How to grow joshua tree from seed


How to Grow and Care for Yucca Brevifolia (Joshua Tree)

By

Gemma Johnstone

Gemma Johnstone

Gemma Johnstone is a gardening expert who has written 120-plus articles for The Spruce covering how to care for a large variety of plants from all over the world. She's traveled all over Europe, living now in Italy.

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process

Updated on 10/07/22

Reviewed by

Kathleen Miller

Reviewed by Kathleen Miller

Kathleen Miller is a highly-regarded Master Gardener and Horticulturist who shares her knowledge of sustainable living, organic gardening, farming, and landscape design. She founded Gaia's Farm and Gardens, a working sustainable permaculture farm, and writes for Gaia Grows, a local newspaper column. She has over 30 years of experience in gardening and sustainable farming.

Learn more about The Spruce's Review Board

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

In This Article

  • Care

  • Types

  • Pruning

  • How to Grow Joshua Tree From Seed

  • Potting

  • Bloom

  • Frequently Asked Questions

The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is an iconic, slow-growing, evergreen synonymous with the Mojave Desert in the southwestern United States. The largest of all the Yucca species, they can grow to over 30 feet.

When these long-lived plants mature, they develop distinctive extensive branching with rounded, open crowns (usually when they reach between 3 and 9 feet in height). The foliage develops in rosettes on the tips of the branches. However, young trees grown in a garden setting will usually lack branches and have bent backwards leaves.

The creamy-white, small flowers that cluster at the ends of long panicles develop into light green seedpods. This species provides an important food source and shelter for birds and small mammals in its harsh native environment.

These trees are only suitable for growing in areas with similar conditions to their dry, desert native habitat. They are sometimes grown in desert gardens, xeriscape landscapes, and rock gardensAs a specimen plant, their unusual, architectural shape makes a bold focal statement.

Joshua trees can be hard to find, and purchasing from a reputable supplier is important to ensure the trees or seeds are not from protected, wild populations. It's best to plant these trees from November to March—they don't have a good recovery rate if you transplant them when the weather heats up.

Common Name Joshua Tree, Yucca Palm, Tree Yucca, Palm Tree Yucca
Botanical Name Yucca brevifolia
 Family Asparagaceae
 Plant Type Woody Perennial, Evergreen, Tree-like
 Mature Size 15-30 ft. tall
 Sun Exposure Full Sun
 Soil Type Sandy, Loamy, Well-Drained
 Soil pH Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
 Bloom Time Spring
 Flower Color White-green
Hardiness Zones 6-10, USA
 Native Area Southwestern USA

Joshua Tree (Yucca Brevifolia) Care

A highly cultivated garden environment isn't going to be right for growing a Joshua tree. They thrive in poor soils and where summers are long, hot, and arid, and there's a significant drop in temperatures come winter. Your tree won't survive in a region with high humidity and rainfall.

The rhizomatic root system of these trees is deep and vast. They need plenty of space to grow—keep them away from the home foundation and any pipes or utilities. Think carefully about the position as Joshua trees don't transplant well.

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Light

As you would expect of a tree native to the desert, it needs a full sun position to thrive.

Soil

Joshua trees can grow in sandy, loamy, rocky, and clay soils, but they must be well-drained and dry. Unlike many plants, the poorer the quality of soil, the better they are likely to grow. Fertile, rich soil is not the Joshua tree's friend.

Water

This is a highly drought-tolerant tree. Established Joshua trees only need supplemental watering in periods of drought. When the ground is dry, dusty, and crumbly to the touch, you can water until the soil is saturated. Don't water it again until it fully dries out, at a maximum of once per month during the growing season. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

Temperature and Humidity

For your Joshua tree to survive, the climate should replicate the extreme, elevated Mojave Desert as closely as possible. It needs a scorching hot, dry summer and a cold winter. Without a dormant period, the tree will die, so these changes in temperatures are important. They can tolerate winters as cold as 12 degrees Fahrenheit and summers as hot as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It's certainly not a tree for growing in the tropical, humid southern regions or in areas with high volumes of rainfall.

Fertilizer

Wild Joshua trees thrive in poor, infertile soils, so they shouldn't need supplemental feeding. Fertilizing may encourage faster growth, but this can alter the naturally appealing form of the tree.

If you want to use fertilizer, select a slow-release type suitable for desert plants or a mild, slightly acidic organic option like a fish emulsion. It won't need regular feeding—an annual dose or one in late spring and early fall is sufficient.

