Thursday, April 5, 2012

Yucca rostrata in its new home

Last November I bought a beautiful Yucca rostrata from Poot’s Cactus Nursery in Ripon, CA. No, it isn’t anywhere near as big as the one planted at the nursery:

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Yucca rostrata at Poot’s Cactus Nursery in Ripon, CA

But it is the largest trunked specimen I was able to afford. Yucca rostrata with a 4-ft. trunk go for upwards of $500 in Northern California nurseries!

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My Yucca rostrata, 2 ft. tall in a 5-gallon container

I knew where I wanted to plant my Yucca rostrata but I was afraid it would look lost there since it’s only 2 ft. tall. In addition, there’s an overhang above this space which would pose a problem when the yucca reaches 7 ft.

The solution, I thought, would be to put in a container for the time being and wait until the Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ (top right in the next photo) dies, as agaves do after they flower. The yucca could then take its spot because there is no issue with the overhang above.

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However, the entire succulent bed would ultimately look unbalanced if such a potentially tall plant were right in the front.

So I went back to my original idea and planted the Yucca rostrata in the space once occupied by a Yucca gloriosa. I removed it because it was growing too fast and too large. Fast growth is not an issue with Yucca rostrata. In fact, it is known for being glacially slow. That means that it should be able to stay in this spot for many years to come. And if it ever gets tall enough to hit the overhang, I can always transplant it. From what I’ve read, this species does transplant fairly easily.

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After becoming privy to my confused thought process, you might be wondering what the purpose of this post is. Quite simple: I wanted to highlight the fact that gardening decisions can be convoluted and take time to sort out. I know gardeners who are constantly moving plants because they’re dissatisfied with how they look in a given spot. I’ve certainly done my share of that, but I do try to give long-lived plants a permanent home from the get-go so they can develop to their full potential.

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12 comments:

  1. I rarely think a decade ahead when planting. I think I would have put it toward the front of that bed -- if your succulent bed is exactly the same in 10 years I'll fly out there and rip some plants out for you, as it will be time for a change. :-)

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    1. Heck, my succulent bed changes all the time, except most changes are small plants I add in the front.

      I really wanted to like the rostrata in the front but it somehow didn't look right. I do think that my Agave desmettiana will bloom soon. Unlike most agave species that can take decades to bloom, this species blooms after 5-7 years. And when it blooms and perishes, I may revisit this whole thing :-).

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  2. Hi Gerhard, funny enough I am currently writing a blog about decisions and I agree with your last paragraph on how convoluted the process is.

    The Yucca looks good in its pot and is commanding presence already :)

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! That's why I prefer to give myself time. Somehow you instinctively know when you've come to the right decision. At least most of the time.

      The Yucca rostrata does stand out because of its unique color.

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    2. I too was thinking of your post while reading through Gerhard's.

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  3. Wow Gerhard, that bed is a stunner! Very special.

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    1. Thank you! This bed is my favorite. I won't take all the credit; luck had something to do with it as well.

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  4. Your Yucca rostrata looks great! At least you have a trunk. I've had mine for about 2 years and the trunk is just starting to show. How tall do you think yours will be before you decide to transplant it?

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    1. I have several other Yucca rostrata that haven't started to develop a trunk even after 3 or 4 years. Check out this post for photos. They sure are slow, but worth the wait!

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  5. I know exactly what you mean -- I've got a oouple Agave parryi var. truncata that should have wheels. Just moved them again yesterday. I've never owned a Yucca rostrata, and between you and Loree's influence I'm thinking that's gotta change soon! Where to put it is the problem, of course. I've got a couple Agave desmettianas that will be flowering soon too, thank goodness.

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    1. Denise, Agave parryi var. truncata is one of the most beautiful of all agaves, I think. A Yucca rostrata would go super well with it. Did you see Loree's recent post about her new Yucca rostrata?

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  6. Great place honey! Hey when are we going to Poot's together? Can't be this weekend though!

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