Cactus and Succulents forum→Indoor grown Joshua tree.

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Name: Eric
Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
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Hallow
May 4, 2020 8:22 AM CST
I have a small 3 year old Joshua tree I been growing for half the year indoors. So far I feel it's doing well but growth seems kind of slow. Can anyone give me some tips to make it thrive. Type of soil, watering pot size. That kind of stuff. During the winter months I need to keep it indoors because of the environment I live in.
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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
May 4, 2020 8:25 AM CST
Well, you got further than I ever did...messed something up , thats for sure..
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 4, 2020 10:14 AM CST

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Your plant looks great. Keep doing whatever you've been doing. I'm not sure whether slow growth is a disadvantage, given the hassle and effort of lugging a huge pot in and out of the house every year. Smiling

I have 3 tree yuccas on the patio (but not the species you're growing) and they require the same care: maximum possible light, excellent drainage, and water when the soil is dry. They enjoy extra space in containers, when it's given in a stepwise fashion.
Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
May 4, 2020 10:37 AM CST
I doubt that soil matters too much as it grows naturally in pretty much crappy soil to begin with. Given your climate you will want it to be fast draining, but I am sure you figured that out.

Thing is Wisconsin vs. the Mojave Desert is a difficult comparison when it comes to providing a comparable growing environment - you will want to give it as much sun as possible, ideally day long (of course be careful when you move your plant into more sun especially if you are moving from inside to outside) full exposure. Pretty much nothing else tall grows around these plants in their habitat so they get little to no shade. Rain is episodic but in a pot you will want to find a schedule where you give the plant a good soak and then let it pretty much dry out before watering again.

They grow reasonably successful here in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix Area) which gets hotter than the Mojave but is not too different water wise. They are considered reasonably fast for a desert plants at about 3" year in their early lives, slowing down later, but in their natural habitat their growing season is just way longer than what you can provide.

I suspect but am not sure that to even begin to thrive it will need a bigger pot, this is not a yucca that is supposed to stay small and it is used to harvesting water from a large area, so I suspect it wants to make an extensive root network. It also has a deep root system so probably has some roots that serve as tap/water storage roots, so a shallow wide pot is not going to it.

I guess my final comment would be that there are other yuccas that remain smaller throughout their life that might be better suited to pot culture, than the Joshua tree, for which even 'small' specimens still top out at 2.5m tall.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 4, 2020 11:31 AM CST
Joshua trees grow sloooowwwly - just a couple inches a year. Yours is doing great!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Eric
Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
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Hallow
May 4, 2020 6:48 PM CST
mcvansoest said:I doubt that soil matters too much as it grows naturally in pretty much crappy soil to begin with. Given your climate you will want it to be fast draining, but I am sure you figured that out.

Thing is Wisconsin vs. the Mojave Desert is a difficult comparison when it comes to providing a comparable growing environment - you will want to give it as much sun as possible, ideally day long (of course be careful when you move your plant into more sun especially if you are moving from inside to outside) full exposure. Pretty much nothing else tall grows around these plants in their habitat so they get little to no shade. Rain is episodic but in a pot you will want to find a schedule where you give the plant a good soak and then let it pretty much dry out before watering again.

They grow reasonably successful here in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix Area) which gets hotter than the Mojave but is not too different water wise. They are considered reasonably fast for a desert plants at about 3" year in their early lives, slowing down later, but in their natural habitat their growing season is just way longer than what you can provide.

I suspect but am not sure that to even begin to thrive it will need a bigger pot, this is not a yucca that is supposed to stay small and it is used to harvesting water from a large area, so I suspect it wants to make an extensive root network. It also has a deep root system so probably has some roots that serve as tap/water storage roots, so a shallow wide pot is not going to it.

I guess my final comment would be that there are other yuccas that remain smaller throughout their life that might be better suited to pot culture, than the Joshua tree, for which even 'small' specimens still top out at 2.5m tall.
right now it's in your average catus potting soil. The pot is deep. Was thinking of repotting it soon. Think I'll add something so it drains better. 3 year's ago I grew a lot from seed just because I thought it would be fun. Most germinated but That's the only one that made it past it's infant seedling stage. *Blush* so I really want to take good care of that one. Thanks for the tips.

Name: Eric
Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
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Hallow
May 4, 2020 6:49 PM CST
Thank you everyone for the tips!! Hurray!
Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
May 4, 2020 8:28 PM CST
Good luck! I wish you could plant it as they are majestic plants, but unless you could have it in a raised bed and protect it completely from wetness in winter there is probably no shot. They are possibly somewhat cold hardy given that the Mojave can get quite cold (I spent a few frigid nights camping in Joshua Tree National Monument years back), but almost always dry and probably never for weeks in a row.
It is what it is!

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