Types of Joshua Tree

This is not a highly cultivated species, but if you're looking for a compact version of the tree for a smaller landscape, you can opt for Yucca brevifolia var. jaegeriana. This dwarf tree version typically grows to around 10 feet and has shorter branches than the standard Yucca brevifolia.

Pruning

Part of the appeal of the Joshua tree is its distinctive natural form—it won't need any pruning other than to remove any old, damaged flowering stems. By leaving the branches with dry leaves, they can insulate the plant in cold winters by absorbing moisture.

How to Grow Joshua Tree From Seed

Growing Yucca brevifolia from seed is tricky but not impossible. The flowers can only be pollinated by a species of moth native to the trees natural habitat, so hand-pollination using the likes of a small paintbrush is often necessary. For best results, you should sow fully ripe and fresh seeds.

  1. Seeds are usually ready to harvest in late summer. The seed pods should be dry with black rather than tan seeds inside and not fully split open.
  2. Once you have collected the black seeds, check them over to make sure they don't have any holes in them. This will only be a problem in native areas where the moth larvae may eat the seeds.
  3. Use a shallow tray with a moist paper towel on it and place the seeds on this and then cover them with another moist paper towel.
  4. Keep the tray at room temperature and moisten the paper towels whenever they start to dry out. Make sure, however, that the seeds are not sitting in water.
  5. After around 10 days, there should be stems starting to sprout from the seed end.
  6. Once these shoots appear, they can be moved into a fresh potting mix and kept in a greenhouse. Because the seedlings won't appreciate being disturbed while establishing, select a large container rather than a small pot, so you don't need to transplant them for at least the first two winters.
  7. Make sure the white sprouting stems are facing up when you pot them.

Potting and Repotting

Joshua trees are slow-growing, but they do have an extensive root system. If they are being grown in a container, you should repot them in a larger pot every few years at the end of winter. Because they don't like being transplanted, you need to do this very carefully.

How to Get Yucca Brevifolia to Bloom

When a Joshua tree is in flower in spring, it produces densely clustered panicles that can be up to 20 inches long. The small, individual, white-green flowers are oval-shaped and have an unpleasant, mushroom-like fragrance. Not every tree flowers annually. There needs to be perfect weather conditions to facilitate flowering, and not every tree will bloom annually. Freezing winter conditions stimulate the following season's flowers. Too little or too much rainfall can also impact blooming success rates.

Native Plants from High Desert Environments

Desert plants are some of the most interesting plants because of their strange and unique adaptations to their surroundings.

These plants have made many adaptations over time to protect themselves from the harsh climate of the deserts and the animals that inhabit the land of sparse vegetation.   Some examples are cactus, most succulents, low shrubby desert plants (called chaparral plants), and trees like the Juniper trees and Palo Verde.

Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit – sweet and edible!

Living “in association” means living together with.  Native plants typically live in association with plants that need the same amounts of water and can tolerate the same climate, temperatures, and soils types.  In the desert, the native plants that you will find are only plants that can survive without much water, in poor soils, and usually, in harsh climates.

Where are they located?

Most of the plants in these pages survive in the Mojave Desert of the Southwestern United States, particularly in California.

The Mojave Desert is somewhat unique as deserts go in that much of it exists at a 3000 ft. elevation and higher. So these desert plants not only have to endure searing sun and heat in the summertime (well in excess of 100º F), harsh winds during several seasons (the wind really howls in the desert!), and cold in winter with occasional snows.

Fortunately, temperatures in the desert tend to heat up, even in winter, so snow often melts off completely during the first day on the ground.  Most of these desert plants will easily survive a snow on the ground for several days, but other desert plants, such as those native to the Sonoran desert of southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico, are actually tropical plants and will not survive such cold temperatures. Fortunately, they don’t have to because most other desert plants thrive in lower elevations.

As this site grows, it will also feature plants from Death Valley (southeastern California) and the Sonora Desert (New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California, Baja California, and mainland Mexico).

In the Mojave Desert of California, plants survive temperatures well over 100 degrees in the summer and light to moderate snowfalls in the winter, with elevation ranges of about 3,000-5,000 feet.

What characteristics do desert plants share?

All plants on this site have a few things in common.

