Yucca plant care indoor

Yucca Houseplant Care: Tips For Growing Yucca In Containers

Growing a yucca plant indoors adds a focal point to a room or works as part of an attractive, indoor display. Growing yucca in containers is a great way to bring the outdoors inside in a large way, although some potted yucca plants are small in size.

Growing Yucca Plant Indoors

More than 20 species of yucca exist. Coloration on yucca plants range from green to bluish with variegations of cream, yellow and white, depending on the cultivar. Yucca plants grow on canes, or large, woody stems.

Once placed in a sunny to partly shaded location indoors, yucca houseplant care is easy. When growing the yucca plant indoors, try to locate it in a partially shaded area of bright, but indirect light for better leaf color. Potted yucca plants may grow in full sun and flourish, but will often have browning tips or white, necrotic spots on the leaves.

How to Care for a Yucca Houseplant

Both yucca plants indoors and outside have low water requirements and are even somewhat drought tolerant.

Light fertilization can help establish the plant when growing yucca in containers, but is not needed for established plants.

Soil may be poor quality, but should be heavy enough to hold the plant upright. It must also be well-draining. For best performance of potted yucca plants, the soil should retain some of the water and nutrients. A three to one mixture of sand and peat is a good medium for growing yucca in containers.

Division from the offsets, called pups, provides you with more potted yucca plants. Remove the plant from its container (preferably outside) and remove the pup with a clean, sharp cut. Rooting compound may be applied to encourage root development on the baby, but is not necessary in most situations.

Suckers will sometimes appear on canes of potted yucca plants and may also be used for growing yucca in containers. The underground rhizome from which the plant grows can be divided as well.

Yucca houseplant care can include moving the plant outdoors when temperatures have warmed in spring or summer. Frost or freeze can damage the yucca houseplant. When moving growing yucca in containers outside, you should place them in an area with gentle morning sun and afternoon shade.

Now that you’ve learned how to care for a yucca houseplant, add one to a sunny, indoor room. The right yucca houseplant care will make your plant long-lived and help it produce more pups.

Introduction

The Yucca plant is a widely popular drought tolerant evergreen garden perennial. This US native plant has many species and varieties that grow well in our gardens (e.g., Yucca aloifolia, Yucca filamentosa, Yucca gloriosa). There are also plenty of awesome variegated forms to choose from. Here at Plant Delights Nursery we have been growing Yucca plants in our garden for over 25 years and we want to share the top tips for growing Yucca plants as well as the names of our favorite yuccas.
Yucca aloifolia ‘Variegata’

Tip #1 – How much Sun Should a Yucca Receive?

Yuccas should receive full sun to part sun. Low light levels cause spindly growth and fewer flowers. And nobody likes a skinny Yucca.

Tip #2 – How Much Water Should a Yucca Receive?

Yucca flaccida ‘Color Guard’

Yucca plants are quite drought tolerant due to their thick waxy leaves so they don’t require much water after establishment. However, landscape specimens always look better with regular watering during the growing season (spring and summer)…about an inch per week is enough. Yuccas are very drought tolerant so if you forget to water them for a few weeks or a few years, they will survive just fine.

Tip #3 – In What Type of Soil Should You Plant a Yucca?

Yucca flaccida ‘Golden Sword’

As long as it is well-draining, Yucca does not care what type of soil you plant it in. How great is that? Low pH or high pH… sand or clay…a yucca plant will be happy in just about anything.

Tip #4 – How to Prune a Yucca

Yucca aloifolia

Pruning a yucca plant is easy but uncomfortable. Old leaves on the bottom of yuccas naturally die and turn brown. Trunked yuccas like Yucca aloifolia will develop a ‘skirt’ of old leaves much like a palm tree does and they can be pruned away or left in place depending on your aesthetic…some people like their yuccas with a skirt and others prefer skirt-less yucca plants. If your Yucca aloifolia gets too tall for its spot in the garden, you can cut the trunk (in early spring prior to the growing season) to a better height and the yucca plant will resprout from the cut point. Both Yucca aloifolia and Yucca filamentosa can produce offsets that you may wish to prune away to keep them in-bounds. Yucca flower stalks turn ugly after flowering is over and they can be cut to the ground unless you intend to collect the seeds. When you prune a yucca, it goes without saying that you need to protect yourself from the leaves which are often sharp.

