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Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' - Variegated Adam's Needle

1/23/2024 4:15 pm



 Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'



Looking for a bulletproof evergreen (and yellow) plant that glows all year including the dead of winter? Snow -- who cares? Ice cold -- it will just give the leaves pink stripes in the center and make it more interesting. Is it prickly? Well, a little -- but nowhere like its cousin the plain green Adam's Needle or those vicious Agaves.

Rumor has it that Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' flowers like other Adam's Needles. Maybe in full sun, which I don't have. Twelve year old plants have not yielded a single flower yet, but I don't care. I don't grow these for flowers. They have produced plenty of offsets that I have spread around, however. Hooray for free plants!

Neither deer nor rabbits eat this. They taste bad and cause gastric distress. I suppose there might be a dog somewhere who might. If your dog is -- in the words of Doc Martin -- "exceptionally stupid" and eats spiky things, skip planting this.

Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' grows in Zone 4 to Zone 10. That rules out very little except Arctic tundra. This plant scoffs at heat, humidity, cold and drought. It grows well in dry soil, normal soil and containers. It probably wouldn't relish a very wet spot, however. Give it full sun for the best chance to bloom or enjoy the year-round foliage show in part sun. Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' grows 2-3' tall to 3' wide in our area.



A young Yucca 'Color Guard' showing deep pink stripes following snow.



Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'  is a selection of a Southeast native, though its origin story is less than straight-forward. (Per Tony Avent of Plant Delights, this plant was brought here from Japan by hosta breeder Paul Aden even though it is a selection of our native Yucca flaccida. Go figure!) Dan Hinkley lists it in his top ten most indispensable plants. I agree.  


Contributed by Liane Schleifer