  • They survive with very low amounts of rainfall.
  • They live in climates whose day and night time temperatures vary widely.
  • They live in soils not particularly rich in nutrients.
  • They live in soils often very compacted, so the little rainfall that does occur runs off, in many cases, before it has had a chance to penetrate the soil to their roots. As a result, their roots are often lateral close to the surface of the soil or in a small clump just beneath the plant where they remain close to the surface to gather water.
  • They exhibit adaptations that allow them to conserve water and shield themselves from the blazing desert sun.
  • Many are cold tolerant, particularly those in the Mojave Desert, which is typically 3,000 ft and higher in elevation, so snow is common in winter, though short-lived.
  • They are interesting to study and observe!

Desert plants are xerophytes, which means ‘living in a dry climate’; that is, with very little water from rainfall or from people. Xerophytic plants have unique characteristics to prevent moisture lost through evaporation, desiccation from the wind, and harm from insects and animals.

Photographs and Images

All the photographs on these pages were taken by Mary Engle, author of this website.  Please do not use them without contacting the author for permission to use them elsewhere.

More to Come

We will be adding more information on specific desert plants in the coming months. We will include information on how to sprout them from seed as much as possible.

Leave a comment if you wish us to contact you. We’ll be happy to start a conversation or answer any questions!
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How to master the process of growing yucca, types, methods of reproduction and features of the content

Growing yucca is an exciting process. However, the exotic appearance sometimes misleads the gardener as to the nature of this plant.

You can enjoy spectacular yucca blossoms and lush greenery both in the garden and at home. Growing such beauty as a yucca is no more difficult than a rose or a peony.

Contents:

  • 1 Description of the plant and its species
  • 2 Growing yucca, plant preferences
  • 3 Role in garden landscaping and shelter for the winter
  • 4 Propagation methods
  • 5 Possible diseases, pests and problems in the process of growing yucca

Description of the plant and its species

Native to tropical climate South America belongs to the agave family.

All types of yucca share similar features:

One of the varieties of unusual yucca

Rigid xiphoid leaves. The color and strength of the sheet are different, but the shape practically does not change. In almost all varieties, the leaves are prickly at the end, and the skin can be damaged by the longitudinal edges, they are so sharp.

Tall, beautiful and powerful inflorescences. A single flower is shaped like a bell. The peduncle is usually erect, only in southern yucca (Y. australis) it has a drooping shape, and in drooping yucca it forms a spreading inflorescence.

Flowers have a pleasant fragrance. Numerous buds bloom at night.

The fruits are enclosed in capsules. Depending on the type, they can be dry or juicy. There are many black seeds in each box.

The long fleshy roots have a rod structure and penetrate to a depth of about a meter in open ground.

Stemless members of the family are more suitable for the garden. All species are grown indoors, except for the short-leaved yucca, known as the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia):

Glorious yucca (Y. Glorioza). Green with a blue tint, the leaves have a thorn at the end. In areas with warm winters, this species is common in parks.

Powerful plants are effectively arranged on the lawns. Narrow hard leaves form a rosette at the very top of a one and a half meter trunk. The maximum height of the peduncle is 2 meters. White bell-shaped flowers sometimes slightly blushed.

Yucca Treculeana (Y. treculeana). This species is called pita palm in the homeland. The trunk reaches a height of about 7 meters in natural conditions. Rosette of bluish sharp leaves in diameter is 1.5 meters. The flowers are white on the outside and purple on the inside.

Filamentous yucca (Y. filamentoza). A variety that lacks a stem. The most winter-hardy of all, it was she who settled in the gardens. This yucca has another name - Adam's needle.

A rosette of sword-shaped dark green leaves grows directly from the soil. Along the edge of each leaf are threads that gave the name to the species. Snow-white flowers are collected in a pyramidal inflorescence up to one and a half meters in size.

Growing yucca at home

Hanging yucca (Y. flaccida). It is less known, but also has an increased, in relation to other species, winter hardiness. A stemless rosette of leaves during flowering is decorated with cream bells.

Aloe leaf yucca (Y. Alifolia). On the trunk there are narrow hard leaves of a grayish-green color about 60 cm long. Bell-shaped buds of pure white color are located on a peduncle two meters high. When grown as a tub plant, this value depends on the conditions of detention. Variegated varieties have been bred.

Elephant yucca (Y. elefantipes). The species is most often used for growing at home, as its leaves are softer and do not have cutting edges. Very effective variegated form with a creamy stripe along the edge of the sheet.

Yucca Whipplea (Y. whipplei). For its beauty, this species received the popular name "God's candle." Narrow bluish leaves form a stemless rosette of spherical shape. Above them rises a peduncle with flowers of a creamy shade, decorated along the edge with a purple edging.

