Even though yucca plants have striking foliage and produce gorgeous flowers, not all of them bloom.
So, if you’re sitting there wondering if your yucca plant will bloom, keep reading to learn more about the patterns of their blooming and what you can do to help.
No, yucca plants don’t bloom every year. Some yuccas can go a couple of years without blooming.
Typically, yuccas produce rosettes of spiky sword-like leaves and a flower spire rises from their center.
Yet, whether this ends up happening or not depends on the species and the growing conditions.
The standard is for yucca plants to bloom yearly, but that’s not always the case. There are many species of yucca and each blooms at different time intervals.
The same yucca may bloom at an entirely different time the following year, as the flowering phase happens sporadically.
The duration for which yuccas bloom varies depending on species and conditions.
Some yuccas produce flowers for several weeks or months while others for only a few days. You might want to cut the flower stalks; many think this stimulates further flowering.
Yucca plants typically bloom around the warmest part of the growing season during late spring or early summer. However, the exact timing can vary depending on the species.
Some species even bloom during the winter or fall. Moreover, Some Yuccas bloom annually, while others only bloom every few years.
While there are about 50 species, the two most common for indoor planting are Yucca gigantea and Yucca aloifolia.
It comes with the typical sword-like leaves that are a hallmark of the yucca plants, however, they don’t come with the leaf-tip spine. Moreover, the plant grows from a bulbous base.
Despite the name that indicates a huge size, Yucca gigantea are slow growers; they won’t outgrow their space for years.
Yucca gigantea usually grows up to 30 feet and spread for about 15 to 25 feet.
The reference to Yucca aloifolia is commonly Spanish bayonet. This yucca grows stiff leaves with sharp pointed ends. Aloifolia also takes several years to mature and bloom.
Their leaves can grow up to 20 inches long and are tremendously sharp, so you won’t find those in households with children or pets.
Yucca aloifolia usually grows up to 25 feet and spreads for about 12 to 15 feet.
If you’re worried that your yucca will die after blooming, that won’t happen. Individual flowers will fall off, but the plant grows and produces new foliage.
However, you have to keep in mind that there are some monocarpic yucca species, like the Hesperoyucca whipplei, or chaparral yucca, which flowers once in a lifespan of four to seven years.
The plant may not die immediately after its bloom, but it won’t bloom again for the rest of its lifespan duration.
If your yucca isn’t blooming, there could be some reasons behind the phenomenon.
Sunlight is essential for yuccas to grow. If it’s not getting enough light, your yucca will end up wilting.
Yet, you can grow your yucca indoors by providing it with bright, indirect light. If the light isn’t bright enough, the yucca will grow more slowly and its components will be too thin and weak.
However, if you leave a yucca in intense light, it might end up with brown, crispy leaf tips or white spots.
It’s important to know that yuccas are highly sensitive to overwatering. Even during spring and summer, you should water your yucca about once per week.
What matters the most is how well-draining the soil is. You should make sure the soil dries out between waterings.
On the other hand, during water and fall, you should water the plant once every few weeks—or even less.
Never leave your yucca to sit in a tray of water to keep it in tip-top shape. Yuccas are susceptible to rot, whether in the roots or crown.
That’s why you have to be careful with the amount of watering you give them, make sure their soil is well-drained, and avoid watering them at the top.
Apart from what could go wrong, let’s look at the factors you can control to help your yuccas bloom. It’s worth noting that indoor yuccas are less likely to grow flowers than outdoor yuccas.
If your yucca plant is too young, it may not bloom as soon as you would expect it to. Yuccas can take up to several years to mature and reach the bloom phase.
Most yucca plants prefer warmth, which explains why they bloom during late spring and early summer. Your yucca might not bloom if you keep it in cold temperatures for extended periods.
Yucca plants survive in deserts, so they can handle up to 90°F throughout the day and about 30°F throughout the night.
That’s why they’ll adapt to the fluctuations and conditions that indoor environments provide. Not to mention, since they’re desert plants, they’re already used to dry conditions. That’s why you don’t have to worry about misting their leaves now and then.
You shouldn’t keep your yucca’s soil too wet or too dry. The perfect environment is sandy soil with moist but also well-drained.
You can get an affordable potting mix with a combination of perlite and coarse sand to promote soil drainage and provide your yucca with stability for its roots.
Not to mention, the ideal pH level for yuccas to thrive is in a neutral, acidic zone.
Generally speaking, yuccas don’t need a lot of fertilizers. If you end up using too much, your yucca might end up with too much foliage and no room for blooming.
You can use controlled-release fertilizers or liquid ones. You don’t even have to do that often as once a month is more than enough.
So, after your yucca finally blooms, what can you do to help? Yuccas produce dangling panicles from a flower spire, with each flower being individual from others.
Once the panicles are finished, a lot of gardening enthusiasts recommend cutting out the stem.
Some advocate cutting wilted flowers, but others think that’s useless as the yucca won’t produce any more flowers that year. Not to mention, there’s no evidence that cutting out the wilted flowers encourages the growth of more flowers or contributes to the growth of the plant.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to grow more yuccas, you should leave the seeds to germinate. You can get new baby yuccas in as little as three weeks.
If you decide to get rid of wilted flowers, you should use hefty pruners with extended handles. Make sure that the blades of the pruners are clean and extremely sharp. Otherwise, you might incur damage to the plant’s crown.
You should wear thick gloves and a shirt with long sleeves as the foliage’s tips can be sharp enough to hurt your hands and arms when you cut the plant.
Are you sitting around waiting for your yucca to bloom? You might wait an entire season or even two or three as yuccas don’t bloom so often.
There could be a couple of reasons that it’s taking longer than usual; so make sure you’re giving it enough sunlight, watering, and nutrients.
By keeping those things in mind, you’ll encourage your yucca to produce beautiful flowers. However, make sure that the yucca you’re caring for isn’t a monocarpic species, otherwise, you’ll be waiting for a second blooming in vain.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.