Yucca – Care Guide & Info

The Yucca is a sturdy houseplant that originated in warm areas of Central and South America. In order to survive there, it stores water in its stem. The Yucca is available as a small plant, but also as a complete tree. The care is the same in both cases. The right approach can be found on this page. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions and solutions for any problems you may experience with Yucca.

Yucca care

Watering the Yucca

Watering a Yucca is an important part of maintaining this plant. It is important to take a good look at the natural habitat. Too little watering is actually not possible. The Yucca originates from very dry areas where often no rain falls for long periods. Your Yucca is therefore used to little water and stores it in the stem. You can also see this in the family of this plant: the Beaucarnea and the Dracaena. Take advantage of this by only watering when the soil has dried out. In practice, this is sooner in the summer than in the winter.

If you water the Yucca too much, several problems can arise. The first signal of too much water is drooping leaves. If the leaves start to droop, the soil has probably been moist for too long. As the problem continues, the leaves become yellow and fall off. If the problem is not resolved after that, the Yucca will die. It is therefore very important not to overwater, but also to ensure that water can drain from the pot. More on that below.

Another problem of too much water is a soft stem. This soft stem can easily progress to stem rot. You can notice this by a soft stem that you can press down on, often at the bottom. You may also find that the top pieces of the stem start to droop limply. To save the Yucca, replace all potting soil with dry potting soil and give considerably less water than you normally would.

Good drainage for the Yucca

If the Yucca leaves drooping, this is often the first sign that the plant has been overwatered for too long. It is very important that excess water can drain from the pot. If this is not possible, it will remain at the bottom of the pot near the roots. The plant is not used to this, it originally comes from very dry areas, and the roots start to rot. Root rot causes yellow leaves and ultimately results in the death of the Yucca.

How to prevent this problem? Drill holes in the bottom of the pot. This allows water to drain from the bottom of the pot. You can further improve this process by adding a layer of hydro pellets at the bottom of the pot. Make sure you put the Yucca on a saucer. In case water runs out of the pot, it will not run over soil.

Position and light

The Yucca as a houseplant needs a light position, but not in the full sun. A lot of daylight is needed to keep the Yucca’s color beautiful. If the Yucca gets too little light, for example in a place with too much shadow, the leaves will become ugly. Like a Sanseveria, it survives with less light, but it doesn’t do the colors any good.

You can also put the Yucca in full sun. If you want to do this, it is important to let the plant get used to it first. Build up the amount of sun slowly and preferably start with some morning sun. Just like a Banana plant the Yucca is grown under artificial light. Does the Yucca have brown leaves? That is an indication of too much direct sunlight. In that case you need to let him acclimatize for a longer time. Move it further into the room.

Yucca care: repotting

You should preferably repot a Yucca every two to three years. After that period the plant has used up all available space in the pot. Because there is hardly any room for soil, there is little opportunity for further growth. Incidentally, you can take cuttings from a Yucca that is too large.

Repotting is best done in the spring. With repotting you cannot avoid slightly damaging the roots. Because the Yucca is strongest in the spring, it can easily recover after the move. Always use fresh potting soil when repotting.

The right pot

The right pot is an important part if you want to take good care of a Yucca. Just as the Polyscias is a houseplant on a stem, the Yucca can easily become top-heavy. Therefore, it is best to choose a heavy flower pot. This way you have less chance that the plant will fall over.

In addition, it is very important that there are holes in the bottom of the pot. If there are no holes, water cannot drain from the pot and there is a risk of root rot. Many flower pots have holes. Are there no holes? Then you can carefully make them with a drill.

Which potting soil for Yucca

A normal or universal potting soil for houseplants is perfectly suitable for the Yucca. Usually, this potting soil contains nutrition for a longer period. Do not give extra nutrition during this period (more below).

Nutrition

A Palm lily needs only little nutrition. So in the case of needing nutrition, it resembles plants like the Zamioculcas (ZZ plant) which is also very strong. Only give nutrition during the growth period. Normally this is during spring and summer. In a few cases the Yucca grows during autumn and winter. Then you also give nutrition during those months.

Most plant nutrition is highly concentrated. So dilute well according to instructions on the package. It is better to dilute even a little more: The Yucca really needs very little plant food.

Humidity

The Calathea with its colorful leaves really looks like a tropical plant that needs high humidity. Do not let the sturdy Yucca distract you: It too can appreciate high humidity. You can easily take care of the Yucca in this area by misting the leaves with a plant spray a few times a week. The benefits:

  • The leaves remain more beautiful because dust is less likely to settle on them.
  • Pests such as aphids hate moisture and will therefore be less likely to settle on the leaves of the Yucca.
  • You have less chance of brown spots on the leaves.

