Yucca plants are stylish, versatile and low maintenance. They require very little in regards to care, making it a great starter plant for an indoor plant newbie. What more could you want?
This is also great news for even the least green-fingered person! We guarantee that the most proficient of plant killers will be able to keep an indoor yucca plant thriving as they live more from neglect than actual care.
Look no further than our Yucca Plant Care Guide for all the top tips and tricks on taking the best care of your indoor plant. Our guide goes over plenty of general Yucca-based knowledge but is particularly geared towards the popular indoor Yucca Elephantipes variety.
How to Care for Yucca Plants Indoors
Originally found growing across the Americas and parts of the Caribbean, the Yucca Plant is accustomed to conditions that are of the drier, more unfertile kind.
Their sword-shaped leaves have a striking appearance and singular trunks of different height are often grouped together for a stylish plant aesthetic that’s bang on trend.
Not only does this plant bring style and lush greenery to a room, but it also does us some good too. The Yucca has been praised for its air purifying, removing toxins from the air and thereby reducing the risk of headaches, fatigue, and illness.
Yucca Plant Soil
Yucca plants don’t need highly fertile soil to thrive, a regular potting soil will do them just fine. The main quality the compost needs to have is that it is well draining. As it’s a drought-tolerant plant, it will not grow well if it’s left sitting for too long in soggy soil.
We recommend choosing a compost like John Innes potting soil and mixing it with 1 part sand and also a few extra pebbles to improve the drainage just that little bit more.
Yucca Plant Light & Location
To choose the perfect location for your Yucca plant, look for an area in the home that is bright, sunny and well-ventilated. Make sure that the light is well filtered; even though Yucca elephantipes are technically bright light plant, they can experience burning on their leaves when exposed to direct sunlight.
Place your plant near a south-facing window or west-facing window with light shade. Sheer, net curtains will usually do the trick of filtering out just enough light without making the room too dark.
Turn your plant every week to ensure an even light distribution across the foliage. Without turning, you may notice your Yucca Plant becomes lopsided as it begins to grow towards the main light source. Growth may also become uneven and fuller on one side.
If your plant isn’t getting enough light it will let you know. Leggy, spindly growth is a common symptom of low light conditions. Move your plant to a new location where it can get the right amount of light and it should improve.
Watering your Yucca Plant
Yucca plants are acclimatised to dry, desert-like conditions and can be very sensitive to overwatering. They can go for prolonged periods without water which is excellent news for those of us who forget to water their plants.
You can water more frequently during the growing season (late April- September), however, the general rule of thumb is to let the first couple of inches of compost to dry out between each watering.
From November to March, reduce watering significantly. Once or twice a month is usually sufficient but always be sure to just monitor the soil.
This sensitivity to overwatering means the plant is prone to both root and trunk rot. If left for too long, your Yucca Plant may not be able to be saved.
Signs of Over or Under Watering
The first sign that your Yucca Plant has been overwatered is yellowing or collapsing leaves. Let the soil dry out as much as you can before adding any more. If there are no improvements over the next week you may need to check the roots.
Root rot is another problem commonly associated with the Yucca Plant. Leaving this untreated for too long is fatal to the plant. When you check the roots, they should be pale in colour. If they have started to turn brown or dark in colour then your plant is showing signs of root rot.
The next common issue in Yucca Plants is trunk rot. The plant is able to store plenty of water in its trunk as a survival technique in the wild to avoid dehydration. This means the more water you add to the compost, the more the plant will try and store. If the trunk stays wet for too long it will feel spongy in texture and start to rot.
Make sure you always feel the moisture levels of the soil before watering again. If it feels moist, leave it another couple of days. If there’s one sure way of killing a Yucca Plant, it’s to overwater it.
Yucca Plant Humidity & Temperature
Yucca Plants grow best indoors when they are kept at a constant temperature. Frequent temperature fluctuations will make it difficult for the plant to acclimatise to the location, so choose an area without drafts and central heating..
Humidity wise, the Yucca Plant likes warm, dry conditions with plenty of ventilation, so it isn’t necessary for the leaves to be spritzed like a lot of other indoor plants.
Fertilising your Yucca Plant
Yucca Plants can thrive in relatively low fertile conditions, but, if you want to give your plants that extra little bit of a boost during the growing season, add some feed.
Add a diluted amount of balanced liquid fertiliser to the compost in spring and once again in summer. Follow the instructions on the packet of feed for directions.
Over fertilisation of your Yucca Plant can lead to root burn; always follow the instructions on the back of the packet.
Once the growing season is over, avoid adding any fertiliser to the compost as the plant will try to push out new growth at the wrong time of year.
Pruning Yucca Plants
Yucca plants need very little in regards to pruning, just go about any general maintenance by taking off any damaged or dead stems, canes, and spears to keep the plant healthy.
Repotting your Yucca Plant
If you think it’s time to repot your Yucca Plant, make sure to choose a pot that is only just slightly bigger than the root ball. Avoid planting in a pot that’s too big as the plant may find it hard to use all the water in the compost.
Use a general potting soil with a mixture of sand and pebbles for good drainage. Remove the Yucca Plant from its current pot, add compost to the bottom of the new pot, and place the root ball in. Fill in any gaps with the rest of the compost.
Top Tip: Yucca Plants prefer to be slightly rootbound in smaller pots so only repot every few years.
Yucca Plant Propagation
Your Yucca Plants may start to produce little off shoots known as “pups”. These can be cut away from the mother plant and potted up as brand new little plants.
Wait until the pups have turned green and are big enough to survive on their own. Carefully slice them off the main stem with a sharp, sterilised knife and either stand in water until new roots start to appear or plant in compost dipped in rooting hormone.
Carefully slice the pups away from the main stem of the plant and plant up into a new pot. Rooting hormone can be used to make this process quicker and easier.
Extra Yucca Care Tips
Once dust starts to collect on the leaves make sure to wipe them over with a damp cloth to avoid any build-up. This ensures the foliage can breathe easy.
Yucca Plants can be mildly toxic to pets. If ingested can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, and dilated pupils in cats.
Check out our range of Pet Friendly Indoor Plants for more information.
Yucca Plants Pests & Problems
Indoor Yucca Plant are generally pest free, however, if you do start to notice any aphids, spider mites, or mealy bugs on the foliage, simply remove them by hand or spray them with a mild soap and water mixture.
Buy a Yucca Plant as a living gift for loved ones or simply to treat yourself. Fill your life and home with greenery and watch as it flourishes over the coming years.