How are the heights measured?
All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.
What is a gallon container?
Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.
How does the delivery process work?
All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!
Why are some states excluded from shipping?
The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.
The Color Guard Yucca is a striking variety of the Adam’s Needle plant, with dramatic yellow stripes down the center of every leaf. In fall and winter the leaves develop a beautiful shading of pink to red. The plant forms a dense clump of upright leaves, and it is ideal for foundation planting, dry gardens, areas decorated with stones and gravel, and for planters and pots on sunny terraces or patios. The bright leaves alone, which can grow to 3 feet long and are 4 inches wide, make a beautiful and exotic plant, but there is much more. In summer, tall spikes of large, hanging bell-shaped flowers grow. The flowers are creamy-white, looking like nodding bells, and they give out a sweet, rich perfume, especially in the evening.
- Striking clump of upright yellow and green leaves
- Dramatic tall spikes of creamy-white nodding flowers
- Very drought-resistant
- Thrives in poor soil and hot sun
- Cold-hardy to minus 30
Grow the Color Guard Yucca in a hot sunny spot – it will tolerate partial shade too. It will grow in any well-drained soil, even pure sand, as well as in normal soils. It is winter-hardy down to minus 30, and it also thrives in the hottest parts of the country. After an occasional watering when newly planted, it will never need water again, even during extended droughts. It is not bothered by pests or diseases, and it is not eaten by rabbits or deer. For an easy-care plant for those dry corners of the garden, this plant simply cannot be beaten.
- Plant Hardiness Zones 4-10
- Mature Width 2-3
- Mature Height 2-3
- Soil Conditions Average to Dry
- Sunlight Full Sun to Partial Shade
- Drought Tolerance Good Drought Tolerance
Gardening without the need to water has become very important in many parts of the country, with drought and extreme weather conditions becoming more common. Plus, just having plants that don’t need watering, even during extended dry periods, saves a lot of work – and the high cost of installing irrigation systems. So when a plant comes along that is extremely resistant not just to drought, but also to extreme cold, poor, sandy soils and dry, rocky soils, as well as air pollution, pests, rabbits and deer, many of us will sit up and take notice. When the plant is also handsome, naturally spreading without becoming invasive and extremely beautiful in flower, who would pass it by? Oh, it’s also an American native plant, if you belong to the growing number of people who want to avoid non-native plants in their gardens.
What could this remarkable plant be – it is the Color Guard Yucca. It forms a mound of broad, upright leaves that have a striking yellow stripe down the center. In fall and winter the leaves may become brushed with pink tones. It produces new clumps of leaves from below ground, expanding into a cluster up to 4 feet across, but it will not spread uncontrollably. The leaves are up to 3 feet long, and in late spring or early summer established plants will send up a thick, tall stem from the center of the leaves, often reaching 6 feet tall. The upper half of this stem develops large, creamy-white bell-shaped flowers that hang just like bells in clusters from the stem. They are sweetly perfumed with the most delicious fragrance too. A plant in flower, with several spikes in bloom, is a beautiful, striking feature in any location.
Growing Color Guard Yucca
The Color Guard Yucca is like nothing else in the garden, and you might think it was exotic and hard to grow. The truth is the very opposite. This plant is hardy down to minus 30 degrees, growing well throughout zone 4. Yet it is also happy in the heat of Florida, Texas or California, so it can be grown across all but the furthest north of the country. Wherever you live, you can grow this plant. It thrives in poor, dry soil, and is happy anywhere except in wet soils. Unlike most other drought-resistant plants, it will even tolerate partial shade, but it will thrive best in the sunniest, hottest spot in your garden.
Uses in Your Garden
This unique plant is ideal for dry beds mulched with stones or gravel. It also fits well into the foreground of shrub and flower beds, giving an interesting contrast in form. The towering flower stems are a spectacular addition to any garden. It is an obvious choice for a xeric – no watering – garden design, especially in areas subject to watering bans. It also makes a great plant for pots or planters, and if you forget to water it for weeks, it will not mind at all. Make sure the pot has drainage holes, and use a compost designed for cactus and succulent plants.
Planting and Initial Care
When planting your Color Guard Yucca, choose a sunny or partially shaded location. Dig the soil well, but nothing needs to be added. A stone or gravel mulch around the plants is an effective way to control weeds. When young, water from time to time, but once established no watering is needed, even during extreme drought conditions. This plant has no pests or diseases of any note, and it is not eaten by rabbits or deer.
If ever there was a plant that thrived on being left alone, the Color Guard Yucca is it. In zone 4 some of the foliage may be damaged by cold in winter, but the plant will not be. Simply trim any damaged leaves and new growth will quickly develop, so your plant becomes as beautiful as ever. After flowering, cut the stems off right at the ground to encourage new replacement clumps.
History and Origins of the Color Guard Yucca
The Color Guard Yucca is a variety of yucca (Yucca filamenosa), an ornamental grass that grows wild on sand dunes, beaches and dry fields from southern Virginia to Mississippi and Florida. This plant is also called Spanish Bayonet, or Adam’s Needle, referring to the sharp tip at the end of each leaf. There are a number of other yucca plants, but this one is easily recognized by the thin, thread-like pieces that curl from the edges of the leaves. These filaments also give this plant its scientific name.
Yucca plants are very unusual in that they are pollinated by just one species of moth. The flower is especially adapted so that only this moth can enter it, and the flower emits its strongest fragrance at night to attract the female moth. She lays a few eggs in each flower she visits, and they live on the developing seeds, still leaving enough for the plants to reproduce. The exact origin of this variegated form of the wild plant has been lost, but it has been a garden favorite for a number of years. This form cannot be reproduced by seed, so cheaper seedling plants will just be plain green and much less attractive.
Buying Color Guard Yucca at The Tree Center
At the Tree Center we like to offer the unusual, and plants that are suitable for low-maintenance ‘dry’ gardening are especially useful. Because this plant is native to America, it also fits well into natural gardens; especially in those hot, dry, sunny spots. We have a good supply of plants, but our stocks may not last long so order soon! You may also want to consider another popular native variety, the Texas Red Yucca, to add more color interest in your garden.