Yucca rostrata (YUCK-uh ross-TRAY-tuh), also known as the beaked yucca, is an evergreen tree-like Yucca plant and considered to be one of the hardest trunk-forming yuccas.
It one of the many varieties of Yucca that belong to the family Asparagaceae.
Native to northern Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila) and western Texas, it is a popular Yucca species in the southwestern United States.
The name ‘rostrata’ is a reference to the fruit, which resembles a bird’s beak.
Yucca rostrata is recommended for USDA hardiness zone 5 -10.
While these plants produce beautiful and distinctive-looking clusters of white flowers, it is usually grown for its powder blue foliage, which is mesmerizing enough on its own.
Common Names for Y. Rostrata includes:
- Beaked Yucca
- Beaked blue yucca
- Big Bend Yucca
- Adam’s Yucca
- Nordstrom’s Yucca
- Silver Yucca
Yucca Rostrata Care
Size & Growth
The foliage of Yucca rostrata forms a perfect pom-pom and the leaves are not as stiff as Yucca rigida.
It has a thick, short single trunk from which a number of sharp-tipped and thin leaves sprout.
The foliage is generally up to 24″ inches long with a beautiful shade of blue-green leaves.
Overall, the plant grows heights of 8′-10′ feet tall.
Keep in mind that while Yucca rostrata is a slow-growing plant, it is easy to grow and care for.
Flowering and Fragrance
The flowers of Yucca rostrata appear above the foliage on yellow-orange colored flower stalks that rise above the leaves.
The flowers appear in clusters, typically in late spring. The lovely Yucca rostrata flowers are white in color and odorless.
The inflorescences grow up to 15″ inches long.
Keep in mind that the flowers on these plants attract hummingbirds, so be ready to welcome them to your garden.
Light & Temperature
These plants enjoy full sun. In their natural habitat, these plants thrive near rocky slopes and ridges.
Canyon bottoms and plains also provide a good place for the big bend yucca to grow. The more sunlight they receive, the better they thrive and flourish.
Choose a spot that exposes them as much full sun as possible. However, indoors avoid placing it directly beside a window facing south.
The ideal temperatures for growing Yucca rostrata lie between 65° – 74° degrees Fahrenheit. These plants when it comes to frost resistance can handle -10° degrees Fahrenheit or -12° C.
However, during the colder months of the year, it is best to protect your plant from cold and dry winds.
Watering and Feeding
Yucca rostrata is a hardy plant and drought tolerant. It can survive droughts and high temperatures.
It is important to understand that while these plants do not require a lot of moisture and can do well without water for a long time, they still require water to grow.
The best approach is to let the soil dry before watering. As soon as the soil dries down, it’s time to water your Yucca rostrata.
Water it regularly, around once a week, during the growing seasons (summer, spring).
However, make sure NOT to overwater and drown the roots.
As the temperature drops, reduce watering to once a month.
Fertilize sparingly. Once at the beginning of the growing season is enough.
Soil & Transplanting
The rostrata big bend yucca grows best in a well-drained soil with lots of sand or small stone.
They enjoy neutral or slightly alkaline soil. However, they can also thrive in acidic soil.
Make sure that the soil is well-drained. When grown in a pot, it requires repotting every 3 to 4 years.
Grooming and Maintenance
Under the right conditions, these plants are pretty self-sufficient and do not require much pampering.
However, you can prune (remove the old leaves) during spring (Feb – May).
More On Yucca Plants:
How To Propagate Beaked Yucca
Yucca rostrata can be propagated from seeds and cutting. Since these plants have a slow growth rate, growing one from seeds can be a long process.
Plant the seeds in a mixture of well-drained soil and sand. Make sure you place the pot in a well-lit area.
Keep the soil moist until germination.
Rostrata Yucca Pest or Disease Problems
Yucca rostrata is susceptible to red spiders.
An easy way to steer clear of red spiders is to spray the leaves with water in dry weather and clean the dust on the leaves.
Other than that, these plants are fairly sturdy.
Suggested Use For Blue Beaked Yucca
Yucca rostrata has beautiful foliage and bears lovely clusters of white flowers.
It is an ornamental plant that grows in bed, borders, and around patios in full sun.
They also do well in containers. It is common to see these garden plants in the city and courtyards.
They can also make a good addition to rock and Mediterranean gardens.