Yucca plants are perennial shrubs in the Asparagaceae family. They primarily belong to America’s hot and dry regions and the Caribbean Islands. These plants don’t demand much attention, so they are perfect indoor plants. They are drought-resistant and slow-growing plants, so they can easily grow with indirect sunlight.
Yucca plants need well-drained, moisture-retaining soil which can hold them upright. They like to be produced in small rounded plants, and the soil should be packed so that it forms a dense root system so that there is no space for other roots to grow. So, changing the soil is scheduled for one or a half years.
Yucca plants have large and spiky leaves and clusters of white flowers. Typical varieties of yucca plants prefer dry, sandy, well-drained soil and lots of sunlight. You can easily have the banana yucca and soapweed yucca plants. Its roots and leaves possess steroidal saponins.
We can treat arthritis with it as it is an anti-inflammatory agent. It also benefits in purifying the blood and cleansing the kidney and heart. Before preparing our homemade herbal medicines, we should consult a physician for them.
Different Types of Yucca Plants
The different types of yucca plants are Banana Yucca, Soapweed Yucca, Beargrass Yucca, Spanish Bayonet, and Adam’s Needle.
There are various uses of yucca plants, depending on the type of plants we have in our houses. They make lovely indoor plants, edible fruits, and flowers.
1. SoapWeed (Yucca Glauca)
Initially, people used the leaves of soapweed yucca to weave baskets because of their fiber. Its fiber was woven into fabric and then twisted into a rope. People also used it to make our shampoo. You may need a medium-sized yucca plant to produce 12 shampoos. Rinse and trim off the top of the roots. After peeling, chop them into pieces similar to the ice cubes. You have to beat the root pieces until it turns white to an amber color.
2. Banana Yucca (Yucca Baccata)
You will see the banana yucca evergreen throughout the year. It is a short spiky herb mainly grown in arid regions in the U.S and Mexico. It has long, thin spiked leaves from 1m- to 3m tall. The difference between banana yucca and other yucca plants is that the banana yucca does not grow very tall as other yucca plants. Banana Yucca plants grow white flowers and produce banana-shaped fruits.
3. Adam’s Needle And Thread Yucca Plant (Yucca Filamentosa)
A unique characteristic of Adam’s needle and thread yucca plants is the thin filaments in their foliage. This thread-like growth in yucca plants is why they scientifically called them Adam’s Needle or Yucca Filamentosa.
An attractive flower in the Yucca filamentosa family is called The YUCCA COLOR GUARD. We also notice the foliage has grown in the form of a rose. The curly threads in the leaves turn pink and red in winter. In mid-June, a group of whitish flowers comes out as a long stalk. The Yucca should be grown in sandy soil.
As its leaves are sharp as needles, it keeps away animals from spoiling their growth.
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4. Spineless Yucca Plant ( Yucca Elephantipesis)
Yucca elephantipesis is extremely tall. It is scientifically called Spineless Yucca. As the name suggests, it is without tall, sharp spines on the leaves. It is the tallest plant in the Yucca family.
Gradually, as the Yucca plant matures, its stem grows grey representing the elephant’s foot. Thus, resembling the scientific name- Yucca elephantipesis.
The particular characteristic which differentiates it from other plants is its smooth leathery evergreen leaves. These leaves grow spiral and rosette in shape. This kind of yucca plant looks like a tropical palm tree and grows as tall as 9 meters in an open space. Its slow growth means it takes long years to grow spineless and reach soaring heights. Hence it is an excellent indoor plant.
5. Spanish Bayonet (Yucca Aloifolia)
The Spanish Bayonet is also known as the Spanish Dagger. It grows in arid regions about 1.5 to 3 m tall and forms a crown on several stems. It is a lovely tree and adds beauty to the yucca specie.
The Spanish bayonet is multi-stemmed too. Its leaves are long and like a sword in shape. The evergreen leaf blades are sharp along the margins and have a pointed tip. It complements the other tropical trees in the arid areas. The Yucca species flourishes in USDA zones 7-11. The Yucca tree, like a palm, grows indoors as a tropical plant.
6. Weak Leaf Yucca Plant (Yucca flaccida)
This Yucca Plant has leaves that may droop, or almost fall, as they mature. It is also known as Adam’s needle. This plant grows from 60 cm to 1.5 m. Like the other Yucca species, it also has sharp spiky leaves. When there is a dense production, it produces beautiful white flowers of bell-shaped and long ended stems.
Golden Sword is a wonderful production of this plant, with a growth of a rosette and yellow and green leaves.
7. Spanish Dagger (Yucca Gloriosa)
Spanish Dagger is another Yucca species, scientifically known as Yucca Gloriosa. It grows well in sandy, well-drained soil. Like other Yucca plants, it has sword-like leaves which are narrow-shaped and dark green. It is multi-stemmed like other Yucca plants.
The Spanish Dagger is 2.5 m tall with flowers of white color which sometimes turns to purple-red hue. The two types of Yucca Gloriosa are Variegated and Bright Star.
This yucca plant is an evergreen plant that grows a trunk after several years. It has a blue border but gradually changes into rich-cream color when it is new. It looks amazing when it is put in groups in a low garden, or it can be identified in perennial beds as they have contrasting colors.
Variegated Yucca plants demand proper sunlight. It needs sandy, clayey or loamy soils that are well-drained and grow better if the soil is acidic or alkaline.
- BRIGHT STAR
The Bright Star is an attractive shrub with colorful green-colored leaves with yellow margins. The narrow shaped sharp leaves grow from 0.6 to 1.2 m tall.
