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The Desert spoon is a medium size yucca-like shrub growing 4-5 ft. in dia., eventually developing a short trunk that can reach 4-5 ft. tall. Gray leaves grow to 3 ft. long and have sharp upward facing teeth on the margins. Mature plants produce a showy stalk of creamy-white flowers in late spring and into summer.

Desert spoon occurs over a large range across New Mexico, Arizona and northern Mexico where it is adapted to heat, cold, aridity and extended periods of drought. This is the most popular species of desert spoon for planting in Inland Empire gardens. Its distinctive gray foliage color makes it a popular foliage plant in southwestern and Mediterranean style gardens. It is grown in containers, on banks, around walks and in cacti and succulent garden plantings.Remove dried spent flowers as necessary. Prune out dried or yellow lower leaves anytime of the year (D).


Water Needs

The Desert spoon is well adapted to hot microclimate locations in the Inland Empire where it thrives in sunny exposures and with normal winter rainfall and low amounts of summer water. Monthly deep watering from spring through fall will enhance its spring flowering cycle and help maintain good foliage character. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water depending upon exposure conditions and size.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Yucca
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Symmetrical, Solitary, Rigid, Dense
Growth Rate: Slow
Height: 4 ft. - 7 ft.
Width: 4 ft. - 7 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Blue green
Flower Color: Cream
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Specimen, Flowering accent plant, Container plant


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