We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Yucca?

Deanna Baranyi
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Yucca is the genus name for about 50 different species of trees, shrubs, and plants that fall in the Agavaceae family. In general, the plants are evergreen with white flowers and firm leaves that are shaped like spears or swords. They are most often found in desert or arid regions of the Caribbean, South America, Central America, and North America. Although each species may be treated differently, the similarities between them, such as their native climate and the shape of their leaves, make them easy to group under the single category of yucca. Some types include Joshua trees, soaptrees, Y. elephantipes and Y. filamentosa.

There are several species of yucca that grow upright, similar to trees. For example, the Y. brevifolia, also known as the Joshua tree, grows primarily in the Mojave Desert and in Joshua Tree National Park in California. Although it has spiny, spear-shaped leaves and white flowers, like most varieties, it also grows quite tall. In fact, the species has been recorded to reach heights of more than 50 feet (15.24 m). Other types of yucca that appear tree-like include Y. decipiens, Y. filifera, Y. rigida, and Y. elephantipes.

Some species are more shrub-like. For example, the Y. elata, or the soaptree yucca, is an evergreen shrub that has long, narrow, spear-like leaves. Although it is possible for the species to grow to 10 feet (3.05 m) tall, most remain much shorter. The root and trunk of this species are commonly used by some Native Americans as soap, and the fibers of the leaves are often used to make woven baskets or even dental floss.

There are several species of yucca that do not have trunks and consequently appear more plant-like. For example, the Y. filamentosa is a trunkless species that has long, sword-like leaves. As with most species, it contains tall stalks with clusters of white flowers during the summer months. Other trunkless species include the Y. pallida and Y. arkansana.

Most species of yucca grow best in full or partial sunlight. In general, as long as the soil drains well, the plant should thrive. As long as there is enough light, some species, such as Y. elephantipes, even thrive indoors.

Although yucca is most often used as an addition to landscaping, many species are used for medicinal purposes. For example, Y. schidigera is often used as a source of antioxidants and steroids. It is sometimes used to treat arthritis and is often used in cosmetics. Y. glorioso has white flowers that are often used as an antifungal. In addition, Y. elephantipes has flowers that may be eaten and are considered to be quite high in calcium.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Deanna Baranyi
By Deanna Baranyi , Former Writer
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her work. With degrees in relevant fields and a keen ability to understand and connect with target audiences, she crafts compelling copy, articles, and content that inform and engage readers.

Discussion Comments

By Ocelot60 — On Feb 02, 2015

@raynbow- Unless the soil where you plan to plant your yucca filamentosa plants is very rocky and depleted, I don't think you need to do anything to it. Like the article points out, keep in mind that good drainage is very important for all types of yuccas. If you have areas in your garden or yard where water has the tendency to pool, you should avoid planting yuccas there.

By Heavanet — On Feb 02, 2015

@raynbow- Though you don't have to add fertilizer to the soil when you plant yucca filamentosa, I think it would be good for your plants. I think that fertilizer gives any type of plant an extra boost in nutrients that will help it grow tall and strong.

I also think that fertilizer that contains alkali is best for yuccas. Since these plants are large and have wide root systems, they can deplete the soil of alkali over the years. You can also use fertilizer in the water about once a month to keep the soil good for your yucca plants.

By Raynbow — On Feb 01, 2015

I have heard that yucca plants are easy to grow, but I'm wondering if I should add something to the soil when I plant them for the first time. I've never grown filamentosa yuccas before, so I want to make sure I do everything correctly when I plant them this year.

Deanna Baranyi

Deanna Baranyi

Former Writer

Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her...
Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.