How to Care for Indoor Yucca

spineless yucca indoors

Growing indoor yucca is not difficult, but these plants do need slightly different care than other plants. Many types of yucca will also require some planning on your part to ensure the safety of people and pets as well as the yucca.

Growing yucca indoors adds color and variation to the atmosphere in your home. Luckily, caring for your yucca is just as easy when it is an indoor plant as when it is in the garden. This article will discuss how to properly care for your indoor yucca plant.

Choosing the Right Yucca to Grow Indoors

Most varieties of yucca have sharp pointed leaves. These are fine to grow in an indoor container, provided proper precautions are taken to avoid injuries to people and pets. There are also yucca varieties that have softer, more flexible leaves that have become favorites of indoor yucca enthusiasts.

Before we delve into the care of yucca, we will explore choosing a yucca to fit your environment and safety precautions to take with growing yucca.

Most yucca plants will grow

One yucca variety, the dwarf yucca, remains relatively small compared to other yucca species. Twisted leaf yucca is another choice that will remain under 24 inches in height. So, if you are looking for a small variety of yucca, they are out there.

With tall or wide yucca plant varieties, you need to ensure they have the space to grow to their fullest potential.

If you are growing yucca that have sharply pointed and rigid leaves then be sure to put the containers in a place where people and animals are less likely to be poked by them. You can also trim the needle points to make them safer to be around.

Let’s discuss some varieties of yucca that do well as indoor container plants. The most common type of yucca as a houseplant is the spineless yucca. However, you can grow nearly any type of yucca in an indoor container or an indoor plantscape.

What are the Basic Needs for the Indoor Yucca

The yucca does not require much attention. Plant yucca in a pot slightly bigger than the plant root ball with fast draining soil. Put the yucca plant in a room that receives a good deal of sunshine and controls the room’s humidity. Only water when the yucca is completely dry.

Yucca are slow-growing plants. They will get large through the years, but they will take a long time to do so.

When you are ready to pot your new yucca, you should take a few extra minutes to reduce any chance of pests coming in on the yucca. This is true even if you just bought your yucca from a landscape nursery or a box store nursery.

Inspect a New Yucca for Disease and Pests?

When choosing a yucca at a nursery, check its foliage for signs of pests and disease. If your yucca was sent to you, inspect it upon arrival. Inspection of newly acquired yucca plants should always be done before introducing them to other household plants.

Yucca are relatively resilient when it comes to pests. However, there are a few things to watch out for.

Check the yucca leaves for signs of bugs.

  • Bumps. These bumps could actually be bugs called scale. They do not move much and appear to be part of the plant.
  • Small dots of green, red, pink. These may be mites, watch and see if they move on the plant.
  • Ants. If there are ants on the yucca there are probably also farming aphids, look closely at the underside of the leaves, and near the crown of the plant for yellowish brown bugs.
  • Holes in the yucca could indicate it is being attacked by yucca weevils.
  • Brown spots suggest that the agave plant bug is present.

After you have carefully examined the yucca it is important to rid it of any insects to ensure its survival and ensure that nothing is spread to other plants you may have growing indoors.

Do this by

  • Gently clean each leaf with a soft, damp cloth to remove any scale or other insects. Be sure to wash this cloth immediately in hot soapy water or discard it in a sealed bag.
  • Remove the yucca from its container and gently wash the entire plant off with fresh running water.
  • Throw away the dirt the yucca came in and clean the container thoroughly with soap and water. Rinse the pot well.

Now your new yucca is ready to be re-potted and transported to its new place inside your home.

Your yucca will like an occasional wipe-down of its leaves to keep them free of dust and insects. Just use a soft, damp cloth and gently wipe the leaves by pinching the cloth over the leaf’s base and gently pulling your hand toward the leaf tip.

How Do You Re-Pot a New Yucca

To re-pot a yucca, remove the yucca from the soil it came in, then gently run fresh water over the roots and leaves until they are clean—Re-pot in a new container with fresh soil suitable for succulents and cacti.

The container you choose for your yucca should be in proportion to the yucca. They grow slowly, so you don’t want a large container for them to grow into. The container should be around three to four inches taller than the length of the roots and about twice the width of the roots. It should also have plenty of drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

Don’t bother adding gravel or small rocks to the bottom of the planter. This will only inhibit drainage. Instead, use a mixture of potting soil and perlite or vermiculite for the best drainage. You don’t want to use only rich potting soil because this will hold too much water. A Yucca grows slowly and probably won’t outgrow its pot for years.

Do Yucca Like to be Pot Bound?

Yucca that are growing in containers do well when pot bound. The yucca growing in a container does not need to search through the dry desert soil for its water. It’s okay for the yucca to become bound before considering re-potting it.

Yucca enjoy having its roots close and compact in a pot. But, they also need some room for new growth.

One thing to consider when growing your yucca in a container is that keeping it in a small pot for too long will eventually stunt its growth. But you don’t need to double the size of your pot yearly.

When Should You Re-pot an Indoor Yucca

The indoor yucca may need to be transplanted into a new container after two to three years. If the yucca’s roots are poking through the container, or the yucca does not retain any water when it is given, It’s probably time to give the yucca a new pot.

Yucca are slow growers and do not need to be re-potted often. Let the yucca grow until it is obvious that it needs a larger container. The obvious signs your yucca needs a bigger pot are

  • Roots growing through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
  • Roots surfacing through the top of the soil.
  • Wilting due to insufficient water intake.

