Yucca

Who hasn't had a yucca as a house plant? Did you know that the idea for Groww stemmed from an unhappy yucca! But how can you really make your yucca shine?
Common name : Yucca
Scientific name : Yucca elephantipes
Family : Agavaceae
Category : Indoor
Type of plant : Perennial
Yucca elephantipes, the formal name for Yucca gigantea (but that's a long story), is a shrub, characterised by its elephant foot-shaped trunk. It is, all too often, commonly sold in nurseries as a house plant, and often with multiple feet for a decorative effect. With regular care, your plant can bring the spice of Mexico to your home!

Sowing & planting

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Flowering

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Caracteristics

Exposition
Water needs
Granulométrie plants.granulometry_2
Frost-resistance Medium
Zone USDA 8b
Height 60 - 250
pH 7

Identify my yucca

Yucca is a genus of 40-50 species of perennial plants, notable for their rosettes of tough, spiky, sword-shaped leaves, and their clusters of white to off-white flowers. Yucca elephantipes, the formal name for Yucca gigantea (but that's a long story), is a shrub, characterized by its elephant foot-shaped trunk.

Plant my yucca

As a desert plant, Yucca elephantipes prefers warm and dry environments — it's particularly adaptable to the inside of our houses and apartments. Yucca grows best in a well-lit environment between 18-22°C. Gardener's tip! Don't place the yucca directly behind a south facing window, as too much direct sunlight will dry it out. It would much rather be close to a west facing window to bath in as much sunlight as possible. It is possible to keep Yucca gloriosa and Yucca filamentosa species outside, as long as the temperatures in your region never go below a hard -5°C freeze. If so, bring them inside.

Water my yucca

Yucca doesn't like moisture, but it still has it's own need of water. As soon as the soil is dry to a depth of one or two centimeters, water your yucca, ensuring you moisten all of the topsoil. During growth seasons (spring, summer), watering should be regular, about once or twice a week, but controlled, to make sure the roots don't drown. In autumn, gradually reduce watering until winter, when once-monthly watering will suffice.

Spray my yucca

In dry weather, spray your plant with water not too hard, clean the dust on the leaves: it will be all the more beautiful and you will protect it from red spiders - its main enemy!

Prune my yucca

Let the yellowed leaves dry naturally before pulling them off — foliage regrowth is a totally normal part of the yucca life cycle. Otherwise, you can go ahead and lightly prune the leafy branches that grow from the trunk in spring, from February to May. Make sure you keep at least 3 to 5 leaves on each branch, as otherwise the plant will have a hard time regrowing. If a branch has become too large and you would like to stop it growing back, cut it at the base, one centimeter above the fork.

Fertilize my yucca

In summer, add liquid fertilizer for green plants every 2 weeks. We recommend a good quality liquid compost "tea", diluted to 1/10th strength. If you like chemistry, a slow release fertilizer is possible... Stop all fertilizer treatments at the end of summer.

Repot my yucca

Every 3 or 4 years, at the end of winter, transplant your yucca carefully to a slightly larger pot than it's current, adding a mixture of sand, topsoil and garden soil.

Shelter my yucca

Starting in autumn, bring in the pots. Have your plant spend winter in a bright frost-free spot : the ideal temperature being 12-24 °C. During winter, space out the watering, letting the substrate dry slightly between them.

Propagate my yucca

Yucca can be easily propagated by removing a stem end. Cut one or several pieces between 15-20cm in length, long enough that there are likely one or two dormant buds contained inside. Plant them in a mixture of sand and fibrous soil that you will place in a warm, relatively moist, shaded location. Roots will develop in one or two months, and soon after, a new leaf rosette will flower towards the top of the cutting, from a bud that used to be practically invisible.

Put outside my yucca

Take out your yucca in pot for the summer, from May. Find a spot in full sun, but sheltered from the wind that dries its leaves!

Check on my yucca

Keep a close eye on the leaves: if they are deformed it is either a lack of light or an excess of water. Try both: find a brighter location and reduce watering.

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