Growing succulents and Yucca

Asked March 12, 2018, 5:20 PM EDT


How do I prepare the soil for a succulent garden? Also hoping to grow Yucca in the same area. Will that work?



Denver County Colorado

3 Responses

Hi, Marilyn,

Generally, succulents and yuccas that are hardy to your cold hardiness zone will be successful in the Denver area if given a sunny location with good drainage. They don't want a rich, humus-y soil. If you have heavy clay, you can amend the soil with some crusher fines or pea gravel to improve drainage but avoid amending clay with sand because you don't want to wind up with adobe. If the succulents are borderline hardy, make sure they are in a location that gets winter sunlight because they won't want 'wet feet' over the winter. With Agaves, it sometimes helps to plant a little high to encourage water to drain away from the crown. Another good practice is planting them in a trough. If you can find one, plant a Yucca glauca, the native yucca to the high plains which should be happy in native soils.

Good luck!

Thanks. Is it good to add some perlite or vermiculite to the soil?

I would avoid that.

If you are near the Denver Botanic Gardens the weekend of March 31- April 1, bring your questions to the 45th Annual Show and Sale of the Colorado Cactus and Succulent Society. Meanwhile, here is a link to their website: If you click on the 'Resources' link you will find lots of information for beginners about best soils for growing cactus and succulents.