Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Planting a Large Yucca

With the lovely sunny weekend we decided it would be the right time to plant out our Yucca faxoniana. We bought this last year and spent the winter dodging its vicious sharp spikes whenever we went past where it was temporarily sited.

Not only was this a large plant to move, we were also planting it in the second raised bed next to the pond. Fortunately we have a sack barrow which helped get it close, but we still had to lift it up onto the bed.

Next to Raised Bed 2
Mark preparing the planting hole
The temporary steps
To get round this we built temporary steps from concrete blocks and a couple of scaffold boards, this at least made it a three part lift rather than having to heave it up in one go.

The next problem was how to get it out of the pot. We decided that we would have to cut the pot apart to get the plant out, a shame as these big pots are useful but it was just too heavy to lift the Yucca out of the pot.

I didn't take any pictures mid-cut but here's the remains of the pot
I cut the bottom off the pot with a Stanley Knife and as the pot doesn't have vertical sides we were able to lift it into the hole using the pots handles and then slice the side of the pot to get it out of the hole.

Yucca faxoniana in its new home, with Mark back filling the hole round it
This turned out to be a much simpler job than either of us had expected, so may well adopt this technique again in the future.


  1. What a specimen, I'm excited to see it grow on. I also spent the weekend lifting large pots and with the now aching back I have I will happily say, 3 little lifts are better then one big one. :) Best of luck you guys, this is going to be a great year for gardening!

  2. Any yucca with a clear trunk like that does it for me! Nice plant!

    Manhandling large plants is a hazardous task, especially when they're so vicious. Glad it went smoothly. That raised bed is going to look great!

  3. Hats off to you for the amazing amount of work you're putting into your garden! Love the Yucca foxoniana and looking forward to seeing how the bad progresses during the year.

  4. I would not be able to plant that thing myself. Glad you guys managed to do it. It sure is gorgeous. I'd so love to be able to have one. Looks really beautiful!
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. How were the roots of the plant? Had it rooted well?

  6. Hi Nat, definitely agree that three little lifts are better than one big one. Our backs are thanking us for it! Thanks for the wishes, it will be a great gardening year for all of us :)

    Thanks Ben! I love Yuccas, such an architectural group of plants that I can't get enough of! At the moment it looks solitary there but eventually the bed will fill up with more exotics in keeping with the planting scheme. We can't fill up the bed yet as there's still a bit more left to do with the pond itself and we'll need some walking space on that bed till the pond's done. Not long now!

    Thanks Naomi! Looking forward to seeing your updates too :)

    Glad you like it Cher! If you do find one it will be a great addition to your garden :)

    Hi Owen, great to see you here! The pot was bursting with roots which was great to see when we prized out the pot. The Yucca should be even happier in its new home :)

  7. Reminds me of planting our large Yucca rostrata. I was sure either the plant or the husband were going to be damaged in the process, luckily neither were.

    I do not recall seeing this plant before, it's amazing! I've only seen small Yucca foxonianas in "real life" but their leaves are still very stiff and sharp!

  8. This is a truly beautiful plant! I saw several Yucca faxoniana at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden a few months ago and I thought they looked more like an Agave filifera than a yucca, especially since they didn't have a trunk like yours. You were lucky finding such a large specimen. It must be 20+ years old!

  9. That really is a damned handsome specimen bursting with life and vigour-and the plant doesn't look bad either.
    Alas I only have me and myself to plant things so I've learned a lot of tricks to avoid a knackered back.

  10. Loree - we were worried about injury ahead of planting this one but fortunately the sharp edges avoided us!

    Gerhard - There is a reasonable amount of different looking hardy yuccas out there. We were fortunate to find this one, and now its got pride of place in the new bed. We had an option of one with a wider span of leaves, but decided it would be too hard to plant and move about.

    Don - thanks!! We are learning more tricks, including not buying plants in too big a pot!

  11. Beautiful plant! You guys must have the most interesting yard.

  12. Very impressive Yucca, what mix did you backfill with..? I have a similar sized Linearifolia to plant in the coming weeks, so would appreciate any advice.

  13. Thank Tom, glad you like it!

    Kev - Backfilled with spoil from the hole. Its in a raised bed so reasonably well drained.

  14. What a great job you both did! And I am glad you didn't hurt your back! What a super healthy looking yucca! I would love one like that here at Sweetstuff's! And your bed's look so great! Good work you two!

  15. Hi Candy, thanks for the encouragement! We are really pleased with that Yucca, looking forward to seeing it get well established now.

  16. Oh your garden has a lot of concrete, seem like they restrict the jungle effect. The cement makes it very urban.

  17. Hi Guys , cant wait to see the pond filled when is it going to happen ,I love the white walls and the planting cant wait to see it all finished youve done a really fantastic job you should be proud of yourselves


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