I’ve kept a yucca as a houseplant for over five years now, and in that time, I’ve encountered pretty much all the indoor yucca plant problems you can imagine.
The most common problems that indoor yucca face, in my experience, are related to human error (i.e., overwatering or misting) and other factors like a lack of sunlight or poor air circulation leading to moisture on the leaves.
Keep reading to learn about five key issues that face indoor yucca plants and what you can do to keep your yucca happy if it’s inside.
5 Common Indoor Yucca Plant Problems
Here are the five most common problems I’ve encountered with keeping yucca plants inside.
1. Lack Of Sunlight (Or Too Much!)
Probably the most common issue that I see with indoor yucca plants is a lack of sunlight or in some cases, too much sunlight.
The truth is that when yuccas are kept inside, they prefer bright, indirect light for the majority of the time. So, avoid rooms that get little sunlight, and also avoid placing your yucca in an area that gets a lot of intense, direct sunlight.
Too much sunlight can scorch the leaves, creating blotchy brown and yellow spots that eventually kill the affected leaves. On the other hand, if you don’t give your yucca enough sunlight, the plant will slowly die, as sunlight is crucial for healthy growth via photosynthesis.
2. Slow Overall Growth
You may find that your yucca grows slower inside than outside, and this is true in the majority of cases.
It’s hard to replicate the conditions outside in the home, and this is completely normal.
There’s a reason yuccas and a lot of other plants, live less time when kept inside. All we can do is make sure we meet the care requirements and hope for the best! Yuccas can still live a long time indoors, so you shouldn’t worry if your yucca is growing slowly inside.
3. Poor Circulation
Another common issue, particularly in humid areas of the home, is poor circulation.
Yuccas prefer dry environments, so when you combine poor circulation with a humid environment, it can lead to a variety of issues, such as fungal growth or overwatering (due to a decrease in transpiration).
4. Lack Of Space
Yuccas can grow pretty tall, and sometimes it can be hard to find space for them inside the house.
While there is no easy solution for this, I recommend properly researching the type of yucca that you are buying so you know how big it will grow (roughly). You can then choose the right space for it to grow into.
If your yucca is too large for your home, you can always plant it outside (as long as the conditions allow for it), and it should adapt pretty quickly.
5. Human Error
It can be hard to admit that we are doing something wrong to our plants, but the reality is that there is always room to improve.
When it comes to keeping yuccas inside, you’ve probably made a lot of mistakes without realizing it – I know I have!
- Overwatering – It can be tempting to water your yucca frequently, but the truth is they prefer drier soil rather than moist. When you consider that they grow slower when kept as houseplants as well, you really don’t need to water them very often at all.
- Too Much Fertilizer – It can also be tempting to fertilize often because more nutrients mean more growth, right? Well, this isn’t always the case, especially if you are fertilizing often when your yucca isn’t growing very much (like in winter or autumn).
- Misting – Misting is often given as advice from many plant shops, but it’s actually not worthwhile, especially for yuccas. Misting is ineffective at raising humidity and can lead to fungal growth if moisture is left on the leaves. Yuccas also prefer lower humidity anyway.
Most of the secrets for keeping your yucca happy inside are actually just remedying the problems above.
How To Keep Your Yucca Happy Inside
It’s worth noting that yuccas do live a lot longer on average when kept outside – in some cases, over 50 years old when compared to 5 years on average as a houseplant.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t help them thrive when inside, however, and if my five-year-old yucca is anything to go by, then it’s proof that they can exceed the average age of 5 years when cared for properly!
Here are a couple of easy tips to help your indoor yucca thrive:
- Choose a spot with bright, indirect sunlight.
- Don’t water or fertilize often, and check the soil before you water to ensure the top few inches are dry. I usually water once per week during the summer and around once every two or three weeks during the winter.
- Don’t mist your yucca at all, and avoid placing it in areas of the home with high humidity, like bathrooms or kitchens.
- Make sure your soil mix is well draining – perlite or soil are great additions to help your soil drain better.
If you’re ever unsure, the best thing to do is to leave your yucca alone – they tend to thrive when neglected (to an extent!).
There are a lot of indoor yucca plant problems that you might encounter, and hopefully, this article has shared some of my knowledge with you to help you overcome them.
Make sure your yucca is not overwatered and has a place with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight, and you’re 90% of the way there. The rest is simply fertilizing and watering when you actually need to, as well as making sure it stays free from pests or fungal issues.
It also helps to have a well-draining soil mix with drainage holes in the pot to help prevent overwatering as well.