Plants that look like yucca have gained a lot of popularity in recent times. This is because yuccas bring so much to a garden with their spiky leaves and unique textures.
But since not everyone can grow this tree-like plant, spiky evergreen, there is a list of substitutes to give you a very similar feel.
So, keep reading to learn about the top six plants that look like yucca.
List of Plants That Are Similar To Yucca
Agave plants are succulents with large leaves and spiny tips. The agave genus contains a wide range of species and are quite similar to yucca plants.
The height and width of large, rigid specimens can reach 10 feet or more. There are also small, dish-sized agaves and a few species of agave with soft leaves and no spines just like the spineless yucca or yucca elephantipes. However, the foliage of this plant is blue-green in hardier varieties and gray and green in warm-climate varieties.
Moreover, at times some have gold or white markings and are variegated, or it can also have stripes on them, too. After several years or even decades of development, a tall flower stalk frequently emerges from the center of the plant.
Certain agaves, such as blue agave and the Agave salmiana, are prized as the main ingredient in the distilled liquors tequila and mezcal. The agave plant is also helpful in producing syrup, a common sugar substitute with a lower glycemic index than sugar or honey.
The flowers, leaves, basal rosettes, and sap of the agave plant are all processed and cooked and can be consumed. However, be aware that both people and pets should avoid raw agave sap.
Agaves are raised for their magnificent foliage. However, it only produces one bloom during its lifetime since it is monocarpic. A large agave is required to create a sculptural focal point in the garden.
On the other hand, to prevent someone from stepping on the spiky tips, ensure adequate room to walk around it. Additionally, these plants are ones that can create a lovely border grouping and offer other plants a textural contrast.
They can be softened by combining them with ornamental grasses. Furthermore, small agave species are ideal for growing in containers indoors. Agaves are best known for banana yucca plant or with the yucca baccata as their substitutes.
– Growth Requirements
Related to a yucca plant, these are also drought tolerance is high in mature agave plants, in this part, you can say that they are similar in the content just like their features. You generally only need to water them if you’ve had a long stretch without rainfall and the soil is completely dry.
Full daylight, or at least six hours of direct sunlight most days, is preferred by agave plants. They can, however, tolerate some shade, and it will be okay for their growth.
However, remember that the hotter the climate is, the more shade they can handle. Agave plants can grow in well-draining soil but prefer rocky or sandy soil. Poor soil drainage can cause root rot, which can be fatal to plants. Moreover, they like a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH.
2. Dragon Tree
The dragon tree, more often known as Dracaena marginata, is a pretty shrub with green leaves that resemble swords with crimson edges. The eye-catching spiky tree is native to Madagascar, and it would thrive very well in climates like its original place.
It is often best to resemble a spanish dagger or the yucca tree. Due to its ease of maintenance, tolerance of drought, and near indestructibility, it makes a wonderful introduction plant for backyard gardeners.
The plant grows slowly and can be planted at any time of year. However, when spring season comes, it bears tiny white flowers though it rarely flowers when they are placed indoors. This little tree can reach around 20 feet in warm environments, but it is typically grown as a houseplant in a pot and cut to six feet or fewer.
However, you should know that even though it would elevate the ambiance of the garden or the indoor setting, but pets should not eat the dragon tree because it is poisonous to them.
Due to their tolerance for a wide variety of temperatures, dragon trees are highly popular as large potted plants for homes and offices.
Similar to a soapweed yucca plant, and soaptree yucca or the yucca elata during the growth season, water them frequently and plant them in soil that drains well. Although they may survive in various lighting situations, indirect bright light is the best.
– Growth Requirements
Like with many drought-tolerant plants, it’s easy to over-water the dragon tree. Which means that you must wait until the top half of the soil is dry before watering to avoid drowning, although you should know that this can often take three weeks or more.
Moreover, remember how dragon trees thrive in direct sunlight but can also thrive in partial shade. Use a loose, well-drained potting mix when growing a dragon tree as a potted plant—loamy soil amended with peat moss is ideal.
