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Our Lords candle is a striking rosette-shaped perennial with stiff and sharply pointed gray-green leaves, growing with a spherical shape 3-4 ft. tall and 6 ft wide. Dramatic floral displays are produced by mature plants from late spring into summer, consisting of hundreds of fragrant small white flowers displayed on the top of 6-12 ft. tall spikes. This is a monocarpic species; plants die after flowering. Formerly known as Yucca whipplei, Our Lord's candle can be grown in warm and sunny exposures throughout the Inland Empire.

Our Lords candle is one of the most distinctive signature plants among California's native flora. Both its vegetative growth habit and flowering character have made it an icon of dry landscape settings. It is easy to grow in cultivation with good drainage and little summer water. It provides striking accent value in native gardens and in combination with rocks; flowering can occur after 5-6 years of growth. Careful placement is important to reduce the hazard posed by its sharply pointed leaves.

Water Needs

Our Lord's candle grows in sunny locations on well drained soils and normal winter rainfall. Periodic deep watering in summer helps sustain this plant through the dry season in ornamental gardens. The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water.

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, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Dense
Growth Rate: Slow
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.
Width: 6 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: White
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Slopes, Rock gardens, Hummingbird plant, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Background plant, Attracts butterflies


Most Chaparral Yucca plants will die following blooming. Remove plants once they are dead. Make sure to plant where it has enough space to grow to full size without its sharp leaf tips being a hazard to people (well away from paths, etc.). If the plant is too close to a path or patio and has to have leaves trimmed, it will never look good again (D,S).



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