In nature, it grows up to 3.5 meters in height. But at home, this value is limited to two meters.

The variety of species, along with the unpretentiousness of the plant, allows you to decorate not only the house, but also the garden with yucca. The erroneous opinion about her, as a capricious plant, previously misled lovers of beautiful flowering pyramids.

Growing yucca, plant preferences

At home in a hot climate, yucca is used to a long absence of water and winds. This factor served as an impetus for the formation of the character of the plant.

Regardless of the method of cultivation, it is quite unpretentious, although it has some requirements:

No stagnant water. Not only the roots of the plant, but also its growth point, from which the peduncle subsequently grows, cannot withstand long contact with water. The best place in the garden is the southern slope or the illuminated hill.

Full-grown yucca flowering

When growing indoors, you need to get a pot in which excess moisture is collected in a pan.

Sunny location. In the shade, the yucca will become a shaggy and ugly plant. Flowering in this case should not be expected.

Both at home and in the open field, the plant needs a lot of sun and light. In summer, when it gets very hot outside, a daily shower or spraying with water at room temperature will help mitigate the increased dryness of the air and active sunlight. But this is a completely optional procedure.

Drainage. One of the important conditions for growing yucca. A layer of fine expanded clay or fragments of clay pots is poured at the bottom of the landing pit or container. Its thickness should not be less than 5 cm.

Loose air and moisture permeable soil. For the proper development of the plant, it is necessary to prepare the soil mixture yourself. Ingredients:

  • Leafy soil
  • Humus
  • Sand

All components are mixed in equal proportions, and the planting hole or pot is filled with them. Vermiculite can be added as a baking powder and neutralizer of excess moisture.

Regular, but not heavy watering. Watering in the summer should be plentiful, but not frequent. After the topsoil has dried to a depth of about 5 cm, the yucca should be watered with plenty of water.

In the open field, one adult plant needs about 8-10 liters of liquid. The tubular form involves watering until the earthen coma is completely moistened. In winter, the procedure should be done as the soil dries out. Its purpose is to prevent the fleshy roots from drying out.

Regular loosening of the soil. Once every two weeks, the soil around the yucca must be thoroughly loosened. This contributes to better air circulation at the root neck and lower leaves of the plant.

Trimming is optional. Yucca does not need regular pruning. This procedure is carried out in order to increase the amount of propagation material and remove dry leaves.

Yucca will respond to caring, but not intrusive care with luxurious flowering.

Role in garden landscaping and shelter for the winter

Yucca, available in the store

Yucca is a very showy flower. Its winter-hardy species make it possible to grow a southern miracle in the garden. It is in the open field that it appears in all its glory. This is facilitated by the abundance of air and space.

Even when growing yucca as a tub plant, it must be exposed to fresh air from April to September.

Stemless varieties are often used as border plants. The only drawback is the scale of the flower. Such massive flower stalks are out of place in a small garden.

In this case, the plant looks great as a soloist on the lawn or against the backdrop of coniferous trees.

In order for the plant to survive the winter well, it needs to provide a reliable shelter:

During the summer, a frame a little larger than the plant itself should be put together from waste wood materials. In the spring, you can send it to the oven without regret.

After negative temperatures of about -3-5 °C are established, yucca should be covered with dry leaves without signs of disease. For this, you can also use the tops of chrysanthemums and marigolds. Such plants will repel pests and rodents.

From above, the frame must be covered with a film that was used to cover the spring plantings in the greenhouse.

Roofing material creates high humidity, so it is better not to use it for these purposes. Non-woven materials such as spunbond or agrotex can be used for insulation. Under them, the plant, if it gets wet, is quickly ventilated.

In winter, cover with snow as much as possible. It plays the role of a warm blanket. With a snow cover thickness of 25 cm or more, the temperature of the upper soil layer does not fall below -10 °C.

The plant must be opened no later than the first days of April. First, a wooden box is removed, leaves and tops are removed. The frame is installed back, but it is necessary to provide air access to the shelter. Yucca is not so much afraid of frost as damping and soaking in the spring.

It's easier with tub plants. In winter, they are brought into a frost-free room and kept at a temperature of about +10 ° C.

Proper protection of yucca in winter will ensure its friendly growth in spring and flowering in summer. The plant begins to bloom in the third year of life.

Propagation methods

There are many ways to increase the number of chic yucca plants for your home or garden:

Seeds. The difficulty of this method lies in the fact that the seeds germinate for a very long time. The process can take anywhere from two months to a year. At this time, the container with crops should be kept in a moderately humid state at a temperature of about 20 ° C and ventilated.

