Hesperaloe Parviflora (hes-per-AL-oh, par-vi-FLOR-uh) is an evergreen perennial succulent from the family Asparagaceae formerly Agavaceae.
Native to southwestern Texas and northeastern Mexico in North America, particularly to the Chihuahuan desert and areas around Coahuila, the plant is mainly found growing in deserts, rocky slopes, prairies, and mesquite groves throughout its native range.
Due to its colorful flowers and resemblance to yuccas, the plant has got several common names.
- Red yucca
- Redflower false yucca
- Hummingbird yucca
- Coral yucca
- Yellow yucca
- Red hesperaloe
- Texas red yucca
Contrary to what its names suggest, Hesperaloe parviflora is neither an Aloe plant nor a yucca species.
It is, in fact, a member of the century plant family.
But, it is called Hesperaloe, meaning western aloe, due to its resemblance to the aloe species.
The second part of the scientific name parviflora refers to its flowers – parviflora comes from two Latin words, ‘parvus’ means ‘small’ and ‘flora’ means ‘flower’.
The plant is called yucca because it is closely related to yucca plants and share certain similar properties.
Hesperaloe Parviflora Care
Size & Growth
Red yucca is a stemless, clump-forming plant with grass-like arching and spreading foliage.
Featuring long and narrow blue-green leaves with deep grooves and white thread-like marginal hair, the plant only grows up to 3’ to 4’ feet tall but spreads up to 6’ feet wide.
The leaves grow from a small woody base and form a thick basal rosette.
Although the fronds of Hesperaloe parviflora are evergreen, they often get a reddish-bronze or purple tint in winters.
Flowering and Fragrance
In late spring, red Hesperaloe produces clusters of small, but showy red, pink, yellow, or coral tubular flowers on long and branching inflorescences.
The flower stalks are about 5’ feet long and rise well above the foliage.
They also have a beautiful pink to red color, which makes a beautiful display against the green leaves.
The blooming period typically lasts till mid-summer but can last longer in areas with warm winter climates.
In areas with cold winter climates, the plant sometimes re-blooms in fall.
Flowering is followed by the production of inconspicuous, and somewhat ugly, green carpulate capsules.
The fruits turn brown upon maturity.
Light & Temperature
In its natural habitat, Hesperaloe grows in hot, dry conditions.
Therefore, when planted in house gardens, it prefers full sun, but can tolerate light shade.
While the plant has excellent heat resistance, it is also quite winter-hardy and can even be grown in USDA zone or hardiness zone 5.
Watering and Feeding
Yellow yucca has very low water requirements and is also highly drought tolerant.
However, it appreciates some watering in summers, during the bloom time, as it helps encourage flowering.
However, be careful to not overwater the parviflora plant.
New plants appreciate regular, but moderate, watering during the first season of growth.
Feed your redflower false yucca with an all-purpose fertilizer once a year, in spring, before the new growth starts to emerge.
Soil & Transplanting
Samandoque plant can easily adapt to a variety of soil types but prefers a bit of sandy soil.
It also requires the soil to be dry and well-drained.
Grooming and Maintenance
Hummingbird yucca is a very low-maintenance plant and requires almost no care once established.
However, prune the old flower stalks in summer.
How To Propagate Red Yucca
Although the plant typically spreads on its own through self-seeding, it is grown from seeds or propagated by clump division.
Clump division is the preferred method because although the plant is easy to grow from seeds, it often takes several years to flower.
However, if you want to grow your Hesperaloe from seeds, take a seed flat and fill them up with a good-quality potting soil or a cacti soil mix.
- Make sure the soil is well-draining.
- Place the flat in a tray filled with water.
- This will allow the soil to get hydrated, from bottom up.
- Now sow the plump and firm seeds in the hydrated soil, just under the surface.
- Do not add more than 2 to 3 seeds in one compartment.
- Keep the seed flat indoors, but in a sunny area, preferably between 72° to 90° degrees Fahrenheit (22° – 32° C).
- Also, make sure to keep the soil consistently moist.
- The seeds will germinate in one to three months.
For propagating through clump division, choose a mature species and dig up the new offsets with the help of a sharp spade.
Transplant each offset separately and it will grow into a new plant.
If your coral yucca plant has grown too dense and a drastic size reduction is needed, simply dig up the whole clump and divide the whole plant.
Fall and winter are the best times for clump division.
Red Yucca Pest or Diseases
Although Texas red yucca is not prone to any serious disease or pest infestations, it is recommended to watch out for aphids during the blooming period.
Sometimes, the plant may also get affected by scales.
Heavy and damp soils can lead to fungal root rot.
The foliage of the plant and the flower spikes attract deer whereas the pink flowers are also attractive to hummingbirds and night-pollinating moths.
Hesperaloe Parviflora Uses
Due to its evergreen foliage, heat resistance, and drought tolerance, redflower false yucca plants are popular for growing in xeriscape landscapes and rock gardens.
It is widely grown in both public and private gardens throughout the southwest United States and northern Mexico.
Since it is strong and sturdy, Hesperaloe is also used as an architectural plant.
It also makes a great addition in flowering and wildlife gardens, due to its long bloom period and flower color, which also attract hummingbirds.
It will grow as a container plant, in large pots, and is also used as an alternative to Agave species.