Yucca is a common succulent closely related to agaves. There are over 40 species of the spiky plant that grow throughout North America including the US, Mexico, and even one species in Canada! Additionally, they are common in parts of Central America and the Caribbean. Yucca species vary from small, low-lying shrub-like plants to huge, hundreds year old Joshua trees. Being succulents, they thrive in arid regions like deserts, where they flower regularly.
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These tough-as-nails specimens are normally potted in groupings of three to five canes that are topped with blue-green foliage for a palm tree-like effect, but without the drama. Also called stick yuccas or yucca cane plants, they thrive in average indoor growing conditions, with few pest problems.
Thanks to its adaptability, most indoor gardeners can find a favorable location for a yucca plant. Related: Caring for Houseplants in Winter — 8 Tips. Yucca plants are known for their tough, evergreen, sword-shaped leaves and large spikes of white flowers.
The group includes 40 to 50 species of perennial shrubs and small trees that are native to hot, dry areas of North and South America and the Caribbean. Only one, Yucca elephantipes , is truly suitable for use as a houseplant, thanks to its spineless foliage, manageable size, and compatibility with indoor growing conditions.
In the wild, it grows up to 30 feet tall in a tree-like form. Unlike other yuccas, it lacks spines at the tips of its leaves. It features narrow, blue-green leaves up to 3 inches wide and 4 feet long on mature plants. The leaves grow in spiral rosettes. In a landscape setting, white flowers rise on stalks above the foliage in early summer. Container plants stay much smaller and rarely flower. Indoor yucca plant care starts with lean, well-draining soil.
Whatever container you choose absolutely must have drain holes. These thrifty plants do not require a rich, high nutrient mix, but will suffer with too much moisture. Use potting soil made of coarse organic material and perlite that absorbs water and releases it slowly for the plant to use. Some gardeners amend regular potting soil with an equal amount of perlite for improved aeration and drainage, which works well.
Bear in mind, though, that the soil needs to anchor the plant in an upright position. Lighting is another important factor in the care of yucca plants. A wide light tolerance is one of the reasons that yucca makes an excellent houseplant choice.
In low to medium light, yucca plants will live but grow much more slowly. As a rule of thumb, yucca should do well in any room with an unobstructed window. However, the less light that streams in, the nearer you should place your yucca to the window. Avoid locations with low-to-zero natural light. When it comes to watering yucca plants, it is best to err on the dry side.
Yuccas readily bounce back from drought stress, but consistent overwatering leads to root rot and death. Do not water yucca on a timed schedule. Water when the top half of the soil is dry.
When you water, thoroughly saturate the soil to the point of runoff, then discard the runoff. Yucca houseplants are quite nutrient thrifty. They require feeding only twice a year, in spring and again in midsummer, with a balanced time-release fertilizer. For faster growth, it is safe to supplement with liquid plant food at normal watering times.
Dilute liquid fertilizer to quarter-strength, and use it to replace plain water. Once a month, use plain water, instead of the weak fertilizer solution, to eliminate any accumulated fertilizer salts that could damage the plant. Of all the factors related to yucca plant care, indoor temperature and humidity are the easiest to provide.
Yucca plants tolerate a wider temperature range than many other popular indoor plants. The ideal range is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they are perfectly at home at 50 degrees or 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Some gardeners move them outdoors for the summer, while others keep them in cool sunrooms through winter.
In extremely dry air, yucca foliage might turn brown at the edges, but in most homes the air offers ample moisture to keep the leaves looking great. The easiest way to propagate spineless yucca is with stem cuttings. In late spring or summer, use a clean, sharp knife or pruning shears to take a cutting 4 inches below the foliage. Remove any brown or yellow leaves, and place the cutting in a cool, dry, dark place for two or three days.
Water the soil and place the potted cutting in an area with bright, indirect light. Roots will begin to develop within four weeks. By the end of two months, the plant should have ample roots so that you can pot it up into a larger container.
Yucca presents a few safety concerns that gardeners should keep in mind. The sap and foliage contain a toxic compound that, while not necessarily deadly, can cause serious gastrointestinal discomfort. It affects cats, dogs, and people, so those with pets and young children should beware.
Additionally, the sap is allergenic and particles can easily become airborne. If you regularly get the sniffles around plants, this one will probably trigger those sensitivities.
Just when you thought you had a handle on yucca plant care, yellow leaves appear. While yucca is a hardy plant that normally resists most pests and diseases, poor soil conditions or association with infested plants can lead to problems.
Follow the best watering practices noted above to prevent root rot. Read on for bug-related solutions. Spider mites , scale , or mealybugs might invade after traveling from a nearby infested plant. Begin treatment by isolating the yucca and any other infested plants from healthy plants. Clean most of the pests, webs, and egg sacks from the foliage by wiping it down with a cloth soaked in a solution of one part isopropyl alcohol and three parts water.