Yucca grown from seed

Stem cut. Yucca should grow up to 40 cm. Only after that can its top be cut off with a part of the trunk about 5 cm thick. And you can also use the solution of this drug according to the attached instructions.

Extra hours spent in the stimulator can backfire - the plant will slow down its growth.

Then the prepared piece of stem is placed in loose soil. Under the condition of constant moderate humidity, roots should form in two weeks.

Offshoots. There are dormant buds on the trunk of the yucca. If, after flowering, the growth point is cut off, that is, the top of the plant, then an escape will appear in place of such a bud.

After it reaches a length of 20 cm, it is separated from the mother plant and placed in nutrient liquid to form roots. Sodium humate can be used as a solution. Every two days, the water in the container with the process must be refreshed.

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Possible diseases, pests and problems in the process of growing yucca

To make growing yucca a pleasant process, when a beautiful, healthy plant pleases with its decorative effect, it is important to take care of choosing the right conditions for growth, protection from infectious diseases, pest attacks.

If the leaves of yucca begin to turn yellow and then turn brown, and the affected areas are in the shape of a circle or ellipse, the cause is brown spot infection.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to avoid waterlogging the culture, cut off old dry leaves, remove debris, litter under the plant. For treatment, infected areas are removed and treated with Bordeaux mixture or Fitosporin. During periods of heavy rainfall, maintenance may be required.

If the tips of the leaves have acquired a gray tint, began to die off, the reason is the development of gray spotting. A brown border appears around the infected area. Fundazol can be used for prevention and treatment. Also, it is important to avoid getting moisture on the crown, the presence of debris near the bush in the form of old leaves.

If the stem begins to soften, red ulcers appear on it - these are symptoms of stem rot. It is impossible to cure such a plant. It must be destroyed, and the soil treated with an antifungal agent to prevent the spread of infection.

Yucca stalks are sometimes affected by fire blight. At first, the disease manifests itself in the form of small areas of white mycelium. As the fungus develops, these areas harden and turn brown. To protect the plant, it is important to observe the watering regime, to apply fertilizing correctly.

Dark spots on the crown covered with black or brown dots are a sign of root rot. At the same time, watery ulcers form on the roots. They quickly deteriorate, they cannot absorb useful substances.

Most often, plants get sick due to contaminated substrate. Therefore, it is important to disinfect the soil before planting, both in containers and in open ground. This can be done with a solution of manganese or another fungicide.

Pests can be attacked by various caterpillars. If there are not many of them, you can try to destroy them manually. In case of a serious injury, we recommend Decis.

Aktara helps well against aphids, scale insects, and thrips. As a preventive measure, it is important to keep clean near the yucca, remove weeds. The hardest thing to deal with spider mites. For prevention, we recommend using Milady soil tablets. In case of infection, Neoron can be used.

Sometimes, loss of decorative effect and a sluggish appearance are caused by incorrect care. So, the dark tips of the foliage with a yellow halo appear due to excess moisture. When using cold water to moisten the stem, the stem may become mobile, and the crown will begin to wither.

With rare watering, the leaves turn yellow and lose turgor. Too much light can cause burns.

While watching the video, you will learn about growing yucca.

Yucca settled in houses and gardens due to the ease of reproduction and unpretentiousness. This plant is an ascetic. The less you disturb him with your attention, the better he feels.

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Yucca

How to grow and care for Yucca Brevifolia (Joshua tree)

The Joshua Tree ( Yucca shortleaf ) is an iconic slow growing evergreen synonymous with the Mojave Desert in the southwestern United States. The largest of all yucca species, they can grow to over 30 feet.

As these long-lived plants mature, they develop characteristic broad branches with rounded, open crowns (usually when they are 3 to 9 feet tall). The foliage develops in the form of rosettes at the tips of the branches. However, young trees grown in the garden are usually unbranched and have recurved leaves.

Creamy white small flowers, clustered at the ends of long panicles, turn into light green seed pods. This species is an important food source and refuge for birds and small mammals in harsh natural environments.

These trees are only suitable for growing in areas with the same conditions as their dry desert habitat. They are sometimes grown in desert gardens, landscapes, and rock gardens . As a plant specimen, their unusual architectural form makes a bold focal statement.

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Joshua trees can be difficult to find and buying from a reputable supplier is important to ensure the trees or seeds do not come from protected wild populations. These trees are best planted between November and March - they don't have a very good recovery rate if you repot them when the weather warms up.

