Is The Yucca Plant a Palm Tree?

Yucca plants are exotic popular houseplants known for their big pointy leaves with thick stems. If you’ve been wondering if the Yucca plant is a palm tree, we don’t blame you as they look quite similar.

The Yucca plant is a perennial evergreen shrub also called ‘Palm Lily’ due to its similarity to a Palm tree. However, the Yucca plant is not a Palm tree since they do not belong to the same family, although they do belong to the same superorder Lilianae.

In this article, you can learn everything you need to know about the Yucca plant, why it is not a Palm tree, and how to take good care of it.

Is The Yucca Plant a Palm Tree?

Despite their similarities, Yucca plants are not palm trees.

Botanically speaking they are classified differently:

Yucca PlantAgavePalm Tree
Super Order: Lilianae
Order: Asparagales
​Family:​ Asparagaceae
Genus: Yucca

Super Order:​ Lilianae
Order: Asparagales
​Family:​ Asparagaceae
Genus: Agave
Super Order: Lilianae
Order: Arecales
​Family:​ Arecaceae

In reality, Yucca plants are closer to Agave plants than to Palm trees. Yucca, Agave, and Asparagus belong to the Asparagaceae family while Palms belong to the Arecaceae family.

Nevertheless, Yucca is still related to Palms by being part of the same superorder of monocots – Lilianae.

Where Does The Yucca Plant Come From?

Yucca Plants

The Yucca plants have been existing on planet Earth for about 20 million years. Throughout the years, the species continued to grow and evolve, and now you can find around 50 different species.

One of the most known species is the Yucaa elephantipes also called ‘giant palm lily’. Yuccas adopted the name ‘palm lily’ due to its lily-shaped flowers and big spikey leaves that highly resemble big palm tree leaves.

Their original habitat is in Central America and at high altitudes in Mexico. However, these giant palm lilies are also popular in southern Europe where they can be found in parks, gardens, and as indoor decorative plants.

The Yucca plant is perfect as a houseplant if you’re a beginner as it’s not a demanding plant to nourish and grow. It will also create an exotic ambiance thanks to the large cluster of flowers it produces. You will have your garden filled with white bell-shaped flowers that rise from the center of the plant. Make sure that you have some space as they can grow up to 12 ft. (3.6 m) in height.

What Kind of Flowers Does the Yucca Plant Produce?

Yucca produces creamy white bell blooms that resemble lilies which are fascinating to look at and create a tropical atmosphere. A mature plant in a good environment usually blooms its beautiful flowers in the summer season, when the weather is warm.

Yucca Plant Flowers

Make sure your plant has enough access to bright light and nutrients to boost its growth and blooms. If your yucca is in a shady corner of the house it may not flower.

How To Take Care Of Yucca Plants

Yucca plants are low-maintenance when it comes to caring for them. Both indoor and outdoor Yuccas require minimal care and once planted in their landscape, they manage quite well with taking care of themselves.

In terms of environmental conditions, Yuccas are drought resistant and can make it through many months without water. They are not too difficult when it comes to sun or shade, but if you keep them indoors, make sure that they get enough sunlight.

The below tips can help you when growing Yucca plants:

  • Soil: yucca plants like sandy, well-draining soil.
  • Light: make sure they get plenty of sunlight with good airflow. Indoors, they will be happy with direct sunlight or bright indirect light.
  • Watering: when you notice that the soil is dry, water the Yucca plants. Otherwise, you don’t need to add water to it.
  • Pruning: you can remove dead brown leaves and spent flower stalks using a pair of sharp shears and gloves.

How Often Should I Water the Yucca Plant?

Between spring and autumn, you may need to water your indoor Yucca plant about once a week and it will be sufficient enough for it to grow. During the colder months in winter, you may only need to water it once a month.

Don’t follow these instructions strictly. It is always best to check if the soil is dry before giving this plant a drink.

The Yucca plant originated from very hot and dry regions. Make sure not to flood it with water as it doesn’t need too much to sustain itself. It’s important that the Yucca leaves are not too wet at any time, otherwise, it will suffocate with water as it stores the water in its trunk. If you notice that the soil layer is still wet or damp, you don’t need to water it.

All in all, to avoid overwatering, make sure the plant is not sitting in water, the pot’s got good drainage holes, well-draining soil, and only water it when the soil is fairly dry.


If you are thinking of growing plants indoors or in your garden, Yucca plants are perfect to start with. They require low maintenance and can sufficiently take care of themselves if outdoors.

Despite the similarities, Yuccas are not Palm trees. In fact, they are not trees at all, as they are monocots and they don’t have a wooden trunk. However, they are an easy way to give your garden or home that tropical look.

All you need to do is to make sure it has nutritious well-draining soil, enough sunlight, and only water the plant when it really needs a drink. Before you know it, you will be marveling at their beautiful exotic white lilies.