How to Grow a Yucca Plant Indoors

Arricca Elin Sansone
·3 min read

Native to South and Central America, yucca plants have a sturdy cane from which strappy sword-like leaves develop. It’s a relative of dracaena, for which it’s often mistaken, but it has stiffer leaves and a woody stem. Yucca is a relatively inexpensive houseplant, so it’s often sold in larger pots that make excellent low-maintenance floor plants. “Yucca plant is not difficult to grow under the right conditions,” says Justin Hancock, horticulturist with Costa Farms, one of the country’s largest growers. “It has a chic, modern appeal because of its strong upright form.”

Here’s everything you need to know to grow yucca plant indoors.

What kind of light does yucca plant need?

Yucca plant likes tons of bright light, so set it near a south-, east-, or west-facing window. It will even take some direct sun in northern climates. In the south, it’s best to pull it back a little from bright windows so it doesn’t get sunburned, says Hancock. It will tolerate medium light (make sure it’s casting a “soft” shadow to ensure there’s adequate light). But it won’t do well in low light, so use an LED grow light if you have very dark rooms.

How often should I water yucca plant?

Overwatering kills this plant! Yucca plant doesn’t like to stay wet because it grows in a desert environment rather than a tropical rainforest like many other types of houseplants, says Hancock. In fact, let the top half of the pot dry out before watering. Stick a finger or chopstick into the soil a few inches deep, and if soil clings to it, it probably doesn’t need watered yet. Check again in a few days. Also, make sure the pot has drainage holes because it doesn’t like wet feet. In time, you’ll get a feel for how much water you need to give it, but always err on the side of too dry, rather than too wet.

How do I care for a yucca plant indoors?

Because it’s a slow grower, you won’t have to repot for several years. Older leaves will get yellow; just remove them. Also, place yucca plant in a sturdy pot, such as ceramic or terra cotta, because the canes get heavy and you don’t want the whole thing to topple over, says Hancock. Because it grows in the wild in places which typically have poor soil, it’s not very needy. If you like, you can fertilize it once a year with a general-purpose slow release granular product. But it’s not entirely necessary.

Is yucca plant toxic to pets?

Unfortunately, yucca plant contains saponins, which are mildly toxic to cats and dogs and may cause vomiting. If your pet likes to chew on plants, keep them away from this one. If you suspect your pet has eaten any of this plant, call your vet immediately.

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