Ask a Question forum→Yucca Cane: Is this healthy?

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New York, NY (Zone 7b)
jacktherobot
May 29, 2020 4:56 PM CST
Hi all,

I bought a Yucca Cane plant a couple of months ago from Home Depot. It was very healthy when I got it, but it seems like it is on the decline. I read that it is normal for the bottom leaves to shrivel up and that you just need to pull them off.

The bottom leaves have been drying up, but it seems a little more often than what should be normal. Originally I had small green pups on the sides of the cane, but they since have dried up and the leaves easily fell off. I would like to know if this is normal and if not, can anyone help me pinpoint the problem?

Also, where the leaves fell off in the area next to the cane, these used to be more green when there were leaves and now they are yellow and bare. Will leaves grow again from this section? Or will the yellow areas move up to create the new cane as the leaves die off? Although the top leaves seem to be healthy, I don't see a lot of new growth off the top to balance out the leaf loss on the bottom. That is why I'm worried. 😟

Water: I read that yucca cane is drought tolerant so I have kept to a watering schedule of about once a month. I am able to pull the soil/root block out of the pot easily and the soil has no smell like I would have expected with root rot. The soil was fairly dry, with some moisture so I will leave it for a week or so before I water again.

Light:
I have it right by a south facing window. It does not get direct sunlight since there is a tall building right across the way, but all of my other plants by the window seem to be thriving in Spring/earlySummer.

Pests:
I don't see any visible pests. I have had mealy bugs on an older plant awhile back so I know what they look like and there are no signs.

Soil:
I kept the same soil in the plastic pot that came with it. It seems to be a mixture of bark and some sort of soil that drains pretty well.

Any advice is much appreciated!

Thanks,
Jack

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[Last edited by jacktherobot - May 30, 2020 8:30 AM (+)]
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Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Hummingbirder Birds Organic Gardener Dog Lover Cat Lover
oneeyeluke
May 30, 2020 1:28 AM CST
I think your plant is ok and just getting used to the new home. When you water, make sure and water enough that a tiny bit comes out the bottom of the pot. Then let the top 1/2 inch dry well before watering again.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 30, 2020 8:56 AM CST
Welcome! Jack. Your Yucca is reacting to your under-watering it. While it is true that Yuccas are more drought-resistant than many potted plants, yours is tightly potted (a good thing!) so it will need water more often than once per month. If it pulls up easily from inside its plastic nursery pot, then that means it has gotten so dry that the soil has shrunk away from the inside of the pot. When that happens the soil is so dry that, like a dry sponge, it becomes water-resistant and may not absorb water.

If the soil is hard and dry, then set the nursery pot in several inches of water for a couple of hours so the water gets wicked up and all of the soil gets re-wetted. After that never let more than the top inch of soil get dry before watering normally and thoroughly from the top.

Some lower leaf loss is normal as new leaves are only added on top. That means that over time the stems will become taller and more bare on their lower portions.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
New York, NY (Zone 7b)
jacktherobot
May 30, 2020 9:27 AM CST
Thank you WillC and Oneeyeluke!

I was worried about over watering. I am going to try the bottom watering method to see if it appears little healthier. And then water a little more often as you mentioned. That makes sense that the stems will get more bare from the bottom up as it grows.

Thanks again for your help!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 30, 2020 12:42 PM CST
You just need to bottom water once to re-wet the soil. You will not see instant results as plants react slowly to changes in their environments.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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