Shop Products
Houzz Logo Print

Yucca Filamentosa/Yucca Glauca and winter

20 years ago

Wondering if anyone grows Yucca Filamentosa and if so, how does it fare for you?

Does your yucca suffer winter damage? Most sources state it is hardy to zone 4 and I have found how well it survives winter here depends on the year. I have concluded that the roots are definitely hardy, it's the evergreen leaves that suffer winter damage.

Most years mine suffers moderate damage, but recovers nicely. One year I thought it was totally dead, but it did come back, another year it had little winter damage and even bloomed one summer.

I have ordered Yucca Filementosa 'Color Guard' from a catalogue. The catalogue states it's hardy to zone 5, but I am hoping it might be at least as hardy as the regular green one I have.

Does anyone winter protect their yuccas? Is the damage to the leaves over winter caused by winter desication from the sun, similar to conifers, and would "wrapping" them help? I have already piled a mound of snow over my green yucca.

I also have the hardier yucca glauca but while it is unique looking, the leaves seem more curly/wavy and rest on the ground. Only recently has it begun to develop leaves that are more straight and upright (it is in full sun).



Comments (16)

  • 20 years ago

    Both do fine for me here. Filamentosa looks somewhat flattened and discolored in spring, but soon perks up. Glauca scarcely really changes from season to season; very narrow, stiff leaves don't seem to be affected much at all. all. Have never protected them. Just moved a couple of filamentosa that I've had for many years late last summer (lots of roots) so it will be interesting to see how they have fared this spring.

  • 20 years ago

    We grow both species and have no winter dieback or damage. ABgardener, our Y. filementosa also needs a bit of warmth to recover.

    Glen, you write:
    "I also have the hardier yucca glauca but while it is unique looking, the leaves seem more curly/wavy and rest on the ground"

    Are you sure it's Y. glauca? Even the 'babies' have straight, spiky leaves and none we have or seen in the wild are floppy in any way.

  • 20 years ago

    Hi Glen,
    I have Y. f. 'Color Guard' and 'Bright Edge'. Both plants have died back to the ground in snow-less winters, but recover nicely from the roots.

    Yes, as Greenstar has stated, Y. glauca has very straight, spiky leaves.

    Just make sure that your plants have EXCELLENT drainage and they will do just fine.
    Good luck,

  • 20 years ago

    I have both filamentosa and glauca(mine has straight leaves too) and Y harriemanie? too -Some winterprotection -
    They can look a bit sorry in spring but recover soon -
    I always keep seedlings indoors in a pot for 2 years before putting them out into the garden.

  • 20 years ago

    Thanks for the replies everyone. Maybe the problem for me wasn't so much the hardiness of the plant, but the location I had it planted in. It was against the fence but the spot was windy because wind tunneled between my house and the neighbors. Plus, it was in a raised bed with landscape ties, which might have made it harder for it to get buried by winter snow. Last summer I redid that section of the yard and moved my yucca, so we'll see how it fares this year.

    It's hard to explain what my yucca glauca looks like. the leaves at the very centre are straight and go straight outward. The ones on the outer part of the plant (away from the centre) seem to flop over onto the ground, maybe curl just a bit at the ends. I am pretty sure it's y.glauca, at least that's what the tag said. It is in full sun. Still, it is remarkably hardy, maybe all three yucca's will get their own special section this year.


  • 20 years ago

    Here northwest of Edmonton I have grown both glauca and filamentosa. Indeed filamentosa requires good snow covering otherwise it will winterkill in this location. Glauca on the otherhand is very hardy even without snow covering though, dessication can be a problem with our often bright sunny winters. With good results I cover glauca using those styrofoam rose cones ... just as I do with my dwarf Danica ceders that otherwise are reduced to a pile of crunchy matter. BTW ... a few years back glauca had put on a real show with it's twin spikes of large white flowers. Terry

  • 20 years ago

    Update: I think the problem with my yucca filamentosa was indeed due to itÂs location in the yard. As I mentioned, last summer I moved it to the opposite end of the yard, and it was sort of in a protected and very snowy corner all winter. This spring it looks very green.

