Cool Plant: December 22, 2009

Color Guard Yucca
Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'

Species Native Range: Southeastern U.S.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-10
Mature Size: 3 feet tall & wide
Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Soil: Average to dry but well-drained
Drought Tolerance: Excellent
Ease of Culture: Easy

Looking as though this plant belongs in the desert southwest, this species of yucca is right at home in Georgia and surrounding southern states, particularly in the sandy soils closer to the coast. Yucca filamentosa is a trunkless species that will remain under 3 feet tall. However just like its larger cousins, the blades possess a piercing barb at the end and the sides can be razor sharp. Color Guard yucca is one of the variegated varieties with green edges and a golden stripe down the center. In cold weather, the golden parts of the blade may turn an attractive pink. In the summer, a single stalk upwards of 5 feet tall will produce very showy creamy flowers.

Grow Color Guard yucca in full sun to light shade in soil that is average to dry but well-drained. Amend clay soils at time of planting with organic matter and coarse sand or gravel. Pruning is only needed to remove dead flower stalks and any damaged/dead foliage. In the fall, make sure that leaves and pinestraw are removed from the crown area but use a small rake or wear gloves!

Use CG yuccas in mixed shrub/perennial/annual beds for year round color, rock and herb gardens or as an unusual border. Plants are also easily grown in containers as specimens or mixed with seasonal color.

Good companion plants include: knockout roses, loropetalums, muhly grass, firepower nandina, salvias, winter annuals (pansies, ornamental cabbage/kale) and any number of summer annuals and perennials.


You may want to try one of the following to see if they have this plant available:

Buck Jones Nursery in Grayson or Woodstock
John Deere Landscapes with multiple locations
Plant Delights: mail order

If you have comments or questions about this article, please email me.

Unless noted otherwise, Images & Drawings Copyrighted © 2009 by Theresa Schrum - All rights reserved