Blue Sentry YuccaYucca flaccida ‘Blue Sentry’
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Yucca flaccida ‘Blue Sentry’
Outdoor Growing zone
The Blue Sentry Yucca forms a dramatic clump of bold blue-gray leaves thrusting out of the ground to a height of 2 or 3 feet. It will grow into a cluster of leaves about 3 feet across, or a little more. The leaves are narrow, leathery and end in a sharp spine and they are evergreen, lasting for several years. In time tall spikes of creamy-white flowers will form in summer, adding to the interest and beauty of this remarkable plant. This tough American native plant grows well even in the hottest and driest parts of any garden, and once established it never needs watering. Plant it among gravel and boulders in a xeric (no-watering) garden, at the beach, or in a container to decorate a sunny terrace or patio.
Plant the Blue Sentry Yucca in full sun, in well-drained soil of any type. It thrives in sand, gravel and stone, and it should not be planted in rich, moist soils. In containers and planters use potting soil for succulents and cactus plants. This plant is hardy to zone 5, and it almost never suffers from pests or diseases, and it is left alone by deer. In those hot parts of every garden, where other plants need constant watering, and often perish anyway, plant the beautiful Blue Sentry Yucca, and forget about watering at all after the first season.
Plants for dry parts of any garden are always needed. Perhaps you live in an area where watering your garden is frequently restricted, or maybe you want to reduce your water usage and have a low-maintenance ‘xeric’ garden. Almost every garden has sunny, hot and dry areas, where tough plants are the only thing that will survive.
When it comes to choosing plants for these needs, it makes sense to go with plants that naturally live in arid areas, and if growing native American plants is also on your wish-list, then the Blue Sentry Yucca fits the bill perfectly. This plant grows naturally in the driest parts of the country, so once established it will survive for months in completely dry soil. Plus, it brings striking color to those dry areas, with attractive narrow leaves of blue-gray.
The Blue Sentry Yucca forms a cluster of narrow, upright leaves, forming a globe shape, with the lowest leaves horizontal and the highest ones vertical. Over time more groups of leaves will develop from the base, until you have a broad cluster of foliage up to 3 feet tall and across. Each leave is smooth, narrow, and leathery rather than thick and fleshy. The leaves stand erect at various angles, radiating out from the center.
Along the edges of the leaves there may be a few fine threads, and the tip of each leaf has a hard, sharp point. Older plants may flower, and the flowers are striking and beautiful. The plant will send up a tall stalk, several feet high, with a large cluster of creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers on the end. These hang from sprays of short stems, and they give out a beautiful fragrance. The flowers may be followed by seed pods, which are a little like a large bean pod, but rounded, with six sides.
Use this beautiful and tough plant anywhere you need something that doesn’t need watering, even during the hottest weather, and even during prolonged periods of drought. It looks very effective planted among boulders and gravel, and a collection of these drought-resistant plants in a dry bed makes a striking and attractive garden feature. It’s the perfect way to deal with those difficult hot and sunny spots.
The Blue Sentry Yucca also makes a great plant for pots and containers. Make sure the pot has drainage holes, and use a compost recommended for succulent plants and cactus. These pots are a great low-maintenance way to decorate a terrace or patio, with easy-care plants for relaxed gardening. It also grows well in coastal areas, such as in the sandy soil of a beach cottage, and resists salt-spray too.
The Blue Sentry Yucca is very easy to grow. It is hardy from zone 5 all the way into the hottest zones, so wherever there is dry soil, this is the plant for it. It should be grown in full sun, in any well-drained soil, and it thrives in drier, sandy or gravel soils, or among rocks and boulders. During the first summer, water once every week or two, but after that no additional watering will be required. Since growth stops when the soil is very dry, an occasional water in summer will keep your plant growing a little faster.
When growing in containers, allow the soil in the pot to become completely dry before watering again. Too much water, rather than too little, is the enemy of the Blue Sentry Yucca. It normally has no pests or diseases, and those spines make it very unattractive to deer.
There are about 40 different species of Yucca, all growing in the southern and western USA or in the Caribbean. Some are distinctive, but others are very similar, and there is some confusion over exactly which species this plant belongs in. We have placed it as a selection of Yucca flaccida, a plant that grows naturally from Florida all around the Gulf of Mexico. There are many selections of this plant, but ‘Blue Sentry’ is by far the best for its strong and attractive blue leaves.
Yucca flaccida is noted for the way the lower leaves bend over, but this is not so noticeable in ‘Blue Sentry’. This plant could also be a selection of Yucca rigida, which has very upright and stiff leaves, but that also develops in time a short trunk. Wherever it belongs, this is a very handsome and effective plant, and a great addition to any sunny and dry spot in your garden.
There is huge interest at the moment in growing garden plants that do not need additional watering. The Blue Sentry Yucca certainly is that, and a very handsome and colorful plant it is too. We only have a limited stock on hand, which will soon be sold out, so order now while we still have this tough low-maintenance plant available – we won’t have it for long.