Common name Joshua Tree, Yucca Palm, Yucca Tree, Yucca Palm
Botanical name Yucca shortleaf
Family Asparagus
Plant type Woody perennial, evergreen, treelike
mature size 15-30 ft. tall
Sun exposure Full sun
Soil type Sandy, loamy, well-drained
soil pH Acidic, neutral, alkaline
Flowering time Spring
flower White-green
Stability zones 6-10, USA
Home area US Southwest

Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) Care

A highly cultivated garden environment is not suitable for growing the Joshua tree. They thrive in poor soils and where summers are long, hot, and dry, and winters experience a significant drop in temperature. Your tree will not survive in a region with high humidity and rainfall.

The root system of these trees is deep and extensive. They need a lot of room to grow - keep them away from the foundation of the house and any pipes or utilities. Consider the position carefully, as Joshua trees don't transplant well.

Light

As you would expect from a desert tree, it needs full sun to thrive.

Soil

Joshua trees can grow in sandy, loamy, rocky, and clay soils, but they must be well-drained and dry. Unlike many plants, the worse the quality of the soil, the better they will grow. Fertile, rich soil is no friend of the Joshua tree.

Water

This is a very drought tolerant tree. Established Joshua trees need supplemental watering only during periods of drought. When the ground is dry, dusty and crumbly to the touch, you can water until the soil is saturated. Do not water it again until it is completely dry, once a month at most during the growing season. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

Temperature and humidity

For your Joshua tree to survive, the climate must mimic the extreme, towering Mojave Desert as closely as possible. It needs hot, dry summers and cold winters. Without a dormant period, the tree will die, so these temperature differences are important. They can tolerate cold winters down to 12 degrees Fahrenheit and summers up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is definitely not a tree that can be grown in tropical, humid southern regions or areas with high rainfall.

Fertilizer

Wild Joshua trees grow in poor, infertile soils, so they don't need additional feeding. Fertilizing can encourage faster growth, but it can change the tree's natural, attractive shape.

If you want to use a fertilizer, choose a slow release type suitable for desert plants or a mild, slightly acidic organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion. He does not need regular feeding - an annual dose or a dose in late spring and early autumn is enough.

Joshua tree species

It is not a particularly cultivated species, but if you are looking for a compact version of the tree for a small landscape, you can choose Yucca shortleaf var. Jaegeriana . This bonsai variant typically grows to about 10 feet and has shorter branches than standard Yucca shortleaf .

Cutting

Part of the Joshua tree's appeal lies in its distinctive natural form - it won't require any pruning other than removing old, damaged flowering stems. Leaving branches with dry leaves can insulate the plant during cold winters by absorbing moisture.

How to grow a Joshua tree from seeds

Growing Yucca shortleaf from seed is difficult, but not impossible. The flowers can only be pollinated by moth species found in the tree's natural habitat, so hand pollination with a small brush is often necessary. For best results, you should sow fully mature and fresh seeds.

  1. Seeds are usually ready for harvest in late summer. The seed pods should be dry, with black, not brown seeds inside, and not fully open.
  2. After collecting the black seeds, check them to make sure there are no holes in them. This will only be a problem in natural areas where the moth larvae can eat the seeds.
  3. Use a shallow tray with a damp paper towel and place the seeds on it, then cover them with another damp paper towel.
  4. Keep tray at room temperature and dampen paper towels whenever they start to dry out. Make sure, however, that the seeds do not sit in water.
  5. After about 10 days, stems should begin to sprout from the seed end.
  6. Once these shoots appear, they can be transplanted into fresh potting mix and left in the greenhouse. Since seedlings don't like being disturbed while rooting, choose a large container rather than a small pot so you don't have to repot them for at least the first two winters.
  7. Make sure the white germinating stems are pointing up when you plant them.

Boarding and transfer

Joshua trees grow slowly but have an extensive root system. If grown in a container, they should be repotted into a larger pot every few years at the end of winter. Since they do not like to be transplanted, this must be done very carefully.

How to make Yucca Brevifolia bloom

When the Joshua tree blooms in spring, it produces densely clustered panicles that can be up to 20 inches long. Small individual white-green oval flowers with an unpleasant mushroom aroma. Not every tree blooms annually. Flowering requires ideal weather conditions, and not every tree will bloom every year. Frosty winter conditions encourage next season's flowering. Too little or too much rainfall can also affect flowering success.

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