Houseplants forum: Yucca Elephantipes is looking very sad :'(

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Jul 8, 2020 9:22 AM CST
My yucca elephantipes is not looking so good. I've had it for about 2 to 3 months now and after a month I noticed it looking a bit shaggy because of the wilted/dried out leaves at the bottom of several branches. I took these off by gently pulling or cutting them. Since a few days ago more and more leaves were wilting, but at the same time the plant kept sprouting new bright green leaves from all branches. However, now several branches have wilted so much that they kind of snapped (close-up in 2nd photo).

I have the following questions that I could use some help with:

1. Is lack of direct sunlight the issue?
2. The yucca hasn't been standing in full sun, because I require the window to be open at all times. I'm willing to move the yucca next to the window so it can get more sunlight, but can it handle the draft?
3. Is it over or underwatered? I only water when the top part of the soil has dried out.
4. I saw a tiny piece of root coming out of the drainage holes and it looked brown but was not mushy. Could this be root rot? The plant sits in a pot with drainage holes and that pot sits on top of hydro clay pebbles so it doesn't stand in water when I water it.
5. Do I need to repot the yucca? It's currently in 24cm pot and is about 130cm tall from the ground up.
6. What do I do with the wilted branches? Cut them off, leave them?
7. Any other tips are of course more than welcome.

It's a lot of questions, but I hope numbering them was helpful.

Thank you!

Thumb of 2020-07-08/Marlaman/fe22b8

Thumb of 2020-07-08/Marlaman/91e4f9

Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Jul 8, 2020 10:28 AM CST
Hi Marlaman, Welcome!

1. I think your Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea) - synonym Yucca elephantipes needs more light.

2. It will depend on how cold the draft is coming from the window. I don't think that this particular Yucca would be happy with extended temperatures below 20ºF ( and if I'm converting correctly that would be around -6.6ºC)

3. It sounds like your watering routine is correct but with lower light, less water is required.

4. & 5. The root coming from the bottom is not currently an issue. Repotting an already stressed plant will only cause additional stress.

6. The wilted leaves will not recover and can be removed. I have a very tall tree in my garden that is above the second floor of the house and my husbands ladders are not tall enough to remove the dried, wilted leaves so they just hang there until the wind blows them off. Smiling

~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!

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