Impressive, with white flowers and a touch of southern flair – the garden yucca, also known as “filamentous palm lily”, is a real eye-catcher in the home garden. The plant, which is assigned to the asparagus family, grows like a shrub without to form a tribe. During the summer months, the inflorescence, which can grow to a height of two meters, bears numerous white, bell-shaped flowers. The thready palm lily owes its name to the palm-like scab that the plant forms and because of the decorative flowers that are reminiscent of lilies. In the wild, the plant is mainly found within stone structures or along rock stairs. The robust garden yucca requires little care and can reach a very old age when cultivated in a suitable location.

location and soil

In order for the thready palm lily to reach an old age, the location should be chosen carefully. Since the plant is originally native to warm regions, a warm or even hot place may be necessary for the plant to thrive optimally. The plant still thrives in partial shade, but then loses its willingness to grow. A sunny area in the garden that offers additional protection from strong winds is a good choice. For this reason, areas in front of walls or a house wall have proven themselves. When choosing the location, the space required by the plant also plays a role; in this context, it should be borne in mind that the Yucca filamentosa can reach a circumference of about one meter. This aspect should already be considered when planting, since a later change of location fundamentally has a negative effect on the development of the plant. The slender hummingbird comes into its own in several areas of the garden.

These include, for example, gravel and crushed stone beds or stone beds as well as within mixed borders. In addition, the plant is particularly decorative on dry stone walls and south-facing slopes or in buckets. Cultivation is possible both as a solitary plant and as a group planting. Different plants have proven themselves as combination partners. The following types can be used for this purpose:

The thready palm lily thrives in the wild in warm locations and on dry soil. Accordingly, one should also select the substrate that is used for cultivation. A soil with a low moisture content and sandy properties is particularly suitable. Gravel can also be included. In order to avoid waterlogging, the substrate used should also have high permeability or be able to drain well.

The pH value also plays a role in the choice of soil; Thus, particularly calcareous and alkaline substrates have proven themselves for the cultivation of the Yucca filamentosa. In the wild, the thready palm lily thrives in particularly barren locations and in stony surroundings where the plant receives only few nutrients. Therefore, when cultivated in the home garden, the plant can also cope with soil that has few nutrients. Classic substrate examples that are suitable for the garden yucca are sand-loam substrates, soils with gravelly-sandy properties or sandy soils with humus.

Pour, fertilize, care

The garden yucca copes well with high temperatures and dry soil conditions; the plant therefore only needs to be watered very sparingly. The plant also withstands long periods of drought without any problems. However, the plant limits its flowering if it is not additionally poured in severe drought. Targeted watering is also recommended for young plants, which need a little more moisture for their development than adult specimens. Regardless of whether it is a young plant or a fully grown specimen – waterlogging should be avoided in any case when watering. This can lead to the development of root rot.

In terms of additional nutrient supply, the thready palm lily is also undemanding. In principle, the additional nutrient supply is possible at most once a year, because the plant grows quite quickly and reaches a considerable size within a short time. On the contrary, when caring for the garden yucca, you have to watch out for oversupply: the plant can be damaged if nutrients are supplied improperly and frequently; Growth disorders can be the result.

The best way to care for the Yucca filamentosa is to remove dead and brown leaves. This measure should be carried out at regular intervals so that the healthy parts of the plant can always develop well and young plants can grow back. The pruning is always done to just above the ground. The inflorescence is also removed after flowering. Gloves should always be worn when working with the plant; the blades have very sharp and hard edges that can easily cause injury. Finally, the withered stems are also removed. The pruning is also done here down to the ground.

Overwinter garden yucca

The hibernation of the thready palm lily is basically problem-free. The plant is hardy down to a temperature of -15°C and can therefore remain in the garden during the cold season. A special protection is not necessary in the warmer areas of Germany and during mild winters. However, if the plant is left outdoors during a very severe winter, it has proven useful to protect the root area with insulating materials. Piling up and laying out brushwood is a classic form of winter protection. Spruce branches are particularly advantageous in this context; these gradually lose their needles in the period up to spring, so that the garden yucca is supplied with more air and light at the right time.

