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Yucca Plants: How To Care for Them
Yucca plants are a popular evergreen shrub and a structural beauty that’s perfect for greening up your indoor space. Not only does it look fab, but it detoxifies the air, making your environment healthier by removing airborne particles from the air around you. This low-maintenance houseplant is perfect for plant newbies or time-poor plant parents without much time on their hands.
We know you’re going to love the yucca as much as we do, so we’ve put together this detailed guide with everything you need to know about yucca plant care. By the end of it, you’ll know how to keep your yucca healthy, happy and looking fabulous.
History of the Yucca
Yuccas come from desert regions in the southern United States, South America and the Caribbean. The plant was an important part of traditional Southwestern Indian life, as the people of the land used the tough fibre for weaving sandals and baskets. They also ate the yucca plants and roots, while the Navajo people used the leaves ceremoniously. More recently, in 1927, New Mexico named the blossom of the yucca as the official state flower.
The yucca plant has been used by Native Americans for years for its medicinal properties. It is thought to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, stimulate circulation and relieve pain. Today, it’s readily available as powders, capsules and extracts to help boost health naturally.
Yucca plants have become symbolic over time, representing:
New opportunities: they’re resilient and determined
Loyalty: they have a long lifetime
Protection: they have protective spikes
Purity: they purify and recycle air
This is why the yucca makes a wonderful gift for a loved one or someone moving on to new opportunities.
While the yucca was a classic plant of the 70s and 80s, it has made a comeback in recent years. This is in part thanks to the Southwestern Desert trend. Think earthy colours, natural textiles and a laid-back approach to patterns and layering. When paired with other plants such as our medium cactus and Dracaena trio, you’ll be making a stylish statement.
Fun facts about Yucca Plants
If you’re looking for some fun facts about yuccas, you’ve come to the right place. The yucca’s one of the most interesting plants around – there’s so much to discover about them. Did you know..?
- There are over 50 species of yucca plants, each with a different personality.
- The yucca is part of the asparagus family (Asparagaceae).
- Early American settlers called the plant ‘Lamparas de Dios’, which translates to ‘the Lamps of God’. This is because of the yucca’s white flowers, which lit the way during long, dangerous journeys.
- Some yuccas bear edible fruits, which look like a cross between a cucumber and a pepper. You can fry, stew or bake them as well as eat them raw.
How to care for yucca plants
The yucca’s a firm favourite as it’s so easy to care for. It’s perfect for creating an indoor jungle in your home without too much effort. You only need to give your plant a little love and attention and it’ll thrive. Here are our top care tips on how you can keep your yucca plant happy and healthy:
Watering your yucca
It might surprise you to know that these green beauties don’t mind being ignored. Because the yucca plant is from dry, arid climates, they’re drought tolerant. This means you can forget about them for a few weeks and they’ll be just fine. This is a win-win for newbie plant parents or those who want the green jungle look but don’t have much time for plant care.
Water your plant every couple of weeks during spring and summer, letting the first couple of inches of soil dry out between waterings. Be careful not to overwater in autumn and winter as yuccas become dormant and don’t need as much moisture. From November to March, reduce the amount you water your yucca plant to once or twice a month. Yuccas are highly sensitive to overwatering. Be careful not to let your plant sit in water because the roots and trunk will rot.
Where should you position your yucca?
Yuccas are the perfect plants for summer as they love long, bright days. They like a sunny position best and will reward you with beautiful new sword-shaped leaves as they grow. They prefer bright, indirect light and can tolerate some direct sunlight. Placing them near a sunny window or in a location with ample natural light is ideal. However, they can also adapt to lower light conditions, although this may result in slower growth and stretched-out, elongated leaves.
Yuccas grow towards the light. Rotate your plant once a week to stop it from becoming lopsided or fuller on one side. Look out for leggy, spindly growth. This indicates that your yucca’s not getting enough light, so move it somewhere a little sunnier if you notice this.
A bit about yucca humidity and temperature
Yucca plants don’t like changing temperatures. They grow best when the temperature is consistent and doesn’t fluctuate, as they’re able to acclimatise to the location. Place your plant away from draughts and radiators to keep it happy.
Yuccas don’t need additional moisture. They like warm, dry conditions that are well-ventilated, so you don’t need to worry about misting your plant.
Top Yucca plant care tips
As indoor plants, yuccas can grow quite tall and may eventually outgrow their space. Pruning the top portion of the plant can help maintain a more compact size and shape. Additionally, removing any damaged or yellowing leaves can improve the overall appearance of the plant. However, it’s important to exercise caution while handling yucca plants, as their leaves have sharp edges that can cause injuries.
