If you want to learn about yucca growth rate, then this is the article for you.
Yucca can grow anywhere from a few inches per year to over 2 feet per year, depending on several factors. These include whether your yucca is planted inside or outside, how old it is, general care, and much more.
After owning a yucca for over 5 years now, I’ve got a pretty good understanding of the factors that affect their growth rate. Keep reading to learn all about these factors and how to optimize them to get your yucca growing quicker than ever before!
11 Factors That Affect Yucca Growth Rate
Here’s a list of 11 factors that can affect yucca growth rate.
1. Type Of Yucca
There are between 40 and 50 species of yucca, and around 20 of these are native to the US.
Different types of yucca grow at different rates and reach different overall sizes. Yucca filifera, for example, is one of the fastest-growing types of yucca, whereas certain types of yucca shrubs native to Florida are known for growing very slowly.
There are lots of factors that affect yucca growth rate, but if you have a slow-growing type to begin with, you’ll struggle to see any significant growth no matter how hard you try.
2. Indoor Vs. Outdoor
After considering the type of yucca that you have, a big factor that affects the growth rate is whether it is indoor or outdoor.
Outdoor yuccas grow faster than indoor yuccas in the vast majority of cases.
This is because it’s extremely difficult to replicate the conditions outside with a houseplant, no matter how hard you try. Outdoor yuccas also adapt to direct sunlight, whereas indoor yuccas prefer indirect sunlight.
Sunlight is crucial for yucca growth rate, just like every other plant.
Sunlight is required for photosynthesis, which converts water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Without getting too technical, sunlight essentially gives plants energy for growth.
If your yucca doesn’t receive enough sunlight, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, it won’t grow very fast at all. If your yucca is planted outside, make sure it isn’t in a fully-shaded area, and if you keep your yucca inside, make sure it receives plenty of bright, indirect sunlight every day.
4. Watering Schedule
Water also plays a crucial role in photosynthesis and transporting other key nutrients from the soil to the plant.
If you water your yucca too much, it can lead to several issues, such as root rot and stem rot, which can eventually kill the entire plant. This will obviously slow growth down drastically in the short term.
Water too little, and your yucca will also grow very slowly – it’s all about finding a balance.
I’ve found that yuccas like moist to dry soil rather than wet soil, so I would recommend watering when the top few inches of soil become dry for the best growth results.
Fertilizing yuccas is something that not enough people actually do.
It’s a great way to boost the nutrient content of the soil, and it can help your yucca grow faster as well.
I recommend using a balanced complete fertilizer, meaning one that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK).
- Nitrogen – Nitrogen is important for leaf development and foliage.
- Phosphorus – Phosphorus is important for root growth and blooming.
- Potassium – Potassium contributes to the overall health and vigor of yuccas.
Fertilizing during the spring and summer is ideal. I recommend fertilizing once every one or two weeks during this time for the best results.
6. Soil Quality
Soil quality and type also play a role in the yucca growth rate for two main reasons.
The first reason is drainage – yuccas hate to be planted in soil that is constantly wet, as this promotes problems like root rot. When choosing soil for your yucca, make sure it drains well, and consider adding perlite or sand to your mix to achieve this.
The second reason is nutrient content – If your soil is packed full of nutrients, it’s going to help your yucca grow. This is the reason why fertilizing is a great option, but it starts with choosing a good nutrient-dense soil mix – I add compost to my yucca soil mix for this reason.
Yuccas prefer low humidity, and this can have a direct impact on growth rate as humid conditions can promote issues like root rot and the growth of mold and fungus on the leaves.
Temperature plays an important role in yucca growth rate, as it impacts photosynthesis.
Yuccas thrive in moderate to warm temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees.
9. Pests & Disease
If your yucca becomes affected by pests or diseases, it can quickly kill your plant if not dealt with. During this time, the growth rate will obviously slow down drastically.
Common pests that can affect yuccas include mealybugs, spider mites, and white flies. Some common diseases include leaf spot, stem rot, and blight.
These can mostly be dealt with using insecticides or fungicides, and it’s important to check your yucca every so often for signs of disease or pest infestation.
Once your yucca has matured (this usually takes 2 to 3 years), its growth rate will start to slow down.
This won’t be super noticeable, especially for slow-growing varieties of yucca, but it’s part of their life cycle.
Seasonality plays a big role in yucca growth rate for pretty obvious reasons.
When it’s spring and summer, ambient temperatures increase, and sunlight hours increase, which speeds up growth.
During the winter, it’s the opposite – less sunlight and colder ambient temperature mean your yucca won’t be growing very quickly.
It’s important to keep the seasons in mind when you look at your watering and fertilizing schedule. Water and fertilize your yucca much less in the winter, or you’ll risk overwatering or over-fertilization.
If you want your yucca to grow as fast as possible, it’s about making sure you are providing the optimal conditions for growth.
Some yuccas will simply grow faster than others, and there is nothing you can really do about that. In an ideal world, you would have a fast-growing type of yucca planted outside in ideal conditions for the best growth rate, but this isn’t practical for everybody.