Yucca plants are among the more popular exotic houseplants in the US. Since they’re relatively low-maintenance plants, people assume that Yuccas are a great option for inexperienced plant owners. However, this isn’t the case.
Yucca plants spread very easily and can overwhelm a homeowner if they’re not careful. These plants require a vigilant eye and frequent pruning to stop them from spreading out of control.
Read on to learn more about how Yucca plants spread and how to manage them the right way.
The Yucca plant is a perennial shrub that inhabits many areas of North America.
Its natural habitat comes in many forms, including the deserts, prairies, and dry woodlands of Canada, Guatemala, and every country in between. These plants are most commonly found in Mexico and the Southwestern region of the United States.
Yuccas are known for their stiff, sharp, sword-shaped leaves and bell-shaped flowers. For houseplant fanatics, they’re a prime choice for adding an exotic feel to any home.
The Yucca plant is notorious for how versatile and easy to care for it is. Therefore, it makes for an excellent houseplant whether you plan on keeping it indoors or outdoors.
The issue with Yuccas is their growth and their potential for multiplying. Before you decide whether you have enough space to grow a Yucca, you need to be fully aware of how large it can get and how wide it can spread.
Right off the bat, you should know that Yucca plants don’t just grow upward. They propagate with ease, and in turn, spread very quickly. If you don’t keep a vigilant eye on your Yucca plants, they can spread like wildfire and overwhelm you.
These plants propagate through rhizomes. These are stems that branch out of the main plant’s roots and form new ones. As a result, you may end up with many Yucca plants that feed off the main plant’s root system if you’re not careful.
You may wonder why this is a bad thing. After all, who doesn’t want more of these fascinatingly exotic plants in their backyard?
The answer lies in the sharpness of Yucca plants’ leaves. If left to spread, these pointy leaves can get in the way of people moving around your backyard and cause nasty injuries.
This risk is especially high with certain variations of Yuccas, such as the Adam’s Needle and Spanish Bayonet. On that account, you should prune and cut your Yuccas regularly to prevent any mishaps from occurring.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to stop your Yucca plants from spreading out of control. Before we get into the required steps, always make sure to have the appropriate protective gear on before handing a Yucca. We recommend thick overalls and gloves.
First off, you should use loppers to cut off any dead leaves on your Yucca. These leaves will typically be brown.
Be strategic in your choice of leaves to cut to minimize the sharp protrusions on your Yucca.
Next, examine your Yucca to see where you need to trim the sharp points off it the most.
Focus on the protrusions that are close to areas of frequent activity where people are constantly walking by.
You should also be mindful of your plant’s aesthetic when doing this. Try to keep your Yucca’s leaves looking as uniform as possible as you cut parts of them off.
If your Yucca is no longer in bloom, it’s time to snip off the dried-out flowers.
A Yucca’s bloom can grow several feet in length, so trimming the stalks will significantly reduce the space your plant is taking up.
Exactly how large your Yucca plant will grow depends on its species. Most indoor variations of Yuccas will only grow between 2-4 feet tall. In contrast, outdoor Yucca species can reach a whopping height of 30 feet!
As previously mentioned, Yuccas can also grow incredibly wide. In fact, their pointy leaves can grow as wide as the plant’s height.
Your Yucca’s species isn’t the only factor affecting how large it’ll grow. Here are some other parameters that contribute to your Yucca’s adult size:
- Sunlight: A Yucca’s growth rate is likely to be more rapid when the plant receives adequate bright, indirect sunlight daily.
- Watering Habits: Overwatering or underwatering can greatly limit a Yucca plant’s growth.
- Fertilizer Used: Yuccas grow best when they have sufficient nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in their system. Fertilizers are the best way to get these nutrients to your plant.
- Quality of Soil: Yuccas grow best in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil
- Temperature and Humidity: Yuccas thrive in low humidity and at temperatures between 60 and 90℉
If you’re planning on getting a Yucca plant in your backyard, keep in mind that these plants spread easily and rapidly. So, you should be prepared to keep a close eye on them and prune them regularly. Failing to do so may cause injury due to these plants’ pointy, sword-like leaves.
These mishaps can be avoided easily though, leaving you with a majestic plant that makes your backyard look like an exotic paradise!
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.