Can a Yucca Survive Snow and Cold

Yuccas are becoming more and more popular as landscaping elements. As a result, some of them have ended up in colder climates. And although many yuccas can withstand cold temperatures, the question of whether they can handle a snowstorm comes to mind.

Most yuccas can survive snow. If a yucca receives heavy snow, it can appear dead, but regrowth will occur from offshoots. It may take several years to reach its previous height. Some damage is minimal and merely requires trimming the damaged branches or leaves.

Yuccas are hardy plants. They had to be because they are indigenous to deserts. Desert temperatures fluctuate from day to night. But snow is another story. So we’ll discuss not only snow but whether frost can hurt your yucca.

What to Do if it Snows on a Yucca

If you have a heavy snow, the first thing you should do is gently brush the snow from the yucca. A mittened hand works best. Don’t’ let the snow just sit on the plant. The weight of the snow breaks or bends stems. Even if you brush the snow off, this damage can happen.

If the snow has broken some stems, trim them cleanly. Leave any bent stems until spring or warmer weather. At that point, you’ll be able to see what the extent of the damage is. The yucca should grow back from offshoots if severely damaged.

The best way to protect your yucca is to watch the weather report. Then, cover any in-ground yuccas and bring in any potted yuccas.

Can a Yucca Survive Frost Damage

Often yuccas can survive frost, but there is usually damage. The frost harms the leaves, and they may turn black or appear brighter than normal. The amount of damage depends on whether it’s a hard frost or a light frost. Fortunately, yuccas are very hardy plants.

Freeze damage often softens the yucca’s stem. This could cause it to fall over. But this doesn’t mean it’s dead. Take a close look. Often a yucca will grow new leaves from the stem’s top. It can also grow some offshoots from the stem’s bottom.

What Temperature is too Cold for a Yucca Plant

Yucca plants are indigenous to the southwest. They are desert plants. The desert temperatures have extreme fluctuations.

During the day, the average desert temperature is a little over 100 – degrees Fahrenheit. But at night, it drops to around 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes a hardy plant to survive that temperature swing.

But because of the temperature variations, most yuccas can handle cold weather. 

Yucca filamentosa, better known as Adam’s Needle, is one of the most-cold hardy. It can handle temperatures as low as negative 20-degrees Fahrenheit. Some Yuccas that can handle cold weather are:

NameCommon NameLowest Temperature
Y. FilamentosaAdam’s Needle-20 F
Y. GlaucaSoapweed-35 F
Y RostrataBeaked yucca-10 F
Y. BrevifoliaJoshua tree0 F
Y. WhippleiOur Lord’s Candle10 F

Other yuccas can withstand cold temperatures as well. But yuccas are vulnerable if temperatures stay freezing for long durations.

What Zone is a Yucca Plant In

This U.S.D.A. plant hardiness zone map is what gardeners use to determine what will grow in their region. When choosing your plants, it’s important to use it, or disaster could happen. Knowing what yucca falls into your zone is essential.

On average, a yucca plant can be planted in Zones 8a to 11. That means it can go from the Virginia east coast, an 8a to Florida, a 10b. It can also live on the east coast of Washington 8a all through California’s coast, which is a 9b. And, of course, it lives in the southwest.

Some yuccas are hardy enough to go to zone 4. Some of these tough yuccas include:

  • Baccata or banana yucca
  • Joshua tree
  • Adam’s Needle
  • Dwarf Yucca or Nana Yucca

That doesn’t mean you plant them and just forget about them. They may need a little assistance to get through the cold. This is especially true if you have snow, heavy frost, or a long cold spree.

Keeping a Yucca in Cold Weather

If you have a yucca in zone 4, there are some things you can do to help it survive the winter. For instance, mulching in the fall can be a big help to your yucca when it comes to keeping warm. Think of it as a blanket.

Never water a yucca before a cold spell or freeze. Water can freeze on the plant causing damage. And it’s always a good idea to have a southern facing fence or wall. This will reflect the sun and protect your yucca.

If a freeze is coming, cover your yucca with cloth. Do not place plastic on the yucca. This will do more harm than good. It especially harms it during the day.

Snow and Cold

A yucca can survive snow. It may be damaged, but it will usually come back with a little pruning. Frost is also beatable with a yucca if you take precautions or react properly.

You can keep a yucca in colder weather. But you will need to do some planning. Make sure you have a yucca that is cold weather tolerant. While banana yuccas and Adam’s Needles are tough when it comes to cold, a yucca Gloriosa is relatively tender to the cold.

Know your yucca and care for it properly.

Recent Posts