Tip #5 – What is the Best Location for a Yucca in Your Garden

Yucca flaccida ‘Wilder’s Wonderful’

Sharp-tipped leaves mean you should plant yucca plants away from sidewalks, paths, mailboxes and driveways. Individual Yucca plants can grow 3′ wide and with offsets, a Yucca clump can be several times that so give your garden visitors plenty of space to walk around your Yucca.

Tip #6 – How to Propagate Yucca

Yucca filamentosa var. concava

You can propagate Yucca via division, root cuttings, stem cuttings and seeds. Stems and offsets can be cut, the bottom few inches stripped of leaves and the cuttings planted and treated gently until they root. You can collect yucca seeds, and plant them out but be patient as the seeds are slow to sprout. You can also use a shovel to dig up a section of rhizome, cut it into 3 inch sections and plant them. You should see growth from rhizome cuttings in about a month. It is quite easy to turn one yucca into a flock-o-yuccas.

Tip #7 – Our favorite Yucca Plants

Here at Plant Delights Nursery we have grown dozens of different Yucca species and cultivars over the years. Species that we really like are Yucca filamentosa, Yucca aloifolia, and Yucca gloriosa. There are several variegated cultivars that we especially like including, Golden Sword Yucca and Yucca Color Guard. Both Golden Sword and Color Guard Yucca may be sold as Yucca filamentosa or Yucca flaccida as those pesky plant taxonomists have got us growers all mixed up.

With these 7 simple tips you can create a desert oasis in your garden with Yucca plants. Enjoy!

Exotic Flowers in Boston

The yucca plant originated in the hot dry areas of the Americas and the Caribbean. It is an incredibly resistant plant which can adapt to pretty much any climate; it is becoming more and more popular as a garden or indoor addition, thanks to the fact that it is easy to care for, beautiful and has various uses, such as being a powerful air cleaner.

There are around 40 species of yucca and around 24 subspecies, so there are a variety of shapes, sizes and colors to choose from to display your plant and floral personality and style.

photo via ftd.com

Tips for Growing Your Yucca Indoors

A yucca plant inside can add a wonderful focal point to your living room or be part of an interesting indoor display. They are easily adaptable so they are perfect for displaying indoors as well as outdoors, although indoor yucca plants are usually smaller in size. As more than 40 species of yucca exist, coloration can vary greatly: they can range from the classic green to bluish with variegations of white, cream and yellow and delicate beautiful flowers.

Yucca plant care is simple and straightforward; yuccas grow on large woody stems or canes do not require much attention. The ideal placement is in a sunny to partly shaded location; indirect light greatly helps leaf color, as full exposure to sunlight might cause browning tips or white spots on the leaves.

Yucca plants, both indoors and outdoors, require little water and are actually drought tolerant to some extent. A light fertilization can help the plant grow when it is being grown in container, but it is not necessary for plants which are already established. Soil quality doesn’t really matter but it should be heavy enough to maintain the plant upright and well-draining. Aim for a three to one mixture of sand and peat to grow yucca effectively in containers.

The Many Uses of Yucca Plants

Yucca plants are not only a stylish indoor addition but also have many surprising uses.

The yucca is one of the top-rated air cleaning plants which can remove toxins from the air, according to an important NASA study.

The yucca is also edible, especially certain species such as the banana yucca and the soapweed yucca, which produce succulent flowers and fruit. The roots are also edible; although they do not taste as good as the fruit and flowers, they are natural anti-inflammatories.

Yuccas can help you with your washing and beauty routine as well. In fact, it is a key ingredient in natural shampoo and the Native Americans used the roots and trunk of the soaptree yucca (yucca elata) to make soap to wash hair and clothes. It can be quite easy, not to mention satisfying to make your own yucca soap at home! Yucca is also a wonderful skin salve, as it nurtures cuts and scrapes.

According to the Native Americans, a yucca symbolizes transmutation, protection and purification. With its many uses, beautiful flowers and stylish look, a yucca can be the perfect low maintenance addition to your living room.

Yucca

What is Yucca?

The name yucca applies to as many as 40 species of trees and shrubs found mostly in arid portions of North America. The common names noted above can apply to different species. The Spanish bayonet is Y. aloifolia and Our Lord’s candle is Y. whipplei. Other common yuccas include Y. schidigera (Mohave yucca) and Y. brevifolia (Joshua tree), which grows to 60 feet in height and commonly is found at the bases of desert mountains. Yucca plants are characterized by stiff, evergreen, sword-shaped leaves crowded on a stout trunk. There is a dense terminal flowerhead faintly resembling a candle. The flowers are white or greenish. All yucca plants depend for pollination on nocturnal yucca moths. Each variety of moth is adapted to a single species of yucca.

