Ask a Question forum→Yucca leaves turning yellow

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New York
Jcbeck
Oct 25, 2020 1:42 PM CST
Hi, I'm pretty new to caring for houseplants, and am looking for help with my yucca. I've had it for about a year, and it had been doing great. I noticed a few months ago it started getting much droopier and the leaves have increasingly been turning yellow, with some brown spots. It sits in front of a very large west facing window, and I think it gets plenty of light. I do check that the top couple inches are dry before watering, but worry that it doesn't have proper drainage and am wondering if this looks like root rot, and the best way to save it or get it healthier. Thanks for any tips!


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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
Oct 25, 2020 8:54 PM CST
That yucca is pretty droopy all around, clearly not happy. Stop watering it completely... like for the next 12-15 weeks and place it in your best brightest window.

Remember, these are desert plants that live happily in blistering all day sun. Anything indoors is 90% shade. Your plant needs light. It needs more sun.

I'm in NY too.. we know it's not going to get any good sun in any location before next April at best, so my advice Is to put it in a window- brightest light you can give it and don't water it AT ALL.
This plant does dormant periods BEAUTIFULLY.
You have to give it everything.... or absolutely nothing. In NY winter, light is your limiting factor, so don't give it anything else.

The two inch rule is great for most house plants, but Yucca are desert plants, completely happy drying hard for weeks at a time. The 2" rule over- waters a yucca that isn't getting desert sun. If you have sun-burn level light you can water your yucca every day, but they want desert sun, and we're about to have dark dreary NY winter, so Don't water your plant. Not at all

In NY I'm going to leave my yucca outside until we expect frost (this Friday). Cold weather will slow the plant down. It will come in and sit in a south window dormant and dry..... And dry and dry and it will look like a million dolllars

between now and May I will flood the pot in my kitchen sink 2x (~Christmas and Easter or Any other 3 month marker that makes you happy) and it will not get any other attention

Let it dry completely- no water for 2-3 months- it will be fine. But when you do water it remember dry soil is hydrophobic.. most of the water will run out around the Edge of the pot. Put it in your sink, spray it for a second, wait 30 min, spray again, repeat 2x. Until you're sure it's wet through.. then leave it for 2-3 more months. Then move it outside to bright sun gradually when there is no more frost.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
Oct 25, 2020 9:06 PM CST
The way you water is as important as how often you water...moisture is rarely constant through the substrate

With yucca, let it dry to the middle. It will not tolerate moist soil, so by regularly watering when top 2 inches are dry, the center never dries, but the edges have wild fluctuations .... Yucca need to be watered well-damp all the way to the middle 2x In a 9 month winter and they will live forever
If it were a begonia - I'd give you opposite advice, but this is a yucca and I promise you - let it dry till your pot feels empty and the soil is dust
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Oct 25, 2020 9:11 PM (+)]
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New York
Jcbeck
Oct 27, 2020 6:09 PM CST
Thank you! This is all very helpful.

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