The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Improving Lives, Communities and the Economy

Succulent agave and yucca species make great landscape plants

UA Cooperative Extension

Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 1:00 am

Agave and yucca plants are easy to grow, add variety to otherwise boring landscapes, and require very little water. These interesting desert natives are classified among the many succulent plants. Succulent plants, think cacti and aloes, have thick leaves and stems that hold water and harvest sunlight energy in ways that allow the plants to grow in conditions where many others could not. Because of their shape and colors, they help give diversity and form to any landscape. Best of all, they are especially useful in low water use landscape designs. If there is a low traffic area in the yard that needs a little extra to set it off right, consider one of the succulents to give it that finished desert appearance. Among the various succulent plants available to desert gardeners are the many species of the genera Agave and Yucca, most of which are well-adapted to the harsh desert climate. Both species have thick, fleshy sword-shaped or strap-shaped leaves coming from a central core and central flower stalks that come out of the terminal to support white or creamy white flowers. These plants make great specimen plants that attract the gaze and give an authentic feel to desert landscapes.