Yucca Elata

The Yucca Elata Is Hardy & Low Maintenance

Also Known As The Soaptree Yucca

Yucca elata is a popular plant found in the Sonoran Desert, Chihuahua Desert, and the southwestern United States.

It is a known as “Soaptree” or the Soaptree Yucca. You see it all over in New Mexico in both native and planned landscapes.

Why Soaptree?

Good question! The name comes from the saponins in the trunk and roots of the plants. The Native Americans would extract the saponins and make soap and shampoo. In fact, the shampoo was used to treat dandruff and hair loss! (By the way, yucca shampoos and soaps still exist today.)

The leaves have fibers in them that the Native Americans would pull out and separate and then weave together. This allowed them to make belts, sandals, cloth, baskets, dental floss, ropes, cords, lines to hang things from, mats, baskets, and many other items.
Characteristics Of The Yucca Elata

yucca elata, soaptree, soaptree yucca

The soaptree yucca is similar to other yucca species in appearance. The base is a clump of dark hunter green leaves. The leaves are known to be sharp and taper to a fine, sharp point. A lot of times, the leaves are compared to swords in shape and sharpness. Over time the tree will grow and a dark brown leafy trunk will evolve and can be several feet high, with the leaves on top.

Out of the leaves come several tall stalks that rise up to 5 feet high. These stalks will begin to bloom in spring and continue through the early fall. Blooms of white sway in the breeze and emit their sweet smell at night. They bloom at night, making them a nocturnal plant, and this is when the yucca moth comes to pollinate them.

The yucca elata is a hardy, drought resistant plant, which I think everyone expects seeing as they are desert flowers. But, they are also quite hardy in colder temperatures also. They are known to be comfortable in zones 5-10.
In Your Garden
The soaptree yucca can grow quite large, so they need a bit of space. They can easily reach close to 14 feet tall! They only require about 3 feet (diameter) of ground space, though.

Click Here For Yucca Elata Seeds & Grow Your Own!

The nice thing is you can plant them and forget them. They require full or part sun, only moderate water, very light fertilization, and very infrequent pruning. Even though they are so resistant to the cold, they do need regular sunlight. Oh! Also make sure they have good drainage because one thing they do not like is sitting in too much moisture.

How much easier can it get?

They will take a couple years to flower the first time because they have to be mature. Once they start, though, you will be so glad you waited. And in the meantime fill in the areas around them will lower-profile, mounding plants. Using those that flower makes it an especially pretty landscape.

I know if you grow the yucca elata you will be pleased with the results. And if it's a little too big for you? Well, there are smaller yuccas that can be grown in tight space and even in pots! Check them out below...

Related Pages:
Blue Yucca
Bright Edge Yucca
Color Guard Yucca
Joshua Tree
Red Yucca
Spanish Bayonet