Yucca palm care

The yucca is not a palm tree, even if the name sounds like it. The plant looks very similar to a palm, but from a botanical point of view it belongs to the asparagus family. Yucca palms can be recognized by their thick, round trunk and the crowns that sit on it at different heights. The trunk is easily up to five meters high. The hard-leaved leaves can be half a meter long. They end in a point that can be quite pricked.

Is the yucca palm poisonous?

There are many different opinions about whether a yucca palm is poisonous. Reference works are also not standardized. The yucca is often stated to be non-toxic. However, pet owners in particular, especially rabbits, state that their animals suffered symptoms of poisoning after consumption. Veterinarians often confirm this. There are also said to have been deaths. The yucca palm is listed as poisonous in some emergency books.

What is certain is that the plant contains saponins. They can cause irritation of the mucous membranes. They are also said to be responsible for hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells). Consumption can lead to inflammation of the gums, saliva, vomiting and diarrhea. Movement disorders, hypothermia and bleeding are possible in small animals, up to and including comatose states.

palm lily

So if you want to be on the safe side, you should be careful with a yucca palm. Scare tactics is probably excessive, but better safe than sorry.

Light location

  • In summer also like outdoors, but not in the blazing sun
  • Get the plant used to the sun slowly
  • A partially shaded location is tolerated
  • The yucca shouldn’t be too dark. It turns towards the light, grows crooked and cures

Plant substrate

Wet feet are fatal to the yucca. That is why a very permeable plant substrate is important. We recommend drainage at the bottom of the pot and, if the substrate is too heavy, adding perlite or pumice stone. If you don’t have a lot of time for the plant or if you forget to water it quite often, you can try hydroponics and the corresponding expanded clay. That makes work easier.

  • A permeable substrate is important
  • Hydroponics is ideal, especially for beginners and plant enthusiasts who travel a lot
  • Otherwise, a mixture of garden soil, compost and some sand is sufficient
  • Perlite, pumice stone or seramis loosen up the substrate

Plants or repotting

Yuccas should be repotted quickly after purchase. They are usually in vessels that are much too small. Tall vessels are better than shallow ones. Drainage is important so that excess water can drain off well. The roots grow quite vigorously, just like the plant itself. She then often looks out of the drainage holes below. Then it’s time to repot the yucca.

  • High or deep planters are ideal
  • A drainage at the bottom of the pot ensures that the water can run off and the plant does not get wet feet
  • Repot about every three years
  • At the latest when the roots grow out of the bottom of the pot
  • Yuccas are often sold in planters that are too small. You cannot develop. It is better to repot them soon after buying them
  • So nutrients can be better absorbed

Watering and fertilizing

For those who like to forget watering and fertilizing, planters with an irrigation system are ideal. I am happy to recommend Lechuzza containers because I have had many good experiences with them. However, the plants grow stronger in it than usual, the yuccas also form a lot of roots. You usually have to repot earlier, otherwise you save a lot of work with the containers. Depending on the size of the pot, you have to water once a month or even less. The fertilizer can also be administered via the irrigation water. It couldn’t be easier.

  • Don’t pour too much
  • Wait until the top layer of soil has dried off
  • With hydro containers, the plant takes whatever water it needs
  • Lechuzza containers are ideal because the roots are not constantly in the water
  • Calcareous water is usually well tolerated
  • Fertilize in the growth phase, every 14 days with green plant fertilizer
  • If you do not want the yucca to grow quickly and become quite large, you have to fertilize sparingly or not at all

Since yucca palms like high humidity, they should be sprayed with water from time to time. Use lime-free water as far as possible, this prevents limescale deposits on the leaves.

To cut

A yucca palm can, but does not have to be, cut. A cut is often necessary because the plant is too big for space. But that is usually not a problem. The plants can be pruned very well and they can still be propagated well. The cut-away parts can be used for this straight away. The yucca tolerates a radical cut.

  • A yucca palm can, but does not have to be, cut
  • You only cut when the plant has grown too big
  • The best time – in spring
  • Then simply cut the trunk at the desired point
  • Seal the cut surface, preferably with candle wax
  • Use cut parts of the plant for propagation

Care for yucca plant


Wintering in a warm living room is not ideal. A bright, but slightly cooler room is better. If the room air is too warm or dry, pests often occur. It is also important to regularly provide fresh air, i.e. to ventilate. However, drafts should be avoided. Under no circumstances should the plant substrate be too wet. The plants cannot tolerate that. Rot threatens. When a yucca dies, it is usually due to too much moisture in the winter quarters.