An additional problem during the cold season is a climate that is associated with increased humidity. As a result, the leaves of the sycamore can easily be damaged. For this reason, it has proven useful to tie them together during the winter months.

propagation and sowing

The thready palm lily can be propagated using different methods.

self-formation of offshoots

If the Yucca filamentosa is largely left to its own devices, the plant will form offshoots on its own. These are able to root independently. If the propagation is to be targeted, it has proven useful to separate the offshoots from the mother plant and grow them in a special substrate. Sandy soil is suitable for this, which is filled into small growing pots. During the growth period of the plant, you should ensure that there is sufficient watering so that the plant can develop optimally and, above all, a widely branched root system can develop. After successful rooting, the plant can be planted outdoors. In principle, it has proven to be useful to place the offshoots during spring; then the young plants will have enough time to develop before winter. If, on the other hand, the offshoots are removed in autumn, it has proven useful to overwinter them indoors. Planting outdoors takes place in the spring.

Division of subterranean parts of plants

Alternatively, the thready palm lily can be propagated by dividing underground parts of the plant. For this purpose, a specimen is carefully dug up or dug out with a digging fork. Particular attention must be paid to the sensitive root system, which must not be damaged under any circumstances. The roots are separated into sections; each section should have a sufficiently branched root section. Separation occurs preferably in the young growth area of ​​the underground parts.

If unclean areas arise during the separation, these are trimmed with a knife. Cracked and injured plant and root parts are also removed so that there are no points of attack for diseases. Then the individual sections are placed in the substrate, pressed firmly and watered sufficiently. The multiplication of the thready palm lily by division should also be carried out in spring.


Last but not least, you can also sow the garden yucca. It is important to consider in advance whether you want to cultivate the plant in a solitary position or within a group planting. In principle, no more than three specimens should be provided for one square meter of open space. The distance between the individual plants is about 80cm. In tuffs, the stringy yucca works particularly well in a triple position.

Note: Young plants often only flower after a few years; so patience is required here.

Control diseases and pests

Even if the thready palm lily is quite robust overall, various diseases can occur. In particular, care errors, such as waterlogging or severe frost, can lead to damage to the plant. In addition, the plant often falls ill with leaf spot diseases, which cause characteristic symptoms on the plant:

  • Patches of reddish, yellow, brown or black color
  • characteristic edges on the spots
  • initially wide spread of the spots, later dense settlement
  • Formation of fungal growths and spore deposits on the underside of the leaves

These are weak parasites that are best prevented by optimal locations and healthy seeds and planting material. Infested leaves are removed; in addition, treatment with special fungicides is indicated.

The classic pests are thrips, an insect order that can cause sucking damage.

  • Suction marks appear as silvery dots or spots
  • Growth disturbances can occur, affecting younger parts of the plant in particular
  • Affected leaves change color, turn brown and dry up
  • black droppings are often visible on various parts of the plant

To contain the infestation, natural enemies can be used preventively. In this context, predatory mites, ladybugs or lacewings have proven to be particularly effective and can be specifically encouraged. Targeted mulching of the soil is also useful. If the plant is already infested, soft soap solutions or glued blue boards will help.

The thready palm lily is also not immune to scale insects. Depending on the type of scale insect, small cover- or cup-shaped shields that look like pustules appear on individual parts of the plant.

  • Result: Growth damage and crippling
  • Natural enemies such as earwigs, parasitic wasps or ladybugs can help prevent this

If the Yucca filamentosa is already infested with scale insects, you should remove the shields from the affected parts of the plant. This works best with a toothbrush. In addition, various sprays that are applied to the plant in a targeted manner have proven effective. Oil-based preparations (rapeseed oil and paraffin oil) are particularly suitable for treatment. The lice suffocate under the film that the oil leaves on the pests.

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