Nolina nelsonii is an outstanding feature plant, a succulent sometimes mistaken for an agave this on is from Mexico and will flower in spring.Commonly called the ‘Blue Nolina’ for the blue green foliage, this is a slow growing species however, over time it will form a thick trunk and reach over 6ft (2m) in height.
It tolerates heat and is also regarded as drought tolerant once established. related to the ‘Pony Tail Palm’ but with a different growth habit grow this one in the ground or in containers.
How to grow Nolina nelsonii
- You will need a position protected from heavy frosts and cold winters.
- Full sun is the best position to part afternoon shade.
- A well drained soil is essential. In poorly drained soils consider mounding up the soil to improve drainage.
- Add extra drainage material to most soils.
- Plant and water in well.
- Mulch lightly around the plant.
Never over water or allow the soil to become wet and soggy. A light to medium watering every month during dry periods should be sufficient. In most cases no extra water should be required.
Growing Nolina nelsonii in containers
If growing in containers ensure that you do not over pot, try for twice the diameter of the trunk, too much space allows water to remain and this can cause root problems. Depp pots are not required as the root system is shallow.
Use a specialist cactus and succulent potting mix.
As the plant grows you will need to repot and renew the soil, say every 3 – 4 years.
Removal of old foliage will expose the trunk and many gardeners prefer this look. Wait until the foliage has died back before pruning.
Nolina nelsonii will take 4 – 5 years before flowering and flowering time is from summer to autumn/fall.
The flowers are yellow and appear on tall spikes.
Usually from seed.
- Botanical Name: Nolina nelsonii
- Common Names: Blue Nolina, Nelson’s Bear Grass
- Origins: Mexico
- Position: Full sun to part shade
- Soil: Well drained
- Height: To 2m (6ft)
- Spread: To 1m (3ft)
- Growth Rate: Slow.
- Foliage Needle like, blue green in colour.
- Flowers: Pale buttery yellow on a tall spike around 1m plus above the foliage.
- Frost tolerant: Yes
- Drought tolerant: Yes
- Toxic to Cats and Dogs: Regarded as non toxic.