Mr. D's Plant of the Week Series: Adam’s Needle

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The Adam's needle yucca is a shrub found in various locations throughout the woods, ranch lands, some state parks, and is a slow-growing Florida native. Though the yucca can get bright green in color, and flower in the spring, the leaf texture is coarse to the touch. It does have pointed spines at the end of its leaves that are quite sharp and could injure a person if grabbed inappropriately.

The Yucca filamentosa, (its scientific name; pronounced: YUCK-kuh fill-luh-men-TOE-suh), from the family of Agavaceae, is a native Yucca shrub of Florida. It is not known to be an invasive type plant or have dangerous pests typically found on other shrubs other than earwigs. However, it does attract butterflies and is deer and rabbit-proof. The Adams’ Needle as it’s commonly referred too will grow from 3 to 4 feet tall and have a spread from 3-4 feet across.

How to care and manage the Adam’s Needle

The white flowering Yucca filamentosa is a shrub that can be planted outside year-round in Tallahassee and Leon County. Very little attention is needed and is perfect for those individuals if landscape maintenance is not for you. For it to remain robust, it grows well in drained soils where the locations are primarily sunny. Furthermore, if there is plenty of air circulation, to keep the plant excessively dry, it will tolerate partial shade.

The Adam’s Needle is drought, sandy or compacted soil and salt spray friendly. However, the shrub will not tolerate wet, rainy, or continually damp soils from over irrigations. During the winter months, keep a close eye on the roots. If they get exposed to extremely cold or wet springs, their roots will rot, causing the plant to perish.

You will need to monitor the shrubs leaf activity carefully. If you find any, cut off any weary or limp flower stalks at or near the end of the year. By the following spring, the yucca will surprise you with a beautiful white flower bloom sprout. Also, occasionally remove old leaves that will turn brown as the shrub ages. In the image, you’ll see the light-yellow stripes along the margins. That is a variegated cultivar which is known as 'Variegata'.

Mr. D’s Adam’s Needle landscape design tip

The Yucca filamentosa is an ideal low maintenance, ground cover plant. To draw attention to your landscape, the Adam's Needle has a striking texture. When planted in 3- to 4-foot centers, it forms an exquisite ground cover effect, especially when lined up in a row.

If you’re going to plant this shrub near a walkway, sidewalk, or patio where there is heavy foot traffic, position the plant about 3 to 4 feet back from the walk area’s edge. That positioning will prevent injuries from the leaf’s spine should a person brush up against it. Also, do keep children and pets away from the shrubs leaves so neither are injured.

If you found the Adam’s Needle interesting, then check out the Glossy Abelia material and let us know your thoughts!