Houseplants forum: HELP!!!! dying yucca elephantipes

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Jan 18, 2017 12:03 AM CST
i am a terrible plant parent. please help me. so i got a yucca elephantipes in june, that had three separate trunks. he was doing great till i noticed the two smaller ones were wilting pretty badly in the fall i watered him once after getting him. he was in a south facing window. i thought it was because they werent quite tall enough to receive sunlight so i moved him further from the window so they werent sitting right under it. then i noticed their wilting leaves had black spots and the trunks were spongy. i pulled them out when i thought they were goners and sure enough they were completely rotted. their side of the soil was soaking wet at the bottom (i have no clue how). i think they were watered a lot before i bought them and the soil was retaining water or something.

so they were goners. the biggest trunk was still going strong. then he started wilting and getting black spots on leaves too. all of them were only on the lowest leaves. i had no clue what to do. i think he might of had a fungal infection so i looked into it and one site recommended spraying him with apple cider vinegar and water. so after a few months of no improvement, new soil, and better light, i sprayed him. he had began wilting pretty bad at this point and i was desperate.

to clarify he had not been watered since the other two stalks died and i put him in fast draining soil that all my other plants are in.

so after i sprayed him today i thought about it and now im nervous because some other websites said the acv will kill him. i put 3 tablespoons in about a pint of water and only sprayed about a quarter cup on him. im so stupid. im going to cry.

in the pictures, i moved him from the window he was in front of.


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Jan 18, 2017 12:13 AM CST
also the room he is in hot & dry. i have been increasing the humidity though for other plants but after he started declining.
Name: Lin
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Jan 18, 2017 10:30 AM CST
Hi dararox123, Welcome!
I have Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea) (elephantipes is a synonym) growing in my yard but I've never grown it as an indoor plant so I can't really offer much advice. If the trunk or branches are soft and spongy, that's not a good sign ... it sounds like rot. Crying When grown indoors, plants like the Yucca require a well draining soil and high light. Hopefully someone with more knowledge of growing them as a houseplant will be along with advice.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Jan 19, 2017 7:34 PM CST
Hello dararox123, I have a yucca in a container too, but I don't grow them indoors either.
You mentioned the plant media was so wet, were there drainage holes in the container?

Sometimes, yucca will do that cycle of dropping the older lower leaves appearing like it is sick, especially as the seasons change, but new growth continues at the center. My plant is outdoors right now getting all the rain and getting into our very cold temps too. It really likes lots of light, so I have it outdoors, but my container has drainage holes and media is very well draining. And Yuccas are so drought tolerant able to handle being super dry, so indoors, you have to be more careful watering it.

It is a little dicey since you sprayed something already on a very distressed plant. Maybe observe a bit more, remove any dying leaves. If the tip is staying good and the trunk is staying firm, since you have already changed it to a well draining media, maybe it will recover. Try to keep it warm, augment your lighting for it, since it is growing indoors, and make sure container you are using have drainage holes.

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