The bright star leaves thrive in heavy sunlight and well-drained sandy soil. They can tolerate low temperatures up to -17 degrees Celsius, and their color changes to a reddish-pink hue when the temperature drops.
8. Red Yucca Plant (Hesperaloe parviflora)
We can identify the red yucca plant by its grass-like leaves with tall narrow spikes. It has spineless leaves growing in a rosette shape. Its leaves change their color from bluish-green to reddish-bronze in cold weather.
The Red Yucca Plant produces small delicate red or dark-pink flowers and can grow to 1.5m tall. As they are drought-tolerant, they can be planted on borders, in Mediterranean gardens and containers, and do not cause any harm or injury to animals or humans. This Red Yucca Plant can develop finely in USDA zones 6-11.
Though they do not cause damage to animals and humans, you should keep your pets away from them to be on the safe side. Like other Yucca plants, this plant also contains poisonous substances.
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9. Joshua Tree ( Yucca Brevifolia)
Joshua Tree is a fast-growing desert tree. It hard ticks a fibrous trunk that divides it into thick branches.
The leaves are dark green and sharp. This plant grows about 15 m tall, and its roots dig deep in the soil in search of moisture. They produce a cluster of white flowers in the late winters and early spring.
10. Beaked Yucca Plant ( Yucca rostrata)
The Beaked Yucca is a wonderful single-stemmed yucca tree with an excellent punch of bluish-green leaves radiating from the trunk’s top. The crown of foliage is round in shape with thin blades that are 0.6 m long. They add beauty to a Yucca tree with a large cluster of white flowers emerging out of it.
The beaked Yucca plant grows between 1.8 to 4.5 m tall. They grow in USDA zones and survive up to -23 degrees Celsius.
11. Buckley’s Yucca Plant (Yucca Constricta)
Buckley’s Yucca is a perennial shrub. It grows in areas with low fertility. It is usually found in hot deserts with rocky, sandy soil. It is recognized by its narrow twisting leaves that change from pale blue to dark green. They grow up to 1.5m tall, and the leaves have thread-like filaments. The plant’s flowers bloom from the center.
12. Twisted Yucca (Yucca Rupicola)
Twisted Yucca is also known as Texas Yucca, Rock Yucca, and twisted-leaf Yucca. It has a twisting sword-shaped leaf with color variations from bright green to dark green. As most yucca species are outdoor plants, extra care needs to be taken when grown indoors because of the leaves’ sharp spikes and pointed tips. A low-growing Yucca plant grows in clumps with a rosette with clusters of white bell-shaped drooping flowers.
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13. Our Lord’s Candle ( Yucca Whipplei)
It is trunkless and has narrow bluish sharp-edged leaves with stiff blades.
The fantastic feature is its flower stalk. The flowers grow with stems up to 4.2m tall and crown with white scented flowers.
How to Care for Yucca Plants?
The yucca plants are for both indoor and outdoor plantation. The sword-like leaves of trivalent give a peculiar look to the landscape it is planted into. Since the plant is suitable to be planted in both environments, the care is different for different places.
Sunlight is an essential element for the growth of plants. Yucca plants, whether planted inside or outside, are no different. What differs is the amount of sunlight it needs. For indoor plants, bright but indirect sunlight is required. If you allow very less sunlight to reach the plant, it will grow thinner and much slower. Alternatively, plants’ leaves develop white spots or brown, crispy tips when exposed to extremely bright and intense sunshine.
The natural growth of the Yucca plants is witnessed in sandy soils. However, if planting the yucca inside, use loose, moist, and well-drained potting. Low-maintenance yuccas don’t require rich, exotic soil that has been carefully produced. Get a cheap potting mix, and add gritty sand and perlite to encourage drainage.
Yuccas get severely affected because of overwatering. Therefore you need to be very careful while watering your plants. Watering once a week during the summer and spring seasons will do good. You must ensure ample time for the soil to drain and dry out. When it’s winter, reduce the watering—water only once within a few weeks or maybe even lesser. Never let a yucca plant sit in a tray of water.
Humidity and Temperature
Humidity and temperature levels play a huge role in the growth of Yucca plants. Yucca plants grow effortlessly in the desert, where nighttime lows of 30 degrees Fahrenheit and daytime highs of over 90 degrees Fahrenheit are common. Therefore, indoor Yucca plants are adaptable to indoor temperature and humidity situations. For their perfect growth, they require moderate humidity. But, since they can thrive in desert conditions also, you don’t need to provide extra mist to this plant.
You can apply liquid fertilizer to the Yucca plants to fulfill the nutrition values. A controlled-release fertilizer applied according to the given instructions on the label will do the best. For best results, apply the fertilizer only once a month and not more.
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When grown outdoors in full sun, yucca plants can thrive well, allowing them to live for six to seven years. However, when planted inside, the natural growth slows down a little, and the lifespan falls to five years.
Pruning is not required for the Yucca plants.
Yucca plants thrive better in the sun. In the shade, their growth slows down.
Yes, one can touch yucca plants. Though, be cautious, as yucca plants have sharp leaves that can cause you irritation.
No, they do not need a big pot. The yucca plants have the specialty to fit in whichever pot they have been planted into
Yucca is considered the best source of carbohydrates. Though, they are highly toxic if consumed raw. The reason is that it contains cyanogenic glycosides that, when reaching the body, cause the release of hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous element.
Yucca plants can be grown indoors and outdoors. They both require low maintenance. All types of Yucca plants require well-drained sandy soil. They need adequate sunlight, provided there is a fair amount of airflow. Yucca plants should be only watered when the soil is dry or planted in a potted pot.