Yucca plants are a great addition to any home. Not only that, but with their perfectly shaped leaves and tall stature, they give a timeless effect on any indoor space.
However, if your yucca’s leaves begin to turn brown, this might be a sign of trouble.
So, why do yucca leaves turn brown? While there are many reasons for the browning of yucca leaves—from pests to over or under-watering—knowing how to bring them to life is vital.
Keep reading to know the exact reasons and discover ways to revive a dying yucca plant without expert help.
Bacteria or fungi are majorly responsible for brown spots on yucca plants. Overwatering your yuccas is a prime cause of the fungus invading and spreading across the leaves in the first place.
Not just that, but pests can propagate throughout your plant. These parasites feast on your plant’s leaves, leaving behind discharges that cause the lush foliage to grow brown spots.
Bacteria are another common reason for brown spots. They trigger a disease called fungal leaf spots, which causes tissue damage and brown spots on yuccas.
Generally, you can see these bacteria in old soil.
To effectively treat brown spots on your yuccas, here’s what you need to know:
Stop watering your yucca if fungus and bacteria have invaded your plant. Doing so will allow them to develop even more.
Prevent spores from infecting the plant by applying a copper fungicide.
On the other hand, if the bacteria are causing leaf spots, change the soil to stop the spreading of the bacteria on the foliage.
If the source of leaf spots is pests, you should apply a pesticide designed for such insects.
Moreover, if you feel the pesticide will compromise your plant’s sensitive leaves, spray it with alcohol, preferably isopropyl, to clear away the pests.
Remember that you’ll need to keep doing this step as eliminating these pests takes time.
Brown leaves are one of the most typical problems that yucca plant owners encounter. A few of its contributing factors are over or underwatering, lack of humidity, and extreme temperature.
Let’s take a deeper look at each of these causes.
Overwatering is a common mistake that results in root rot and brown leaves. The yucca plant must be correctly hydrated. However, let the soil dry completely before watering again.
Similarly, if underwatered, the soil will be overly dry. Hence, the plant won’t receive enough moisture.
To avoid this, check the soil’s moisture level and root system’s health before watering. It’s also best to trim decaying roots to make room for the development of healthier ones.
Moreover, you can reestablish a strict and moderate watering routine. The progressive regime will help prevent shock to the plant due to environmental change.
In addition to that, use a planter with adequate drain holes to get rid of excess water. Remember that yucca plants hate sitting in wet environments for a long time.
Yucca plants prefer mild humidity levels and won’t thrive in environments with dry air. A prolonged lack of humidity causes the foliage to dry, resulting in a brown leaf tip.
Typically, this happens during fall and winter, when heaters and poor ventilation create bone-dry air.
With this in mind, we recommend relocating your yucca plant to a moist place. For instance, move it to the bathroom to take advantage of the high humidity given by shower steams. It’s also best to use a humidifier to keep a moist environment around the plant.
Alternatively, mist the leaves with a spray bottle twice a week. We advise doing this early in the morning to give ample time for water to evaporate.
Yucca plants’ foliage turns brown as they age. It’s a natural phase of its life cycle, so there’s no reason to be worried. Usually, it appears on the lower leaves closest to the ground.
However, if discoloration develops on higher leaves, check deeper. We recommend removing the old leaves to conserve energy while maintaining the yucca’s magnificent beauty.
Yuccas don’t need regular fertilization. We suggest applying a water-soluble fertilizer at a lesser concentration every two to three months. You can do it during summer and in springtime.
Although, you want to limit the watering during winter since yucca goes dormant and won’t generate growth.
Besides that, drain the potting medium every three months to reduce the salt accumulation around delicate roots. Put natural fertilizers on houseplants rather than artificial ones.
Yuccas grow best in bright, moderate sunlight. The plants’ leaves might turn brown if placed in low-light environments or if the light source is too intense.
It’s critical to pick a spot that offers your plant the appropriate amount of light and shade.
For example, place the plant close to a window with curtains to lower the light intensity. The new spot helps keep the plant from being burned to death.
Additionally, enhance your interior lighting by using artificial grow lights.
Plants exposed to extremely hot or cold temperatures may become damaged and discolored.
To reduce this issue, place the plant in a stable temperature range of 65–75°F. High temperatures over 90°F can create brown tips. While temperatures below zero will cause dormancy and uneven growth.
We recommend tracking the indoor temperature changes with a thermometer.
Yuccas are often sensitive to the fluorine present in tap water. If you’re in a place with hard water, this could lead to an issue over time.
There are two free options if you don’t want to spend on a water purification system.
- Wait overnight for the water to evaporate, leaving your tap water pure
- Collect rainwater which has fewer contaminants than tap water
Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand why do yucca leaves turn brown and how to fix it.
The main takeaway is that bacterial infection, overwatering, and extreme temperatures are the primary factors of browning on yucca leaves.
Above all, by adjusting your plant’s care routine and making necessary changes, you can fix the leaf browning and bring your yucca plant back to life.
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.