The Complete Guide for Adam’s Needle (Yucca Filamentosa) Care


The Adam’s Needle, otherwise known as the Yucca Filamentosa is a well-known cactus/succulent native to the Southeast, Northeast, and the Southwest of the United States.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this cactus/succulent will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its dark green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Adam’s Needle Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Adam’s Needle are the following:

  • Water: The Adam’s Needle grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.
  • Light: Keep your Yucca Filamentosa in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Adam’s Needle in well-drained soil, made from sand, chalk and loam.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Adam’s Needle is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Scientific and Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Adam’s Needle belongs to the Asparagaceae family, the genus Yucca and the species Filamentosa, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Yucca Filamentosa.

As with other Yucca’s, the Adam’s Needle is a evergreen plant, which means it will be present year-round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Adam’s Needle is a plant native to the Long Island and PA and s. to FL and LA. This is why the Yucca Filamentosa is used to growing in specific regions such as the states in Southeast, Northeast, and the Southwest of the United States.

You might be wondering why your Adam’s Needle’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Yucca Filamentosa will be most used to the heat zones in the 5 – 11 region, as the plants hardiness falls between 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Adam’s Needle is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But, how big does the Adam’s Needle actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Yucca Filamentosa can grow up to 3′ – 8′ (90cm – 240cm) in 3′ – 8′ (90cm – 240cm) and 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm) in 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm). 

This is a relatively medium size for a cactus/succulent, so it’s best to keep that in mind since it will likely impact where you want it to be placed. 

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 24″ – 36″ (60cm – 90cm) free so the Adam’s Needle can spread to its best extent.

Watering

In terms of watering, the Adam’s Needle is a fairly simple plant to take care of, this is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and some rather regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Yucca Filamentosa grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot. Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low needs in terms of water. 

The Adam’s Needle is well known around plant enthusiasts for its drought resistance, so don’t worry if you miss one or a couple of watering sessions, your leafy friend will be just fine.

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep the soil of the Adam’s Needlewell-drained as these are the right conditions for this plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Adam’s Needle is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Adam’s Needle prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, chalk and loam.

This is why most experts agree that the Adam’s Needle requires soil with clay, loam (silt), sand, and shallow rocky, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil, with a specific acidity level of around neutral (6.0-8.0) so your Adam’s Needle can thrive. 

Light and Placement

In terms of light & exposure, the Adam’s Needle requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this cactus/succulent will do well as long as you keep it in full sun and it will be able to grow properly. 

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Yucca Filamentosa in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being an evergreen plant, the Adam’s Needle will be present year round in your garden. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.

Flowers

You can expect your Adam’s Needle to flower around the summer months from July to September (summer). In particular, this cactus/succulent is well known for its fragrant and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Adam’s Needle produces some wonderful white, or white flowers around this time of year. Regarding the inflorescence (or arrangement) of its flowers, you can find them organized in a panicle shape, sitting at around 1-3 inches in size.

Foliage

The leaves from the Adam’s Needle have a beautiful dark green color during most of the year. In particular, they have a simple arrangement with an rosulate organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Yucca Filamentosa to be around (> 6 inches ) in size and ( 1-3 inches) in width.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Adam’s Needle is well known for being able to attract hummingbirds, small mammals, bees, moths, and songbirds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

The Adam’s Needle is well known for its tolerance to salt, rocky soil, drought and animals like rabbit and deer,so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Yucca Filamentosa will be fine.

Problems

We’ve mainly covered the ‘pros’ of having a Adam’s Needle, now let’s cover the potential problems or issues that you might encounter with your new leafy friend.

Let’s start broad. Plant experts from around the world have deemed the Yucca Filamentosa to be often a problem for animals such as dogs, cats and even horses,

Garden

Now, let’s talk garden and how your Adam’s Needle will look best in it.

Most Yucca Filamentosa owners agree that this cactus/succulent will look great in most contemporary and Mediterranean gardens of all types. Others, consider that they compliment well most gardens of gravel and rock garden, city and courtyard, coastal garden, and in Mediterranean garden, styles. 

In particular, the Adam’s Needle’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, others use it for landscaping in a container, poolside, coastal exposure, firescaping/fire wise, or a specimen.

Companion Plants

Adam’s Needle’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Cistus x ‘Brilliancy’, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Rosmarinus officinalis will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Adam’s Needle, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

Recent Posts