Growing yucca from seed

April 12, 2004

I'm not sure where to post this--someone will probably tell me it should be on the growing from seed forum, but thought I'd try here 1st. Doesn't seem like the type of plant that very many people try from seed as I couldn't find my answer doing a search. I have some yucca seed I collected from a plant growing on the side of the dirt road down from me about 3 yrs ago. I was surprised when the seeds germinated a few days ago, as I had just kept them on a shelf in an old plastic bottle. I germinated them using the baggie method. They grow all over the place naturally here in Oklahoma. Can anyone tell me what kind of root system they have & how fast they will grow so I know how to pot them up? Don't want to start out with a little pot if they have a long tap root or are sensitive to being transplanted. Thanks for any advice anyone can give me!

Comments (25)

  • darren_nm

    Growing them from seed in pots is actually pretty simple, but they can have a significant taproot. This does not seem to be a problem when they are in pots, though, and they can be grown to at least gallon size that way. You may want to do some research on the species to see what it is and what the roots will do. We have several species out here and only one of them puts out a really long taproot, the others have either a pretty shallow root system or are rhizomatous. Good luck, though!

  • cocomo49

    Thanks for the help--I put them in pots & just barely covered the seed & put them under lights--hope that works! Didn't know how deep to plant them, but the seeds are SO flat I assumed they should be planted real shallow. If you know anything different please let me know. Thanks again!

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  • lantana_babe

    I have filled some bare spots in my garden with seed-stared yuccas. They take the full blast of AZ heat very well. The plants are used in raodside landscaping here. Lots of heat and no tender loving care. I gather seeds on a routine basis. The white variety is less common is nurseries so it is fun to start those from seed rather than searching high and low for them.

  • cocomo49

    The seeds I germ & potted up have sprouted, but the seed covering is having a hard time coming completely off. I'm trying to gently remove it, but you know how that turns out a lot of the time, so I'm keeping it moist & trying a little every day. If that doesn't work I'll just start some more! They grow wild here too, so all I have to do is walk down to my mailbox & get more seed. That may be the problem--this seed was real old & fresh seed might not have this problem. I'm gonna grow some if it kills me! LOL

  • spanishlace

    Hi, I used a gallon plastic milk jug cut almost in half, with drain holes poked in the bottom, filled bottom half with good potting soil, wet this down, sprinkled the seeds all over the top, sprinkled a little more potting soil on top, patted it all down a little to make good contact, closed the top over it, taped it shut, stuck it in a shady but not cool place, and when the little guys germinated, removed the top, kept them watered, and now have forty or so repotted in 3 inch pots with regular pottting soil. I keep them from drying out to much, and they are now about 6 inches tall. When I took the mass of plants out of the milk jug, I just shook the little roots free from soil and gently separated them, which was really easy. This works as well as having a great big green house. I do not know what I will do with all the little guys. I am hoping we will have a nice plant trading in my area before they get much bigger. These are white yucca. Next season I will try the red. Such fun. Lots of luck. Florann M.

  • cocomo49

    Florann--thanks a bunch! I potted mine up (only germ 3) but the seed coat seemed to be stuck on all 3 for several days. Knowing that most seedlings will die without it being removed I tried everything to get it off. Those little boogers are tough as leather! Each one did have one grasslike thing out, but looked like there was still something caight in the seed. Wish I knew how to describe it better. I tried the old spit trick & everything I could think of & finally got it off, but was still unable to tell if anything was broken off in doing this or if I got it off cleanly. Since I've not grown these b4 I don't know if they have a single blade to start out with or if there should be 2. They look fine for now, so I guess time will tell. My seed was VERY old, so I'll get fresh this year & see if the same thing happens. If you read this can you tell me if there is a single blade when they sprout or are there two?

  • coasterphile

    I took what I believe are the seeds from my yucca plants today. Is black and very thin normal (about the diameter or a pea)? Seems to me that I must be wrong--- that maybe this isn't the seed I am looking ofr. People have mentioned seed coatings not coming off but that doesn't seem like these things would do that. I must be stupid.

  • ray-judy84_sbcglobal_net

    I have alot of the green pods collected from the adams needle yucca. Question: How do you go about collecting the black seeds, do the pods need to be dryed first?

  • organinewbiegardener

    Hi. Can anyone tell me how long yucca seeds take to germinate? I planted some seeds about two weeks ago. No action yet. I read somewhere it could take about 1-4 months.

