Ask a Question forum: Yucca Cane Tree - Browning of leaves - please help!

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Jul 22, 2020 7:01 AM CST
I purchased my Yucca about two weeks ago, repotted it last Thursday with cacti soil. I am getting brown dying leaves on the bottom portion of my plant. I do not overwater, have used neem oil to ensure there are no pests. Is this normal because it is the older leaves getting brown or do I need to do something? Please help !
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jul 23, 2020 10:25 AM CST

I assume your new pot has drainage holes. I've never seen one of these plants with leaves anywhere except the top of the stem. If there is new growth keeping pace with the dying growth, I would say your plant is fine.

As a side note, don't add any soil to the top of the rootball. The top of the soil in the old pot should be the top of the soil in the new pot. If you added soil, take if off again.
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

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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!
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Jul 23, 2020 10:54 AM CST
Hi PlantMama0720, Welcome!

It's common for the lower, older leaves of Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea) to dry and turn brown and papery before dropping; they can be removed at any time for a more aesthetic look. The lower leaves will continue to dry as the stems/canes grow and elongate.
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Does your container have drainage holes? The soil looks a bit dense to my eyes but if it was specified as a cactus/succulent soil, it should be okay. Yucca is a fairly drought tolerant plant so you will have to be careful with your watering routine; in my opinion, less is more with most indoor container plants. I'd suggest watering thoroughly until water is freely exiting the bottom of the pot and then allow the soil to dry somewhat before watering again.

The Yucca tree in my database photo below is growing in our yard. It's a tall tree, above the second story of the house and it's always messy looking with lots of dead tan/brown leaves hanging! Unfortunately my husbands ladders aren't tall enough for him to reach that height to remove them so we have to just let them drop when they are ready.

~ 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!

Jul 27, 2020 7:02 AM CST
@plantladylin & @Daisyl

Thank you for your advice! Thank You! Smiling

Plantladylin, I have also noticed that the leaves are beginning to fold up a bit, I thought it may be getting too much sun so tried moving into a more shady area. It is outside currently, and it was very hot this weekend with 90 degree weather and 70% humidity. Is the folding up of leaves normal? Soil still seemed a bit moist as I watered last Wednesday.

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