  • A yucca palm can be overwintered in the living room.
  • However, a bright and cool room is better.
  • Temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees are ideal.
  • It is important that you only water a little. The lower the temperature, the less watering, otherwise the roots will rot
  • It is important to have a regular supply of fresh air
  • Regular checks for pests, especially spider mites and scale insects

Increase (cut off)

Propagation is easy. It is best to use cuttings that arise when cutting. They take root easily in a glass of water, but only if you put them in the right way up. Here, too, it is important to ensure that there is no rotting caused by too much moisture!

  • By seeds or cuttings
  • Cuttings are incurred when cutting
  • You can let them take root in a glass of water
  • It is important to allow cut trunk pieces to be rooted the right way round
  • It is beneficial to use rooting powder if you plant the pieces straight away
  • Do not get the plant substrate too wet
  • Too much moisture will cause the cuttings to rot

Diseases and pests

Most diseases occur in winter. They are often due to a location that is too warm. The plants are weakened. Then pests can also colonize and multiply.

Tip: Brownish discoloration indicates insufficient humidity – spray.

Yellow and later brown leaves can come from a substrate that is too dry or too wet – stop watering if it is too wet, repot if necessary, water if it is dry, but only enough so that the root ball does not dry out.

Tip: The yellowing of the lower leaves indicates a lack of light – place lighter.

The plant dies due to root rot – repot, cut back if necessary and wait, usually the trunk sprouts again and rootsIf necessary, let the trunk take root and grow new yucca.

Yucca – Sorten

There are around 30 different types of yucca. In terms of requirements, they are quite similar. All yucca are easy to care for and also suitable for beginners in plant care. They forgive maintenance mistakes and are robust. You can’t kill a yucca palm that quickly. With a little luck you can even make the yucca bloom in your apartment, but that is rare. The yucca most commonly kept as a houseplant is:

Yucca Aloifolia Can be
recognized by its finely toothed leaves and its single, mostly unbranched trunk, which can reach a stately height of one meter even in a pot. The leaves form at the top of the trunk and form a tuft. The up to 40 cm long, narrow and pointed leaves are dark blue-green. The tips are dangerous, you can injure yourself on them!
There are other types of this species, e.g.

  • ‘Marginata’ – eye-catching because of its particularly colorful leaf crown. It has very hard and pointed leaves in green with a yellow edge that turns red when exposed to sunlight. This yucca grows quite quickly. The trunk usually branches out. It has a very symmetrical growth. Yucca aloifolia ‘Marginata’ is very sensitive to moisture.
  • ‘Tricolor’ – red, yellow green striped leaves, one of the most interesting yuccas. Forms a strong trunk. Grows slowly. Young leaves have a reddish tinge.
  • ‘Quadricolor’ – leaves with green, yellow, white and reddish vertical stripes
  • ‘Variegata’ – variegated yellow variety that forms a stem. This yucca grows slowly. The play of colors in the leaves is best shown off in a sunny position.

Other popular types of yucca are

  • Yucca elephantipes – one of the largest types of yucca, but does not grow too big in a planter. Also one of the most famous indoor yuccas. Forms a trunk and shines with up to one meter long pointed narrow leaves. As a houseplant it is often offered with 3 trunks of different heights.
  • Yucca gloriosa – candle palm lily, short branched trunk and dense crowns, made of stiff, quite broad, light blue frosted leaves. Also good as a container plant. Beware of sharp leaf edges and dangerous leaf tips!

It is not for nothing that the yucca palm is one of the most popular indoor plants. It is easy to care for, resilient and undemanding. In addition, it is quite cheap to buy. Often you can get an offshoot from somewhere. Hydroponic yuccas are particularly easy to care for. You don’t have to have a green thumb to cultivate one of these palm lilies. Yucca palms grow quite quickly, but they can also be shrunk. They are also easy to multiply. If you bring one of these plants into your home, you can’t go wrong with it. Even the best plant must have a disadvantage. The leaf edges of the yucca are sharp, you can cut yourself. Sometimes they are also toothed, like a saw. The ends of the leaves converge to a point that is very easy to prick. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *