Yucca is a genus of perennial plants of 40-50 species found in dry regions, and comes under the Agavaceae family. The rosettes of sword-shaped leaves and clusters of white flowers is the specialty of this plant. It is known by different names like Spanish Dagger, Soapweed, Adam's Needle, and Spanish Bayonet. Height of this plant could range from 1 to 8 feet. Yucca is mostly grown as an ornamental plant, and the flexibility in its maintenance and care makes it a popular plant for growing at home.
The spineless yucca, which can survive in low light, is generally preferred for growing at home. The plant can, however, be grown outdoors too. Let us understand how to care of a yucca plant outdoor as well as indoors.
Indoor Plant Care
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.
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.
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.