Then treat with an appropriate insecticide for the targeted pest. Read on for more about yucca plant care. Yucca elephantipes is a popular indoor plant in most of North America. In USDA zones 9 and higher, it grows well outdoors. In zones 5 through 10, Y. Yuccas have adapted to hold their dead leaves for a period of time as protection for younger, more tender parts of the trunk. Outdoors, it is best to leave them until they come off naturally.
Indoors it is perfectly fine to remove yellowing or brown foliage. Yucca plants can live for decades with proper care. Give it good lighting, just the right amount of water, and an occasional feeding, and your yucca will be with you for many years to come. Disclosure: BobVila.
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We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. The yucca plant makes a lovely indoor houseplant, thrives outdoors in sunny conditions, and is a delicious food staple. We researched how fast the yucca plant grows and rates for maturity, so you can stop leaving it up to guesswork. Many species of the yucca plant take about two to three years to mature. Other varieties, such as the gargantuan Joshua Tree Yucca, can take decades to mature, up to 50 or 60 years! Different varieties of this plant thrive well outside or as indoor plants, reaching anywhere from four to 10 feet in height or taller, and require substantial space for their root systems. Learn more about the yucca and the conditions it needs to blossom.
Yucca is a plant of the agave family, with stiff, sword-like leaves and spikes of white bell-shaped flowers. These beauties are dependent upon the yucca moth.
The Cycad genus in the Cycadaceae family includes over species, with the most common being Cycas revoluta or the king sago, the main focus of this article. Like ferns , these giant beauties have been around since before the dinosaurs, and their stunning display is truly evocative of an age long gone. We link to vendors to help you find relevant products. If you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. Native to the southernmost island of Japan, the leaves were traditionally used in funeral arrangements in the Land of the Rising Sun. This is not to be confused with C. This species gained notoriety when it was found to be linked to Lytico-Bodig disease, which is similar to ALS. The seeds of C.
Much of the scenic beauty of nature has been replaced by densely populated areas that sprawl for miles from urban centers. This visual pollution affects us all and leaves us with a longing for a closer connection with nature. We spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. Interior plants are an ideal way to create attractive and restful settings while enhancing our sense of well being. In addition, houseplants can be a satisfying hobby and can help purify the air in our homes.
It is clear that plants are essential to animal life and form the bulk of most human diets, providing a diversity of food through digestible carbohydrates. However, not all carbohydrates are digestible.
Click to see full answer People also ask, can I grow yucca from seed? Yucca Seed Pod Propagation They need well drained soil with plenty of grit added. Use flats for planting yucca seeds indoors. Germination may be variable, but if you plant plenty of the seeds , some will sprout. Germination usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. Similarly, how do you propagate Yucca rostrata?
Our site is reader supported, this means we may earn a small commission from Amazon and other affiliates when you buy through links on our site. The yucca plant can be an evergreen shrub, a small tree and some more tender varieties can be house plants. With so many options you can choose the dense or the loose rosettes of sword-shaped leaves often variegated and bell-shaped flowers. The larger forms will lose a lot of the leaves at the lower part of the trunk with time which means as your yucca plant gets older it exposes the trunk much like a cordyline. When planting outdoors you want to make sure you have an area that is well-drained with full sun and plenty of space, think about mixing some gravel into the soil to improve drainage if needed. If you are growing your Yucca in a container, make sure you have the appropriate sized container and that you add extra grit to improve the drainage and mix with a soil-based compost such as John Innes potting compost, maybe mix as much as one-third grit and two-thirds compost.
Finding red yucca seeds for sale in plant nurseries is rare, so gathering the seed pods and starting them at home may be the only option to.
Plants have always been a part of our daily lives. Yucca plants are one that really stand out because they not only provide aesthetic in a place but also provide medical benefits. It is drought tolerant as it stores water in its trunk. It is also known for its bulbous bases.
A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity. Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone? Ask Mr.
Click to see full answer. Likewise, people ask, what is the best fertilizer for yucca plants?
It gets feet tall and about as wide, with a flowering spike that can add an additional 2 to 3 feet in height. It flowers from spring through summer, producing one set of blooms that last for quite a long time. Each flower bud will produce a seed pod containing many flat, black seeds. If you want to harvest the seed, wait until the pods dry completely on the plant, then cut off the entire stalk and break the pods open to collect the seeds. Red yucca prefers full sun, but can take part shade. Red yucca is used to good effect as an accent plant, among areas of decomposed granite and rock mulch.
The yucca is a member of the asparagus family Asparagaceae , belonging more specifically to the Agavoideae subfamily, which also includes another well-known houseplant, the agave Agave spp. In the wild, yuccas grow in hot dry regions in North and South America and the Caribbean. The plants usually have thick, leathery sword-shaped leaves with a sharp tip and dense stems of white flowers. The leaves may grow as a ground-hugging rosette or on single or branching stems.