What is a Red Yucca

red yucca in garden

Red yucca is a common sight in Texas and the rest of the southwest. Its red flowers add a splash of color to the landscape. But the red yucca holds a secret. What is it really?

Red yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, is a perennial that is also referred to as False yucca. Although it resembles a yucca, it’s not a yucca and is actually a member of the century family. Red yucca is a hardy plant that thrives in arid conditions.

Although Red yucca isn’t a yucca, it still has many of its features. Red yucca is a versatile plant and is a favorite in both the U.S. and Australia. But how can Red Yucca be used to show off its beauty, and how much care does it need.

Red Yucca Appearance

This lovely plant is a succulent that’s a rosette of blue-green leaves. It also has a five-to-11-foot flower stalk rising from the middle. So think of it as a clump of grass with a tall stalk in the middle. Although the Red Yucca is called red because of its flowers, this is also not entirely true. There are some Red Yuccas that have yellow flowers.

Where is Red Yucca Found

Often called Texas Red Yucca, you’ll, of course, find this beautiful plant in Texas and throughout the southwest. It lives in hardiness zones 5 to 11. It loves the heat but can tolerate lows of 10° Fahrenheit.

Red yucca grows wild. But you’ll also see them in a xeriscape or rock garden.

How to Care for Red Yucca

Red yuccas like well-draining soil. Sandy soil works the best. If you’re potting a Red Yucca, use a mixture of soil and perlite. You could also mix soil with horticulture sand, which is hard to find. Finally, vermiculite and soil also work but is expensive.

Your Red Yucca loves sunshine. They do well in direct sun and need six to eight hours daily. They will not thrive in shade.

These are primarily desert plants, so they do well in drought conditions. Water the first year you’ve planted. Just give them a good soaking and then wait until they dry. They don’t need to be watered frequently. After they’re established, just let mother nature take care of the watering.

A potted Red Yucca may want a good soaking every week or two. Check it. If it’s bone dry, then water it. Don’t overwater. Red Yuccas are susceptible to root rot.

If you are planting a Red Yucca, leave about two to three feet between plants. You’ll also want to leave about two to three feet of room from a driveway or sidewalk. Red Yuccas like to spread.

Hey, you’ll like this one tooHow Often Should You Water a Yucca Plant

How Often Does a Red Yucca Bloom

The Red Yucca blooms several times each year. It produces flower stalks that can grow up to nine feet. Don’t cut the flower stalks after blooming because they will produce fruit. Wildlife can eat the fruit over winter, and in the spring, you can cut the stalks back.

Diseases and Pests that Harm Red Yucca

You’ll want to guard against root rot if you have a potted Red Yucca. Don’t let the roots sit in water. So, after you water, make sure you empty the drainage tray. Watch that you don’t overwater your potted Red Yucca.

Like yuccas, some pests that may infest your Red Yucca include mealybugs, yucca weevil and Aphids. Here is an article we have on yucca pests.

Xeriscaping with Red Yucca

Red yucca is the perfect plant for xeriscaping. It has many features that not only make it attractive in a xeriscape, but easy to care for. It works well with cacti or another yucca. And you’ll have a splash of color. Just make sure you leave room between the Red Yucca and other plants.

How Does Red Yucca Propagate

Red Yucca has two ways of propagating. The first is through seeds. After the Red Yucca flowers, fruit appears. The fruit breaks open, and the seeds fall to the ground. You can collect the seeds and start your own Red Yuccas.

Another way the Red Yucca propagates is through pups. These pups or offshoots grow at the plant’s base. All you have to do is divide them, and you have a new Red Yucca.

Red Yuccas are a great way to xeriscape on a budget. You really only need one or two. They’ll produce pups that you can divide and plant.

If you don’t want the additional pups, they make great gifts.


Many beautiful plants come from the desert, and the Red Yucca is undoubtedly one. They’re easy plants that are great for filling space. They work well with xeriscaping, and they reproduce. So if you don’t have a green thumb, a Red Yucca is just the ticket to having a beautiful garden.

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