

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