    Terry, those Styrofoam rose cones sound like a good idea and can make all the difference. I had two small emerald green (smargd) cedars that I was going to wrap with burlap. I ran out of burlap so I just covered them with a cardboard box. I waited until after it snowed, however, so that there would be snow surrounding the plant (insulate the root zone). Anyways, the box and all was covered under a snowdrift for most of the winter. When I uncovered them in spring, I pleasantly surprised how healthy they look. My worry was that plants can sometimes get too hot and "cook" under those rose cones, but I guess I would say not in Manitoba in winter. I guess the only precaution is to remove covering at the right time in spring.

  • 20 years ago

    I'm not sure exactly what variety, but my neighbour has one of those in her yard and it's tough. No matter what she does to it, it never dies. Lol! After a few years they can look quite amazing, and I guess once they're established they're there for a long time.


  • 19 years ago

    My glaucas and filamentosas survived -10 and were just fine
    (w/out snow to protect them)

  • 19 years ago

    Hi glen3a, I had just again read your posting and wanted to mention that there's NO worry about plants getting too hot or cooking under the styrofoam rose cones! Here we often experience mild snowless sunny conditions in which badly dessicate evergreens! If not for the rose cones my Danica ceders would badly dry up and croak! Spring removal is indeed an important timing! I do so as soon as the ground has thawed and plants are then taking up water. Leaving on any longer and excess moisture can cause damage and rotting of foliage.

    I do not use burlap to wrap up any of my evergreens ... and again that has ALOT to do with my climate! What happens is so much heat can build up behind the burlap it can turn the plant to crispy crunch! Burlap CAN be used though, in a climate such as mine it MUST be kept up and off of the plant thus maintaining good air circulation. In snowy dreary winter climates tightly wrapping is often recommended. For larger evergreens I cut spruce limbs and prop these up and over all sides of the shrub in which are exposed to the sun! Anyways, hows the yucca doing? Terry

  • 19 years ago

    Yucca filamentosa and glauca thirves here. I yesterday asked the community goverment if the couldn't plant some in the public gardens and in round abouts and beside the roads. It would be very nice indeed!
    I've got 4 two filamentosa/flaccida and two glaucas and i love them. I'll soon buy some more

  • 19 years ago

    Thanks everyone. The yuccas are doing fine, I redesigned the spot they were in and moved them to a final, and hopefully permanent spot. Also bought a yucca filamentosa color guard from MacFayden's nursery. The plant was huge when it came in the mail, lost most of it's leaves, but has since recovered quite nicely.


  • 17 years ago

    I am going to buy these yucca,s but I can,t decide which. zone 6, looking for best color, and height? What are the differences?

  • 17 years ago

    Albert, yucca filamentosa is more common, and seems to have wider sword shaped leaves than yucca glauca. Both are attractive, howeve.

    Under yucca filamentosa, there is the basic green one, which is still nice, or variegated leaf ones such as color guard. Maybe do an internet search to see pictures. You can go to, choose to search for images, basically type in the name yucca filamentosa or yucca filamentosa color guard and it should bring up pictures.

  • 17 years ago

    Yucca Glauca grows great here, fortunately, our winters here aren't as harsh as your's further North. They're are many plants that do well here such as Yucca Baccata (I think it's hardy down to -20 F) and Yucca Elata (hardy down to -10 to -15 F). I bet you could grow the species I listed in Canada if you planted the plants next to a south facing wall.

  • 15 years ago

    the plant described as "leaves seem more curly/wavy and rest on the ground" sounds like it might be an Indian soap plant (chlorogalum) which is sometimes classified as a lily. I was just checking out the Yucca Glauca as it sounds a lot like indian soap, which I have a ton of and didn't want to by seed, if in deed they were the same. they are not