Yucca Houseplant Care: Tips For Growing Yucca In Containers

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Growing a yucca plant indoors adds a focal point to a room or works as part of an attractive, indoor display. Growing yucca in containers is a great way to bring the outdoors inside in a large way, although some potted yucca plants are small in size.

Growing Yucca Plant Indoors

More than 20 species of yucca exist. The coloration on yucca plants ranges from green to bluish with variegations of cream, yellow and white, depending on the cultivar. Yucca plants grow on canes, or large, woody stems.

Once placed in a sunny to partly shaded location indoors, yucca houseplant care is easy. When growing the yucca plant indoors, try to locate it in a partially shaded area of bright, but indirect light for better leaf color. Potted yucca plants may grow in full sun and flourish, but will often have browning tips or white, necrotic spots on the leaves.

How to Care for a Yucca Houseplant

Both yucca plants indoors and outside have low water requirements and are even somewhat drought tolerant.

Light fertilization can help establish the plant when growing yucca in containers but is not needed for established plants.

Soil may be of poor quality but should be heavy enough to hold the plant upright. It must also be well-draining. For the best performance of potted yucca plants, the soil should retain some of the water and nutrients. A three to one mixture of sand and peat is a good medium for growing yucca in containers.

Division from the offsets, called pups, provides you with more potted yucca plants. Remove the plant from its container (preferably outside) and remove the pup with a clean, sharp cut. A rooting compound may be applied to encourage root development on the baby, but is not necessary for most situations.

Suckers will sometimes appear on canes of potted yucca plants and may also be used for growing yucca in containers. The underground rhizome from which the plant grows can be divided as well.

Yucca houseplant care can include moving the plant outdoors when temperatures have warmed in spring or summer. Frost or freeze can damage the yucca houseplant. When moving growing yucca in containers outside, you should place them in an area with gentle morning sun and afternoon shade.

Now that you’ve learned how to care for a yucca houseplant, add one to a sunny, indoor room. The right yucca houseplant care will make your plant long-lived and help it produce more pups.

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Repotting A Yucca

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Periodic repotting keeps container-grown yucca plants healthy and vibrant. You can grow hardy yuccas year-round in containers outdoors in full sun to add bold elements to the garden, or grow yuccas indoors on a porch or other sunny area. The best time to repot yuccas is in spring or fall when the weather is mild. You can replant in winter or summer, but keep the plants protected from hot sun or cold for a few weeks after repotting.

Indoor Plant Care

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Yucca plant should be grown indoors as a houseplant in pots of different sizes, such as 10, 14, or 17 inches. It is recommended to use heavy pots for growing this plant, since it becomes heavy at the top when it grows. Therefore, ceramic or clay pots are preferred over the wooden or plastic ones. While choosing a yucca for growing indoors, it should be seen that the roots are firm and the plant is free of ‘cane wobble’. Thus, even container gardening of this plant requires proper care and expertise to know the consequences of the different steps being taken.

  • Light and Soil Requirements:
    Though a yucca plant requires bright light for proper growth, it can grow without any side effects in an indoor environment too. These plants should be moved outdoors in the summer, since they require bright sunlight. There is no need to worry about the water requirements, as this plant is drought tolerant, and the soil to be used for growing it needs to be well drained.
  • Pruning:
    The right time for pruning a yucca plant is before it enters the growth phase, i.e., in the early spring. It should be cut at half the length of its stalk, as it provides the plant with plenty of room to grow properly.
  • Watering:
    The watering intervals for this plant differ with the light settings in which it grows. In high light settings, the plant should be watered when ⅓ or ¼ portion of the top layer of the soil has dried. In case of low light settings, the proportion should be ¾ of the top layer. In the indoor gardening of this plant, over watering should be avoided, as the effects of watering the plant excessively may show up in the form of cane rotting and foliage collapse.
  • Pest Control:
    Mealybugs are the pests that are commonly found on a yucca. Insecticides containing neem (i.e., Azadirachta indica) are effective in controlling these pests. However, pest or insect problems are relatively low in case of this plant compared to other houseplants.

Outdoor Plant Care

The plant spacing for outdoor growth of yucca plants should be 18-24 inches, 24-35 inches, and 48 inches for small, medium, and large varieties respectively. The older leaves should be pruned in the spring season. One should be careful while pruning the leaves, as they possess sharp edges. Wearing gloves while pruning is a smart thing to do in this case.