3. Cabbage Tree
Cabbage trees, also known as cordyline indivisa, have foliage and stems that resemble those of a yucca plant. Because the two plants are distant relatives, it’s natural that they look similar. Cabbage trees have long, pointed strap-like leaves that grow in a rosette and are native to New Zealand.
They, like a yucca plant, develop a tree-like trunk as they age. A yucca plant and cabbage trees even have white flowers that look similar, regarding their physical features. In addition to this, they both plants produce massive inflorescence that are made up of hundreds of small white blooms. However, the foliage distinguishes between yuccas and cabbage trees, on the other hand the only difference is that the Yucca have far stiffer leaves with sharp points.
Indivisa is a small, single-trunk understory tree with large, glossy, lance-shaped leaves. Typically, the stem has few, if any, branches. It differs from other Cordyline species by having broad, blue-green leaves and a small, tightly compacted inflorescence produced beneath the foliage.
In addition, its small, fragrant flowers range in color from green-white to purple-brown and bloom in dense clusters from late spring to early summer if there is enough sun and warmth. It is best known to resemble a blue Joshua tree.
– Growth Requirements
When it comes to the growing needs that are required on a daily basis, it is critical to keep the soil evenly moist when growing Cordyline indivisa. In dry weather, you can water freely. However, these plants thrive in cool, moist, and fertile soil, rich in organic matter and well-drained. Soil types include chalky, loamy, and sandy. When planted in partial shade, the tree will thrive.
Potential C. indivisa growers should know that while this is a very attractive tree, it does tend to suddenly collapse during periods of high temperatures or water shortage like the joshua tree.
Therefore, it’s critical to balance moderate sunlight, water, and cooler temperatures and plant your tree in a wise location just like you would grow yucca plants. They should always be kept in a sheltered position.
These plants don’t have any significant pest or disease issues. However, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites can be drawn to indoor plants, indoor plants can attract mealybugs, scale, and spider mites.
A genus of perennial blooming shrub-like plants called dasylirions is indigenous to Mexico and the southern United States. There are over 15 different species, and they have an ornamental grass-like appearance with their long, spiky foliage.
They are drought-tolerant, as one would expect from plants native to these areas, and are popular additions to xeric landscaping.
Dasylirion texanum, also called Texas sotol, is a smaller species than most others in the genus and normally reaches a height of three feet in its main plant. On the other side, the tall flower stalks that emerge from the leaves can reach eights to a maximum of 15 feet.
A rosette of thin, light green leaves surrounds a broad, compact central trunk of the Texas Sotol, and this is what makes it more significant and adds value. Although the top of the trunk is sometimes visible, it is usually buried underground.
Although yucca plants have foliage that doesn’t grow as densely and have thinner, more elongated trunks, the leaves and trunk appear to be frequently mistaken for yucca plants.
– Growth Requirements
Dasylirion texanum is a tough and adaptable plant that requires well-drained soil and full sun to thrive. It is known for its resistance to urban pollution and is ideal for hot, dry, xeric regions or anywhere moisture conservation is required. The care requirements of Texas sotols are frequently compared to those of succulents.
The Texas sotol is known for its drought tolerance and ability to be self-sufficient with little watering. It will remain healthiest in dry, hot summers and see the best growth rates if given occasional supplemental irrigation.
Moreover, to elaborate, these plants can grow in moist soil and are not sensitive to pH levels. What you should do is to place this plant in a direct sunlight, because when it directly receives light, it will be ideal for Dasylirion texanum. Although it may live in some shade, more dead leaves should be expected.
5. Ponytail Palm
The ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is a surprisingly interesting desktop plant, considering that it can grow to be a full-size tree that towers over homes when grown outdoors.
Similar to yucca alofolia or the spanish bayonet, Ponytail palms can grow 30 feet tall when planted in full sun, but they usually stay closer to six feet tall when grown indoors. Despite its common name and outward look, this plant is actually a member of the Asparagaceae family, which also includes edible asparagus.