  • destroyingangel

    coasterfile: those are indeed the seeds

    cocomo49: yucca is a monocotyledon, which means it has only one leaf that sprouts from its seed

    Here is a link that might be useful: Leaver Culture

  • cty771301_centurytel_net

    Where do you acquire the seeds from the plants off the flowers and when do you get them when in full bloom or when they begin to close and die the flowers

    thank you

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    I collect my Yucca and agave seeds when they are well dried and the seed pods are splitting. I read somewhere that the viability does decrease with age, but I have still had luck with three year old seed, probably just not as much luck. Anytime anyone has Yucca or agave seed , I am always interested. I find them easy to germinate. If it is warmer they germinate quicker. If it is winter (in Texas) they will take a couple of months but they still germinate. I just put them in 4" pots in a sterile medium and put the seed on the top and wiggle my fingers a bit in the top of the soil. Some go a bit into the soil and some stay on top. If to many of them float to the top. I put some vermiculite or perlite on top. They hang outside under some oaks. I am not a very fancy methods person. Bare bones.- Mara

  • peanut01

    I unexpectedly had great luck with yuccas. I pulled a few green pods off the yucca when the pods were closed. I just stored the buggers for about 2 months on top of the soil i another planter of mine with some Passiflora in it. The seed pod then split over time and then about 3 then about 3-4 months later I started splitting the pods which were now popping open. When I was pulling off the dried up pod I then noticed all the black seeds. Tons of then per pod. I then noticed a lot of then germinated inside the pod and I just watered them into the pot and the rest is history. I now have about 30-50 6-9" tall plants in a 20" pot. In VA the common Yuccas are the white ones and thats what these are. I will be taking them out soon for either plant trades or for gifts for the neighbors or whatever. Pretty easy though and I am sure you will be successful. These buggers are tough as nails.

  • growingfreedom

    After reading all the comments, I just joined so I could add my comments. Recently a friend gave me some red yucca seeds. I soaked them the way you would soak morning glories, then planted them. They came up without any trouble. These already had been chilled but that is another thing they need in order to germinate. Now the next thing is to keep them growing!!

  • donna9550

    My sister has some yucca ivory towers in her yard and they are beautiful! I have since read up on them and cannot believe they thrive in the southwest! I lived on the Mohave Desert in Caifornia and don't recall ever seeing them there. Anyway she gave me some pods and I am now going to try to germinate the seeds. I hope this works!

  • jannym

    I have a few Yucca on my property, so I have a lot of seed in which I collected from a few yuccas here. If anyone is interested in a few seeds, let me know, they are from this year 2010. I have not tried to plant any yet but am going to soon. I am not real sure of the Yucca variety that it is, but the stalks on it are white when they dry and has the white like flowers when it blooms. Jan

  • info_europalms_be

    Hallo Jannym
    i am laways interested in yucca seeds
    please do not trow them away, if possibel contact me on
    many thanks

  • carrmia_gmail_com

    Jan, I 2 am Interested in receiving yucca seeds.
    contact @

  • TimmyMD

    Jannym, I would like some seeds too please. I found this site asking how long seeds would take to germinate. The closes answer seems to be not long. I had never seen a yucca seed pod until a few days ago. I probably never looked. I was in rural North Carolina and picked 3 pods off a 10 to 11 foot yucca with nasty points. It was the second I had seen in the area with long trunks from being very old I assumed. All the other yuccas I have seen on the East Coast have been based at ground level without trunks. I have had some great salads with the petals. I have extra seeds, if you are interested. I would be glad to share and receive more variety's. I will split the pods and dry them in a paper bag on the garage wall until April, then plant some.

  • wantinformation

    If you are a Snowbird and only in AZ for the winter, can you start the seeds and they will be okay on their own during the summer months?

  • Mindy Wood

    I have several white seeds from the yucca and am interested in the red hopefully they will grow here in Missouri. at least as prolific as a white.. they have already been chilled. last year seed. 2014 germination has not been a problem. why I'm looking to trade I have about 2,000 more seeds and I need!email me at

  • loweride

    This is my first yucca plant and these pods popped out recently. growingfreedom said they have to be chilled. How do I go about doing that? Freezer? Leave them outside for the winter?

    I'm in 4b in Wisconsin.

  • sandiemurphree

    If, someone has white/red yucca seeds & willing to share.. Please contact me at

    thank you

  • Yvette Copeland

    i collected the seeds from the dried pods while on the plant, used the paper towel method. Seeds germinated in about 3 weeks. After planting, the sprouts grew rapidly. Now at about 2" in the cells, my only issue is when to transplant into next size pot. They've been under flouresent light for 12-14 hours per day. I did not chill or soak.

  • Yvette Copeland

    I would also appreciate some red Yucca seeds. I would trade for white and also would share some white.

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