You have probably been with your plant for a while now if it needs to be transplanted into a larger container. Congratulate yourself on a healthy and thriving yucca.

Should You Use Climate Control for Your Indoor Yucca

It is not necessary to have climate control in your house with a yucca. Yucca tolerate many different environments. They can stand the heat but also do fine with cooler temperatures. It can handle heat in the winter and the air conditioner in the summer. Sunlight is the most important.

Be careful where you place your yucca. Keep them away from the air vent. No plant likes the cold or warm air blowing directly on it.

Ensure that your indoor yucca receives plenty of sunshine. Most yucca varieties like full sun. However, sticking your yucca in a sunny window may only give light to one side of the plant. The sunlight could also be intensified through the glass and cause burning to the leaves. Make sure you rotate the yucca, so all sides receive equal sunlight.

How Much Water Does an Indoor Yucca Need?

When the yucca’s soil is completely dry, water it. Yuccas cannot withstand overwatering. The roots of the yucca are very delicate when it comes to root rot. The plant’s roots need to breathe and cannot do so if submerged in water for long periods.

Some suggest watering your yucca once every two weeks. While this is a good rule to follow, you should watch your plant for signs of distress if it is getting too much or too little water.

Before you give your yucca water, check the moisture content of the soil by sticking a finger into the sandy dirt. If it feels moist, you can skip the watering.

You can use a moisture meter if you do not want to test the soil with your finger. When this device is inserted into the soil, it will give you an accurate reading. If the soil moisture is at or below 25% you can water your yucca.

During the winter water the yucca less frequently. Give it just enough water to keep the leaves from drying out. This should keep your yucca healthy.

Do not overwater your yucca! Giving your yucca too much water will result in:

  • Yellowing leaves
  • Spongy trunk
  • Root rot

This will eventually lead to the death of your yucca. If you notice these signs with your yucca stop watering it for a while to give it time to dry out.

Do Indoor Yuccas Like Being Misted?

Yucas do not need to be misted. They take the water they need through their roots. Once in their roots, the water is stored throughout. But misting won’t harm a yucca and may help keep their leaves clean and bug-free.

In the wild, some years the yucca may be lucky to see a drop of rain in a month. Native yucca do not have the luxury of frequent or timed waterings.

During the summer, the desert humidity can be as low as 10% and rise to 30% in the cooler winter months. However, these are just average humidity levels, and they can go higher with approaching and departing storms or lower in scorching weather.

Even though the yucca’s natural environment is typically arid with little humidity, there is still some water available to the plant. Drops in temperature during the night can cause dew fall and sometimes fog.

This condensation falling on the yucca leaves will travel either towards the base of the yucca plant or drip from the leaf tips to the ground. In both instances, the water reaches the roots, and the yucca quickly drinks it.

But misting your yucca occasionally will help keep their foliage clean and help keep some pests from attaching to and attacking them. So, feel free to mist your yucca every now and then.

Do Indoor Yuccas Require Plant Food?

In general, yucca do not need plant food to stay healthy. If fertilizer is given to the succulent, it should be administered when it is growing. The yucca’s growth season is typically in the summer months.

Even though yucca do not need any plant food, you can provide them with a supplement once a year. Bone meal may be added when it has reached maturity to help encourage flowering.

Should I Trim or Prune My Yucca

It is OK to trim or prune a yucca. Removal of dead brown leaves is not necessary but may be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The sharply pointed tips of the yucca leaves can also be trimmed back to help prevent injuries to people and pets.

Trimming the needle-sharp points of the leaves is simple and will not harm your plant. To trim your yucca:

  • Protect your body and eyes.
  • Use a pair of clippers and trim the sharp points off of the yucca leaf tips.

Depending on how much you trim back, this will not affect the appearance of your yucca. Trimming your yucca can be done when it is necessary and will help prevent painful cuts and pokes from the yucca spines.

Pruning your yucca should be done in the spring or right before it begins its growing season. Pruning involves cutting the trunk in half. This is typically done when the yucca has become too tall for its indoor environment. To learn how to do this, please see this article.

Can you Divide and Propagate an Indoor Yucca?

Dividing or propagating an indoor yucca is possible. Dividing yucca consists of removing new yucca shoots that come up in the container from the parent yucca’s roots. These shoots can be replanted in their own containers.

Yucca can easily propagate by sending outside shoots along the succulent base. These are the beginnings of new yucca plants. The side shoots are called pups. Pups will grow whether the yucca grows outdoors in the garden or in indoor containers.

If you want to grow new plants with the yucca pups, you will need to determine if they can survive without the parent plant. Look at the little shoot. If it is green, then it will survive on its own.

To remove the yucca pup

  • Take soil away from where it is growing, so you can see how long it is. For best results, the stem of the pup should be at least a quarter inch long.
  • Cut the shoot out, making sure to take some of the parent yucca’s root. The root will become the root system of the pup.
  • Plant the yucca pup in its own small container with cacti succulent soil or perlite and potting soil.

Allow your yucca pup to grow its root system in this container before transplanting into the yard or a larger pot. This may take eight weeks or longer.

Your new yucca plants will need plenty of sunshine or light from grow lamps while they recover and grow. When watering, keep the soil damp the first week and then water as you would an adult yucca.

Yucca Are Easy to Grow

Yucca are easy to grow and care for. They thrive with neglect making them one of the easiest plants to grow in a container or the landscape. The yucca does not need a lot of attention from the grower. Even a person that has never had a plant before will enjoy growing a yucca.

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