Yucca plant care is relatively simple and well worthwhile given the many benefits this very low maintenance and popular indoor plant has to offer.
Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees from the Asparagaceae family, of the Agavoideae sub-family.
There are around 40 to 50 species and they’re well-known for their rosettes of evergreen, strong, and sword-shaped leaves. They also have large panicles of white or whitish flowers.
They originate from the hot, dry, usually arid parts of the Americas and the Caribbean.
However, they’ve adjusted to many different climatic and ecological conditions. You can see them growing in rocky desserts, prairies, grassland, and badlands.
It’s loved for its wide coloration-from green to blue with cream, white, and yellow varieties. They grow on large wooden stems.
In full maturity, a yucca plant is bold and has straight angular edges.
Yucca reminds you of a miniature palm tree or a Dracaena (dragon tree). They’re commonly found in plant markets or online.
Their size, depends very much on the species, so varies considerably.
The smaller yuccas tend to be less expensive; however, the taller ones are pricier and harder to find. Both are very stylish additions!
With just a little yucca plant care and attention, you’ll get lovely greenery from a drought-tolerant and pest-resistant plant.
Yucca Indoor Plant Benefits:
Did you know that its flower petals are edible?
They’re blanched for 5 minutes and then cooked with tomato, onions, and chilly or added in tortillas.
Like the rubber plant, the yucca is also one of the best air detoxifying plants according to a study done by NASA.
Good to Know:
Even though almost all of the yucca plant parts are edible, the stems or trunks have saponins that are toxic and have a soapy taste.
Warning: Vomiting and diarrhoea can occur with dogs and cats if ingested.
How to Care for a Yucca Plant
A yucca plant thrives when it’s exposed to full sunlight and this makes them the ideal choice for west-facing windows where many plants tend to burn up.
But, don’t worry-they also do great in bright, indirect sun-exposed area.
If you place it in a low-light part of your office or room, expect fewer flowers and a thinner plant.
One of the best things about yucca is its adjustability to various temperatures.
If there’s proper air flow, the plants can withstand anything from 30 degrees F to 90 degrees F.
This is why you’ll frequently notice them in lobbies and home entries where the temperature fluctuates.
Water & Humidity
Yucca loves a good watering, but it dislikes standing in water.
Make sure you water it regularly during the spring and summer and get a pot with proper drainage system.
It’s best to wait for the soil to dry between watering. In winter, water it from time to time and always remove surplus water.
In nature, the yucca grows in sandy and dry deserts. Indoors, it will need looser and well draining potting mix.
Combine it with some coarse horticultural sand and perlite for optimal drainage.
In the growing period from spring throughout summer, your yucca will need a dose of liquid fertilizer per month.
A good choice is a time-release nitrogen fertilizer that will encourage its growth and blooming.
Spread it evenly into a circle over the soil and then water the plant. Read the label instructions to learn the appropriate dosage.
Generally speaking, yuccas are slow growing so they need repotting every other year. The best time to do this is in spring.
Use a container that’s one size bigger than the current one and make sure you use fresh and proper soil.
Dig out the plant carefully and remove surplus soil around the roots prior to transplanting it in the fresh soil.
If you want to propagate a yucca plant, it’s best to do it with offsets or older plants.
Divide it or carefully cut away the offset and plant it in a different container.
Stem cuttings can also be used, around 4 inches together combined with a rooting hormone.
Best Yucca Species
Also known as the spineless yucca, this variety grows from a bulbous base and has long and sword-shaped leaves which don’t have the usual leaf-tip spine.
Being slow growers, they’ll live indoors for years before they outgrow their space. Expect cream white flowers in early summer.
This species is also called the Spanish bayonet and it has beautiful stiff and long leaves with sharpy points. It can grow up to 15 feet in height.
As the plant matures, it may become heavy and flop over.
Its leaves are white, bell-shaped, and aromatic.
Yucca smalliana is similar to the Adam’s needle yucca; however, this one has narrower leaves that are flattened and the flowers are smaller.
Their leaves are sword-like, yet softer and less sharp than the ones of the Spanish bayonet. The flowers are saucer-shaped and creamy white.
From time to time, you need to prune yuccas when they grow too tall for their space.
Gently take out the plant from the pot and use loppers to cut their trunk in half. Then, repot the rooted end of the trunk and pour water.
You can prune its flowers whenever you want, even when the plant isn’t blooming.
Use shears and cut the stalk, 3 to 4 inches above where the stalk grows from the main trunk.
Trouble Shooting- Common Issues
Problem: Webbed and speckled spots on its spears
Solution: Use neem oil or insecticidal soap and shower the plant with it using a spray bottle. Cut away the dead parts. Make sure you seal them prior to putting them in the trash.
Problem: Reddish-orange spots on the leaves
Cause: Fungal infection
Solution: Cut away the diseased leaves to prevent spreading and then apply a fungicidal spray.
Also, pay attention to the humidity your yucca gets-excessively low humidity can trigger brown tips in the leaves.
Problem: Wilting leaves
Cause: For some mature leaves of yucca, this is a normal occurrence.
Otherwise, it may be a result of several problems, including poor watering, shock after repotting or excessive fertilizer.
Solution: Make sure you water it properly and regularly and reduce the fertilization.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this yucca plant care article.
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