Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, is not actually a yucca at all; it is an evergreen agave and is drought-resistant. This agave is seen in landscapes both residential and commercial, all over the state of Texas and most of the southwest region of the United States.
Blooms and Leaves:
Red Yucca blooms during the spring months and on into the fall. This includes the months from May through October. During these months, Red Yucca will have flowers that are long spikes of colors such as a pinkish red, yellow and coral. These flower spikes are made up of flowers that are bell-shaped and almost look like wands growing up out of the plant. They can get up to five feet in height. Blooms are followed by a woody capsule that contains the seed.
The leaves of the Red Yucca are long and thin and grow from the base of the plant, almost fountain-looking. These soft, dark green, evergreen leaves will grow from two to three feet in length. Each Red Yucca plant can grow up to four feet wide. During the winter months the leaves of the Red Yucca will be plum-colored.
Caring for Red Yucca pretty much means planting it and forgetting it. It is a very tough and forgiving plant. It tolerates high temperatures, cold temperatures, very little watering and does not need to be pruned. It does do best in an area that is full sun but can have a little shade and in soil that drains well. A little watering in the hot summer months will help it bloom more, but be careful and don’t water it too much.
Propagation of Red Yucca can be done either by dividing the rhizones it has or by sowing the seeds it produces. If sowing seeds directly, it is best to do it during the fall months.
Red Yucca has many uses, but is most often seen in landscapes, especially those xeriscapic landscapes found in the southwestern part of the country. This small shrub attracts hummingbirds, so would do well in a hummingbird garden, but would also look great when mass planted or even used in containers. Red Yucca is a native plant of Texas and can often be seen growing wild among the native grasses and wildflowers in the pastures, especially the portions of Texas that are drought prone.
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center
Texas A&M University