Typically grown indoors in tiny shallow pots, these strange miniature trees feature a tuft of strappy and green leaves sprouting from a bulbous stem that seems to erupt from the ground.
One of its common names, is the “elephant’s foot,” and this comes from the bulbous trunk. Given enough time and the right conditions, a small desktop plant can grow into a respectable specimen plant that can reach six feet or more in height. Ponytail palm is native to Central America’s arid regions and is one of the simplest small trees to grow indoors.
– Growth Requirements
Ponytail palms can only be grown outdoors in USDA Zones 10 and 11, which need sand-based soil and complete illumination. It grows best outside in the brightest spot you can find, put in a cactus or a succulent potting mix, and it will bloom in a graceful matter, and thrive. It normally doesn’t cause any problems when planted in the right place as long as it regularly receives a small bit of water.
As an indoor plant, the ponytail is a “plant it and forget it” kind of plant, providing it has enough light to thrive and somewhat steady water throughout the growing season, moreover this would also come from its property of being a low-maintenance plant.
However, remember that the ponytail palm is a slow-growing plant, so don’t expect your desktop plant to grow into a corner specimen overnight.
Water a ponytail palm during the growing season every seven to 14 days for potted indoor plants. This plant is native to semi-desert areas of Central America and thrives in relatively sandy but organically rich soil when grown outdoors. Ponytail palms prefer direct sunlight or bright indirect light.
6. Areca Palm
It’s difficult to believe that the areca palm is a threatened species in its native Madagascar. Driving down almost any street in a warm stateside climate is likely to reveal dozens of these tall, attractive, clumping palms that resemble bamboo.
These palms have smooth, sometimes golden trunks reminiscent of bamboo clumps. Their thick, slender fronds resemble beaked yucca plant or the yucca rostrata, color guard plants, or yucca glauca.
They are frequently employed as a privacy screen when cultivated outside. You can also cultivate these palms inside. The optimum time to plant them is in the spring when they develop slowly to moderately.
– Growth Requirements
When growing outdoors, choosing a planting site with good drainage is important just like how one would plant yucca. Palm root rot is easily caused by wet soil. Therefore, a well-draining container is essential when growing a houseplant indoors.
In routine care, water your areca palm whenever the soil begins to dry out. It is important to keep outdoor palms hydrated during hot and dry weather conditions. Indoor palms rarely get enough light unless placed near a bright window.
As a result, bringing your palm outside in warm weather to be exposed to diffused sunlight can benefit it.
Like many palms, areca palms like moist soil but are sensitive to overwatering and cannot tolerate being waterlogged or sitting in a water-saturated potting mix. These plants prefer bright, filtered sunlight outside but can also tolerate full sun. A well-draining, peat-based potting mix is ideal for potted indoor plants.
Whatever reason is holding you back from growing actual yucca plants is one you do not have to worry about anymore. With this list of plants that look like it, you’re free to grow any of its substitutes.
Just keep in mind:
- Agave is one plant that will need a good amount of space to be able to grow sufficiently. Otherwise, you will find that pushing against its spiky tips is a real pain.
- Ponytail palms are the ideal plants for beginners. They are relatively easy to grow and care for; so anyone can try them.
- Dragon trees are another popular yucca plant substitute that will thrive in bright light conditions. So if you want plants and have access to decent lighting, this is your best option.
- If you aim to search for a spineless yucca plant substitute, then growing agave is your best bet.
Now, which plant will you grow? You know all about these beautiful species that look like the yucca but are not it, if you want long and beautiful green foliage, then you should definitely pick and grow one of these, looking through its growth requirements so that it thrives.
- Grow Mango Tree Indoors: Best Tips and Tricks For You - September 21, 2023
- Are Lilacs Deer Resistant? 10 Other Deer Resistant Plants - September 19, 2023
- 7 Plants With Red Stems To Add Color to Your Garden - September 18, 2023