Scientific Name(s)

Yucca spp

Common Name(s)

Yucca also is known as Spanish bayonet, Our Lord’s candle, Joshua tree, and Adam’s needle.

What is it used for?

Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses

For centuries, yucca plants have served American Indians for a variety of uses including fiber for rope, sandals and cloth; the roots have been used in soap. The Indians and early Californian settlers used the green pods for food. Indian uses included boiling and baking the fruits, eating the blossoms, chewing the raw leaves and fermenting the fruits to produce a beverage for rituals.

Miscellaneous uses

The plant has been purported to be beneficial for treating colitis, hypertension, arthritis, and migraine headaches. One report found that the oral administration of daily doses of a yucca saponin extract was effective and well-tolerated for the treatment of various arthritic conditions. Interestingly, these patients also had significant reductions in blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels, and a reduction in the incidence of migraine headaches from baseline. This limited evidence suggests the extract may be effective in the management of arthritis, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. More clinical research is needed. Yucca also has been used in soaps, shampoos, and food supplements. Yuccas contain saponins that have a long-lasting soaping action. A solid extract is derived from the leaves; the Mohave yucca is the most common commercially used plant. Current commercial uses of yucca extracts include foaming agents in carbonated beverages, flavorings, and for use in drug synthesis research.

What is the recommended dosage?

There is no recent clinical evidence upon which dosing recommendations for yucca can be based.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not yet been determined.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Side Effects

Research reveals little or no information regarding adverse reactions with the use of this product.

Toxicology

Little is known about the toxicity of yucca plants.

1. Yucca. Review of Natural Products. factsandcomparisons4.0 . 2005. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed April 23, 2007.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Medical Disclaimer

More about yucca

Professional resources

  • Yucca (Advanced Reading)

Trimming

A trimming of the Yucca is not necessarily required. Everybody can decide on their own how big the Yucca is supposed to become. If the plant becomes too big, it won’t be harmful to cut off a few parts. These parts should be cut off directly at the trunk. The trimming can be carried out all year but it is advantageously for the Yucca if it takes place during spring.

Reproduction

The best time for reproduction of the Yucca is spring. The Yucca can be reproduced easily through separation, because it quickly develops new sprouts afterwards. In doing so you should pay attention to not letting the plant suffer under lack of light, since it otherwise produces insufficient or no leaves at all.

The following materials are fundamental for reproducing the Yucca:

  • a saw or a sharp knife
  • grafting or paraffin wax
  • remedy for wound closure
  • vase
  • a pot with potting soil

At first the sprouts are cut off with a sharp knife or saw. The ideal length of the cuttings is 25 to 30 centimeters. The coating of the cut surfaces with the remedy for wound closure provides a quicker healing. Afterwards the cut surfaces are sealed by drizzling grafting or paraffin wax over them.

With this little but still important step you preserve the plant from drying out. The Yucca can be shortened to any height. This applies also for the case, when there are no more leaves. After a few weeks the plants will sprout from the so-called ‘latent Bud’.

The cut shoots should now be placed in a glass or vase with water. It must be pointed out that no leaves are submerged in water. Subsequently the 20 – 30 centimeter big cuttings are put into loose soil and there they ideally are reproduced together with the plant. After the pruning the Yucca will be thankful to stand in a semi-shaded place outside.

Overwintering

The climate in our country does not correspond with that of its natural habitat. This requires a lot of carefulness in matters of overwintering. The plant prefers dry to slightly moist high temperatures, however some kinds are hardy. The binding and wrapping in a blanket can assist with the overwintering.

The plant itself can in no case become too moist or wet under the blanket. Every Yucca needs a certain time to adapt to the winter. When it is getting dark early and the temperatures fall, it can happen that the leaves roll in or shrink, since the plant automatically reduces its metabolism.

Diseases

The wrong procedure during the overwintering of the Yucca in the house is often the source of many diseases. Therefore you have to carefully make several precautions. The Yucca ideally overwinters in a bright and cool area with a room temperature of 5 to 10 degrees. The lower the temperature is the less water it needs in order to prevent the root from rotting. Obligatory for the survival of the plant during the winter is the constant supply with fresh air as well as the steady inspection of the plant for a pest infestation, which predominantly occurs during the winter.

Spider mites and coccids belong to the most tenacious pests and often stray on the leaves of the plant. If the plant is standing in a too warm place, it will be weakened additionally and more prone to pests. In that case a change of the location combined with a repotting if necessary can be the solution.

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