Red Yucca Plant Care

The red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) needs bright sunlight for producing blooms abundantly. The soil to be used for this plant needs to be well drained. It is a drought tolerant plant, and survives on less amount of water. The propagation could either be done by clump division or seeds.

The above article would help you understand the basic requirements of this plant. The rearing of yucca plant is relatively easier than other houseplants. It should be an enjoyable activity, provided that it gets enough light and is pruned on a timely basis.

Pests and Diseases of Yucca plant

Like human beings, plants may get sick also. Following are some of the diseases of the yucca and how you can cure your plant.

  • The leaves of your yucca may dry during winter which is due to the warm air and atmosphere of your indoor. It’s better to move your flower to a cooler place and spray it.
  • In the case of inadequate light yellow color can occur underneath leave, in order to solve this problem move the plant to a lighter place.
  • Another problem which can occur is due to the Flaky mucus. This type of mucus can cause white cotton cover. In the case of facing such a situation, it’s better to spray insecticides to relieve symptoms.
  • In the case of watering too much, the blackness of the leaves of a branch may occur. The solution for this problem is to reduce the amount of irrigation to dry the pot surface and control the drainage of the pot.
  • In some other cases, white spots may occur on the surface of the yucca especially in the greenhouse in this case you may use fungicides to relieve symptoms.
  • Brown spots on the stems and under the leaves are caused by a pest, spraying the underside of the leaf or rubbing insecticide with a cotton swab once a week can be effective.
  • If your new leaves have no roots they need artificial nutrition if you feed them regularly, it may be due to the cold weather, re-check the conditions and what has caused failure.
  • The yucca leaves may turn pale in the case of high direct light especially at noon.
  • Rust-like spots appear on the yucca leaves which indicate that you have used brighteners, clean the leaves with a cloth or a damp sponge.
  • Gray mildew on the leaves is caused by the Botrytis, which is caused by cold and humid, spray the plant with a fungicide spray, move it to a warm place and reduce irrigation.
  • The plant is now in an upright position anymore which is due to the undeveloped roots, move the plant to a smaller pot and compact the compost around the root, take the pot to a lighter place.

How do you take care of your yuccas? Please share your experiences in the comments below.


Get good quality potting soil. Yuccas can tolerate a variety of soil conditions but in containers go for a good quality all-purpose potting soil mix. Place a few handfuls of potting soil in the bottom of the pot and then place the yucca in the pot. Add soil underneath the root ball as needed until the base of the stalk is level with the rim of the pot. Make sure its centered and then fill in the rest of the soil up to the base of the stalk. Tamp it down lightly and give the yucca a thorough watering.

How to Get a Yucca Plant to Bloom

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There are several plants that go by the common name yucca. These include the Spanish bayonet, Adam’s needle, weakleaf yucca, Spanish dagger, bear grass, and curve-leaf yucca. All are in the genus Yucca. All have long, sharp leaves and have flowers that form clusters at the end of a stalk. The stalk grows taller than the rest of the plant and stands out. Most are desert plants native to various Southern states and Central and South America. Too much water can cause problems that lead to a lack of blooms.

Keep the plant outdoors only in zones 4 to 9 depending on the species. Otherwise you will need to grow this plant indoors as too much moisture can lead to leaf-spotting fungi. Many species can handle cold winters but not wet winters. Where winters are wet, it’s best to grow yucca as an indoor only plant.

Plant your yucca in soil that drains easily. To do this, you can mix regular potting soil with sand in equal parts.

Water once a month and let the soil stay dry the rest of the month.

Keep your yucca in full sun year-round. Potted, indoor yuccas need to be position near a window.

Cut the flower stalks at the base with gardening cutters once the bloom is over. Old stalks left on the plant may prevent future blooms.

Be patient. Depending on the species, it can take several years for a yucca to have its first bloom. When the plant is not damaged from too much moisture, it should bloom eventually. However, some species have a lifespan of 100 years or more and can take decades for one to have its first bloom.

Lynn Anders has more than 15 years of professional experience working as a zookeeper, wildlife/environmental/conservation educator and in nonprofit pet rescue. Writing since 2007, her work has appeared on various websites, covering pet-related, environmental, financial and parenting topics. Anders has a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and biology from California State University, Sacramento.

Watch the video: Tips for easy care Yucca plant. How to propagate Yucca plant

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