Temperature

The Yucca is a very strong houseplant that can endure quite low temperatures. In any case, never let the temperature go below 10 ℃. This is an advantage over most popular houseplants such as the Strelitzia, which prefer warmer temperatures.

Yucca species

The Yucca genus includes about 40 species. The size varies from species without a stem to complete trees. Yucca species originate in the very warm areas of South America. There it is often very dry, but the Yucca can handle it very well. As a houseplant we mainly know the following species:

  • Yucca rostrata
  • Yucca elephantipes
  • Yucca filamentosa
  • Yucca rupicola
  • Yucca gloriosa
  • Yucca flaccida

By the way, did you know that the Yucca is related to the Chlorophytum? They both fall into the Agavoideae family.

The Yucca flower only appears when a plant is mature (after about 2 to 4 years). Another condition is proper care. Once these two elements are correct you have a chance of flowering.The flower of the Yucca is very rewarding. The upward shooting flower stem comes from the middle and is the bearer of many beautiful flower buds. It is best to remove the spent flower, stick and all. After removing the flower, you can expect new blooms within 2 to 4 years.

Buying a Yucca

The best place to buy a Yucca is through a comparison site. This way you can be sure that you pay the right price for this plant. Our tip: check out Bol.com. There you will find an extensive range and you can easily compare. Use the button below to go to the current offer:

Frequently asked questions and problems

Yucca leaves droop

The leaves of the Yucca start drooping when the plant has received too much water. Remember that it stores water in the stem. Therefore, do not water until the soil has completely dried out. This may go against your instincts. After all, many popular houseplants, such as the Philodendron, are in slightly moist soil.

Yucca leaves brown points

The brown points on the leaves are usually the result of too dry air. You will see brown points at first, but then completely dry leaves. These dry leaves are dead and dry. You can carefully remove them, but ideally you want to avoid this problem. The easiest thing to do is not to place the Yucca near a radiator, which causes dry air. You can also mist the leaves with a plant sprayer a few times a week.

Another common reason for brown tips: too cold air. This cold air is often created by an open window or an air conditioner. Finally, it is good to watch out for leaf burn. Too much direct sunlight, especially in the afternoon, causes brown tips and brown spots on the leaves. In this case, move the Yucca further into the room.

Watering the Yucca

Yellow leaves on the Yucca are almost always a sign of excess water. Read the care tips for the right way to solve this problem.

Yucca diseases

Fortunately, the Yucca is not very susceptible to diseases. In general, it is a very strong houseplant that is easy to care for. Sometimes you may see lice on the leaves. This can be aphid (green) or mealybug (white).

Lice are easy to remove because the leaves of the Yucca are smooth. Put the Yucca outside and rinse it with the garden hose. This should remove most of the lice. Check the plant carefully and remove any remaining lice with a cloth. Also check carefully the plants that have been next to the Yucca for defectors.

In a few cases, white spots may appear on the leaves in the form of a fungal infection. It is then important to remove these offshoots as soon as possible to prevent further spread.

Yucca summary

Botanical nameYucca
FamilyAsparagaceae
Also known asPalm lily
Demand for waterLittle
Demand for lightLots of indirect sunlight

FAQ

Can you eat a yucca?

Almost all of the yucca plant can be used as food. The stems, leaf bases, flowers, emerging stalks as well as the fruit of most types of yuccas are edible. The stems or trunks of yucca store carbohydrates in chemicals called saponins, which are toxic, not to mention taste of soap.Apr 24, 2022

Is yucca healthy to eat?

Yucca contains high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which can benefit the immune system and overall health. Vitamin C stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells, which fight infections and viruses.

Can you get sick from yucca?

It might cause stomach upset in some people. Not enough is known about the safety of taking yucca by mouth long-term or applying it to the skin. Some people develop allergic reactions to yucca. Symptoms may include skin rash and difficulty breathing.

What yucca is edible?

Yuca is the edible root of the cassava plant and yucca is a plant in the Agave family, commonly used as a landscape plant in dry climates. Yuccas are drought tolerant, succulent plants, and while they’re native to the desert, you can grow Yucca baccata in many climates.Apr 11, 2021

Can you eat raw yucca?

Just like potatoes, fried, mashed or boiled yuca can be enjoyed in many ways. However, before eating yuca, it needs to be boiled first. Do not eat it raw. You may have heard that yuca contains cyanide.Jun 27, 2016

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