Will Yuccas Grow in Shade

Yuccas are used for ornamental purposes in landscaping. Many homes also have potted yuccas both inside and outside. Yuccas offer beauty and are hardy and easy to care for. But will they prosper in the shade?

A yucca will not grow in total shade. It will survive, but its growth will be stunted. If there is indirect light or direct sunshine at least three hours a day, the yucca plant can thrive.

Yucca is a desert plant. It prospers in the sun. But does this mean it needs bright sun all day long? We’ll discuss what types of lighting will help your yucca grow.

Yuccas Don’t Grow in Shade

A shady spot under a tree or beside a house is not the best place for a yucca to thrive. Although they will live, it won’t be the tall full plant that most yuccas become. Total shade will damage a yucca.

If you want a yucca in the house, a room that doesn’t receive light will stunt a yuccas growth. The result is they will not have full or long branches. Its beauty will fade. In some cases, it may not survive.

How Many Hours of Sun Do Indoor Yuccas Need

When growing a yucca indoors, find a partially shaded or indirect light location. Generally, a minimum of three hours a day is acceptable. But up to six hours is better. Keep in mind; the less light a yucca has, the slower it grows.

Placement of an Indoor Yucca

Placing your yucca should be adjusted according to the seasons. In other words, don’t set it and forget it. For instance, a window facing the south is the right choice for winter. In contrast, an east or west facing window for summer is needed.

Be careful not to place the yucca too close to the window where the light will be strongest. Yuccas in pots can flourish in full sun. But those in the full sun frequently have browning on their leaf tips. They might also have white, necrotic spots on their leaves due to the excessive heat from being too close to a window. A window magnifies the sun’s beams.

How Much Light Does an Outdoor Yucca Need

The average range of sunlight that an outdoor yucca needs is three to six hours. If a yucca doesn’t receive enough sun, it grows in a thin and straggly manner.

Yucca is known for its beautiful white flowers on stems that grow out of a full rosette. These blossoms don’t bloom if the yucca is planted in the shade. Shade ultimately inhibits growth and flower development. Sunlight is imperative for yucca growth.

Placement of Outdoor Yuccas

Yuccas should not be planted under trees. Partial sunlight near a tree is acceptable, but you don’t want full shade. Avoid planting on the northern side of your home. Northerly winds could affect your yucca’s growth—excessive wind results in shorter growth and abnormal development.

To have the best light, plant your yuccas in a south facing or west facing location. You want sunlight, but you don’t want it so bright that it constantly beats down on the yucca.

Can a Yucca Have too Much Sun

Yuccas are desert plants, so they like sun. But too much sunlight can be harmful. A large amount of direct sunlight can result in yellow or white spots on the leaves. The tips of the leaves may also turn brown. You risk burning a yucca’s leaves if you keep them in direct sunlight all day.

How Much Heat Can a Yucca Tolerate

A yucca tolerates hot weather well. They are desert plants indigenous to the U.S. southwest, where temperatures reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. The temperatures drop to 25-degrees Fahrenheit at night. The yucca prospers well under these two conditions.  

Frequency of Watering a Yucca in Bright Light

Yuccas are desert plants that can exist for long periods without water. But the more light they receive, the more water is needed. So check them every couple of weeks and water only if they are completely dry. The rule of thumb is two inches of water per week.

How Often Do You Water Partially Shaded Yuccas

A yucca needs less water if it’s not in the sun. So you might want to move that watering schedule to every three weeks. But check them every couple of weeks. Make sure they are completely dry before watering them.

Root rot is a yucca’s death sentence. It’s better to water less than more.


A yucca needs to be in the sun to flourish. They are indigenous to the southwest where there is abundant light. Although they will live in shade, they will not grow well and end up with stunted leaves and branches.

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