A potted yucca marginata.

I stumbled upon this plant a few years ago in a “big box” store. Its variegated golden color caught my eye—and because it was a succulent, I was drawn to it as a low-water plant. I hoped that it would hold up in full sun—and that I would not have run drip irrigation to it.

My hopes came true. This slow-growing yucca has become one of my favorite plants to use to create a tropical effect, without it needing constant water. It does well in full sun, although as we all do, it would prefer a little afternoon respite. It is a clean plant, requiring water every two weeks (with a deep soaking) in the summer, and monthly watering in the winter. It’s the perfect plant for an entryway, a pool area or anywhere you want something just a little different.

The flowing soft leaves on this large, handsome yucca are green-centered and yellow-edged, approximately three feet in length, arching from an eventual 3-plus-foot trunk. (Remember I did say slow-growing!) Large trusses of white flowers open in summer. The botanical name is yucca recurvifolia “marginata.”

This talk of “marginata” makes me think of margaritas. There could very well be a drink made with yucca flowers (they’re edible), and a “Google” search revealed the following drink: A Yucca Cocktail.

I have no idea why this simple drink is named for the plant, as there is no relationship. It apparently tastes like a great lemonade—but it’s potent, so drink with caution and responsibility!

  • 10 sliced lemons
  • 10 sliced limes
  • 3 pounds of sugar
  • 1/2 gallon of vodka
  • 8 pounds of ice