Follow these care tips to keep your yucca looking and feeling its best:
- Dust your yucca leaves to ensure they absorb the maximum amount of light.
- Yuccas don’t need frequent fertilisation, but you can add a generic houseplant feed in the growing months for a boost.
- Remove any dead or damaged leaves whenever you see them to encourage growth.
The Little Botanical Yucca Plants
Styled in our bespoke ceramics or baskets, we have lots of options to fit any space in your home. Check out the yuccas we have available at The Little Botanical and pick your favourites from this gorgeous green selection.
They are perfect for
Our classic yucca is perfect for adding structure to your indoor space. It comes in a selection of fab pots to suit any interior style, including almond, grey and charcoal grey. It’ll add majestic structure to your home, filling your interior with its gorgeous greenery.
Yucca, £13 – £19
XL Yucca in Ceramic
Our extra-large yucca’s a thing of beauty. It’s strikingly impressive with its sword-shaped leaves, adding character and style to your home. It grows to a massive 1.5 metres tall and looks fab in its large grey ceramic pot. Place it in a bare corner and watch this large indoor yucca plant flourish.
XL Yucca in Ceramic, £130
Large Yucca in Ceramic
This plant’s packed with character. It’s slightly smaller than our XL yucca but packs just as much of a punch. Finished in our signature ceramic pot, it’s the perfect feature piece for any indoor jungle, adding gorgeous tropical vibes.
XL Yucca in Belly Basket
If you’re looking for something slightly different, our XL yucca comes in our stunning seagrass and cotton belly basket, perfect for making a statement in your home. It can grow to a lofty 1.5 metres tall, purifying the air around you while looking super stylish at the same time.
XL Yucca in Belly Basket, £130
Large Yucca in Belly Basket
With its vibrant, bold-shaped leaves, this large yucca’s perfect for adding green style to any room. It looks great in a kitchen or living area, especially with our gorgeous woven belly basket. It’s also a fab plant for a home office, as it’ll cleanse the air and help you think more clearly.
Large Plants for Big Spaces
Create your very own urban jungle in a big living space with our large plant gang. We’ve curated it so that you can create an urban oasis in your home, and it features our Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant), large Fiddle Leaf Fig and XL Yucca. Because they’re different heights, they look great together as a group, adding the ideal amount of structure and texture to your home.
Tropical Plant Basket Bundle
Looking to add tropical vibes to your home? This funky basket bundle brings the outdoors in, adding texture to a corner or refreshing your living space. This green gang includes a yucca and a Calathea – both of which are gorgeous to look at.
Commonly asked questions
We’re often asked the following questions about yuccas. Have a read through and learn how to fix the most common yucca problems.
Why Is my Yucca droopy?
Droopy leaves suggest your plant doesn’t have enough sunlight. Eventually, the leaves will fall off the plant, so be sure to move it to a brighter spot as soon as you notice droopy leaves. As a rule of thumb, yuccas need around six hours of sunlight a day.
Why are the leaves of my Yucca going yellow?
Yellowing leaves means you’re trying too hard with your yucca. As we’ve already mentioned, yuccas are happy to tolerate neglect, which means they’re low maintenance plants that only need a little TLC. In fact, too much care can have the opposite effect.
Your yucca’s leaves may be turning yellow because of:
- Too much water. Your plant’s likely sitting in water, so drain any excess and scale back on how much you give your plant to drink.
- Not enough sunlight. Change your plant’s position to a south-facing window to give it plenty of natural light.
- Pests. Spider mites can cause discoloured leaves, so wipe the leaves down with a damp cloth every 2-3 days to remove them.
- Age. It’s normal for the lower leaves to turn yellow as the plant ages. Simply remove them with a gentle tug.
When should I think about re-potting my Yucca plants?
You don’t need to re-pot your yucca too often. Yucca plants are quite happy to have crowded roots. Keep an eye on the drainage hole – if you see any roots coming through, it’s time to re-pot. Similarly, if the roots are matted or water runs through the pot without getting the soil wet, move your plant to a larger pot.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the fab yucca plant. If you have any greenery questions or need some extra advice about how to care for your yucca, get in touch with us at [email protected]. We’d also love to see some pics of them in your space! Feel free to share them on Instagram and don’t forget to tag us @thelittlebotanical.
Lots of love, Team TLB xx