Color Guard Yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’)

Color Guard Yucca

  • Bright, Sword-Shaped Foliage Remains Evergreen
  • Variegated Form of Popular Adam’s Needle Yucca
  • Sculptural Accent
  • Unique, Hardy, Cactus-Like Specimen
  • Wonderful in Containers
  • Xeriscape Plant
  • Long Flower Stalk Produces Bell-Shaped, Creamy White Flowers
  • Drought, Heat, Cold and Humidity Tolerant
  • Extremely Easy-Care
  • Deer and Rabbit Resistant

Many homeowners are interested in Xeriscape to protect our precious water resources and to save money. Rock gardens, native plants can make that goal easy to achieve. One of the most ornamental varieties of the striking Yucca family is the Color Guard Yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’).

Be prepared to answer questions from curious passersby, especially in cold winter areas:

Is that a cactus?

Can we really grow this here?

What is that cool plant?

Color Guard Yucca is an outstanding ornamental shrub with beautiful, variegated yellow and green leaves. It thrives across nearly all of the United States, and is a low maintenance, drought tolerant option.

Color Guard Yucca is one of the most decorative Yucca varieties you will ever find! This spiky, cactus-like plant has beautifully bright, variegated leaves with a light stripe down the center of each leaf, all arranged in a dramatic, spherical rosette.

The pointed, blade-shaped leaves are evergreen. Tiny filaments adorn the edge of the broad, erect leaves year-round, adding texture to the overall effect.

Color Guard features a wonderful variegation that will brighten even the darkest corner of your garden. The vivid coloring remains striking in every season.

Every individual leaf is bordered by vibrant green in spring and summer, with a central line of bright yellow running down the center. As the weather turns colder, the color transitions into a red blush with hints of light pink on the foliage edges.

In mid-summer, watch for the flower stalk. It won’t take long before its soaring up to 6 feet above the rosette. Bell-shaped, creamy white flowers draw hummingbirds and add a tremendous amount of visual interest.

Color Guard has a clumping form with an upright, rounded nature. It’s an incredibly hardy plant. Color Guard Yucca is hardy way down to USDA Hardiness Zone 4. That’s cold! It can handle dry heat or high humidity without missing a beat.

This crafty plant has thick, fleshy roots that resemble sweet potatoes and store plenty of water. The finer roots travel deep and will find water. No need to waste money watering this plant after the first season or two.

It is the perfect Xeriscape plant for those hot, dry spots in your landscape. Use it as a colorful accent plant, specimen or even as an amazing container plant.

Yucca is such an amazing native plant, and Color Guard is one of the best varieties. It has it all—a hardy nature and vibrant color year-round. Deer and bunnies leave it alone. It’s even allergy free!

Color Guard Yucca is a highly ornamental and low maintenance shrub for your yard.

How to Use Color Guard Yucca in the Landscape

Color Guard Yucca is a phenomenal plant to add a distinctive evergreen presence through all growing seasons in your landscape. You’ll gain interest all year, including a wonderful wintertime show.

The most obvious use of this colorful broad-leaved evergreen is as a specimen to highlight your rock garden, or hot, dry berm planting. Include it with Octopus Agave and other cactus in an outdoor collection in Zones 9 – 10.

Use it with other Yucca varieties to turn heads in Zones 4 – 8. No need to fuss over this tough plant.

These would look terrific as a Thriller in containers on your back patio. Or, make a statement and showcase a quirky sense of humor by using one on either side of your front door. The delivery guy will definitely remember your house. Place the containers so people have plenty of room to move past them.

The point of landscaping is to have fun, after all!

Color Guard’s perfect rosette is small enough to include near the front of your landscape. Do keep in mind that the main plant may send up a 4-6 feet tall flower spike that blooms in summer.

Try it in informal drifts near the front or middle section of your shrub border. Map out a long, skinny, irregular shape with a single plant on either end, and use two or three plants deep near the middle of the drift.

Plant at least 2 ½ feet apart on center. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next. Vary the spacing between plants and keep the look curved and natural for a fantastic result.

Juxtapose the unique form against softer plants like Shrub Roses or Ornamental Grasses for a memorable planting. Mass plantings of Color Guard Yucca are the perfect answer for hot, dry slopes or rocky outcropping areas.

Enjoy your Yucca! It’s one of the most interesting native plants, in our humble opinion.

Tips for Care

Plant in well-drained soil of any type. It will survive in partial shade, but it reaches its full potential in bright sun. Give it at least 6 hours of direct sunlight for best results.

Establish new plants with a moderate amount of water. Once the root systems are established in your landscape, they’ll be drought tolerant, requiring a low amount of supplemental water.

Pruning these resilient plants is relatively easy. Wear gloves to protect your hands. Remove damaged leaves by holding the leaf tip in one hand. Then, simply cut that damaged leaf blade right down into the crown of the plant and remove. They are pointed and sharp, so please be careful when working around them.

As the flower stems finish blooming, cut the flower stalk way down into the crown of the plant. You’ll remove the flower stalk completely.

Yuccas are very resilient and require little maintenance. If you feel an overhaul is ever needed, simply cut off all of the leaves and allow all fresh new leaves to grow. They will bounce back quickly after a rejuvenation pruning, producing new leaves from the crown of the plant.

In Zone 4, give it water in fall before the cold winds come in. This will give it the best chance to fight off winter burn. If any of the sword-like blades do exhibit winter burn in early spring, it’s easy enough to take care of it. Simply remove any damaged leaves back into the crown. New leaves will emerge quickly from the crown of the plant as soon as the weather warms up.

Plant in well drained soils in full sun to part shade. The more sun, the better for this rugged living sculpture.

Color Guard Yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’) Details

Common name Color Guard Yucca
Botanical name Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'
Hardiness zone 4-10
Growth rate Medium
Height 3 ft.
Width 3 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Low
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color White
Leaf color Broad Leaved Evergreen