Looking for an indoor plant that is low-maintenance and striking? Apart from trying to grow your own orchids there are many other options! The Yucca plant is the one for you. You will be getting years of easy greenery since Yucca is a pest-resistant, slow-growing, drought-tolerant plant.
Plus, since it is very easy to propagate, you can share your love of indoor plants with your friends. Want to learn some gardening tips about the indoor care of your Yucca? In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know! Excited? Let’s get started!
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Most common Yucca varieties
Yucca plants have long, pointy, razor-sharp leaves. They grow in the form of rosettes and even produce a flower yearly. They are native to warmer parts of America and the Caribbean. The indoor ones don’t take up a lot of space and are slow-growers.
There are over 40 species of the Yucca genus. However, only a few of these are grown indoors. They are common outdoor plants in some areas and attain large heights. For indoor plants, people usually stick with the following two species.
1. Yucca Guatemalensis (Yucca Elephantipes)
This plant is known by its common name, Yucca cane or Spineless Yucca. It has a bulbous base and long, sword-shaped leaves that don’t have the leap-tip spine that typical leaves have.
When this plant matures, it grows into small, branched trees that have bare trunks topped with arching leaves. They are slow growers and can easily live indoors for several years before they outgrow their space. This species is the most popular one as a houseplant.
2. Yucca Aloifolia
This plant is also known as the Spanish bayonet. It has stiff leaves with sharp, pointy ends. The leaves can grow up to 0.6 meters in length. Due to its dangerously sharp leaves, it is not suitable for your home if you have pets or small kids around.
There are other species as well, such as Yucca Gloriosa and Yucca Filamentosa, but they are not very popular amongst users.
Things you need to know about Yucca plants
Before you go out and buy a Yucca houseplant, there are a few things that you should know about it.
1. Don’t Need a Lot of Attention
They don’t need a lot of attention and are very easy to grow. They are drought-resistant and you will not have to water them all the time. However, you will have to give it loads of bright light.
Overwatering your plant might be fatal for it, so make sure that you don’t overdo it. It is perfect for those who forget to take care of their indoor plants or have to go away on vacation or work for days at a time. You can keep it indoors all the time, but if you move it outside in the summer, your plant will definitely get a good boost.
2. Don’t Get Infected Easily
They are healthy and hardly get infected by pests. However, infections can happen at times. Keep the leaves from getting wet and make sure that the soil is well-drained, otherwise, your plant will get root rot.
3. Height & Width of the Plant
The height and width of the plant depend on the species that you get. Small plants have a height of about 0.6m to 1.2m while others can be as tall as 12 meters. Yucca plants can be easily grown from offsets, seed, or cuttings. If you are going to keep the plant indoors, you can plant the seeds at any time. For outdoor plants, you will have to plant them in spring.
4. Flower of the Yucca
When will your plant bloom? Well, this is unpredictable in the case of Yucca plants. Some plants grow a flower in spring while others bloom in early fall or late summer. The flowers usually emerge from the plant’s centre and are quite tall.
They are usually cream or white in colour. However, a few plant species even have pink, green, or even purple blossoms. In Central America, the flower petals of a Yucca plant are a food delicacy. In Mexico, people prepare them with chilli, tomato, and onions. Plus, people also boil their leaves and sprinkle them with lemon juice.
Yucca plant care
Under favourable conditions, the Yucca plant is not very difficult to take care of. They don’t need a lot of attention. Just make sure that you cover the following aspects.
Yucca plants love the full sunlight. They are great for west-facing and south-facing windows that receive maximum light. They also survive in places that are bright and get indirect light. If you grow the plant in low light, be prepared to have thin leaves and fewer flowers.
Naturally, you will find them growing in sandy and dry deserts. However, when you are growing a Yucca plant indoors, you should get a loose potting mix that is well-drained. The potting mix doesn’t have to be rich or specially formulated. Simply get a bag of affordable, inexpensive potting mix. Then, you should add some perlite and horticultural-grade sand to help with drainage.
When it comes to watering your plant you need to do it the right way as Yucca is very sensitive. Water the plant every other day in spring and summer when it is growing season, but sporadically in the winter. Ensure that your plant dries in between the watering and has excellent drainage. It is not a good idea to let the plant sit in a tray full of water as this will damage its roots.
4. Humidity & Temperature
As we previously mentioned, it grows in deserts where the temperature is extremely high in the day and extremely low at night. Therefore, it can adapt to most temperature conditions easily. Since they are desert plants, they grow in dry conditions but prefer moderate humidity.
The plant doesn’t need regular fertilizer. During the growing season, fertilize the plant with controlled-release or liquid fertilizer as per the instructions given on the label. Usually, you have to fertilize the plant once every month.
Yucca plants and propagating
If you want to propagate the plant, there are several ways to do so. The easiest way is using offsets.
Simply cut an offset from your Yucca plant. If there is any foliage, remove it and then place the offset in the ground. Water the plant regularly and after some time, the plant will start to grow. Usually, it is better to propagate the plant that way during spring.
2. Root Cuttings
Propagating the Yucca plant via root cuttings is slightly more complicated but it is a fast way of propagation. You can use root cuttings for propagation in either spring or winter. Dig around the plant root and cut off a small section. Let the cutting dry for almost two days before you place it in a container. Water the cutting regularly. Keep it away from direct sunlight.
3. Plant Seeds
You can use plant seeds as well, but this process is relatively lengthy. Once Yucca produces flowers, the pods of the flower are full of seeds. Collect the seeds carefully. Store them for a few months, preferably in winter.
If you plant these seeds in early spring, you will be the proud owner of a small Yucca plant at the beginning of summer. Plant the seeds in well-draining soil, keeping the soil slightly moist. Once a few sprouts emerge, keep the pot near a window under full sun.
Potting, repotting and pruning
Here are a few details that you will find very useful:
Yuccas do quite well inside a pot as long as you have measured and found the ideal plant pot and they are slightly pot-bound. Ensure that the pot is well-drained. Once they become heavy enough to tip their containers over, you will have to think about taking them into a new pot. However, you don’t have to re-pot the plants for at least two to three years.
It can be difficult to repot large ones. Therefore, you can refresh the potting soil of a large one by digging out about 4 to 5 cm of soil and replacing it with new soil. While repotting the Yucca, you have to remove it from its container and move it to a new container that is one size larger. We recommend that the potting soil you use should always be fresh.
When the plant grows too tall for your indoor space, you will have to prune it back. Gently remove the plant from the pot. With the help of a saw, cut the plant’s truck in half. Repot the end of the trunk with roots and water the plant.
If you are going to prune the flowers of the plant, you don’t have to wait for it to bloom. With the help of a pair of sharp pruning shears simply cut the stalk off, almost 8 to 10 cm above the place where the stalk grows from the trunk of the plant.
Yucca plants are ideal houseplants as they are easy to grow and require very little attention. As long as you don’t water them excessively and provide them with sunlight, they will brighten up your home with a dash of greenery!
Hopefully, you will find the care tips and tricks that we have mentioned above for taking excellent care of yours useful. Once the plant blooms, you will fall in love with the alluring cream-ish or white flowers! And don’t forget! You can grow outdoor Yucca plants in your garden as well.