Yucca Vs Dracaena: An Owner’s Comparison + Pictures

If you want to learn all about the yucca vs dracaena, then this is the article for you. After keeping both of these plants for several years I’ve got a good understanding of how they stack up to each other.

Yuccas and dracaenas have very similar leaves and woody stems, but yuccas are much larger in size and are more commonly planted outside. The differences and similarities don’t end there, however.

Keep reading to learn more about these two amazing plants today!

What Is A Yucca?

Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees with around 40 to 50 different species.

An indoor yucca plant on a wooden floor
My Indoor Yucca Plant

Most yuccas are planted outdoors, and they are known for their evergreen pointed leaves and white flowers. Yuccas can also be kept indoors as well, and although this reduces their lifespan, it does make for a great houseplant to fill a space.

What Is A Dracaena?

Dracaena (often referred to as corn plant) is a genus of around 120 species of trees and succulent shrubs.

A dracaena marginata plant
My Dracaena Marginata, also kept indoor

These are more commonly kept as houseplants and are known for their long woody stems and sharply shaped leaves.

I’ve been fortunate enough to keep both of these plants as houseplants for several years now, so I’ve got a pretty good understanding of what is similar and different about these two plants.

Similarities Between Yucca Vs Dracaena

Here are all of the similarities between yucca and dracaena plants.

Leaf Shape

Yuccas and dracaenas both have long, sharp leaves that are often described as sword-shaped.

This is definitely one of the defining features of both of these plants, and it’s why they look quite similar in appearance – especially to people who aren’t familiar with these plants.

Woody Stem

Another key similarity is the woody stem that both of these plants have.

Sure, yuccas do have thicker stems, but when you look at the stems closely, they have a similar texture. When you consider that both these plants have similarly shaped leaves, as well as a similar type of stem, it’s quite easy to see why some people get them confused.

Toxic To Animals

A downside to yuccas and dracaenas is that they are toxic to animals, particularly cats and dogs.

They are both listed on the ASPCA poisonous plants list, which I highly recommend looking through if you have a large plant collection – it might surprise you just how many plants you have that feature on the list.

This isn’t an issue if you don’t have pets, obviously, but for all you pet owners out there, it’s something to be aware of.

Basic Care Principles

Yuccas and dracaena have pretty similar basic care principles. In fact, I look after both of mine in pretty much the exact same way, and they are both super happy.

  • Sunlight – Bright, indirect sunlight works well for both plants. Direct sunlight can lead to sun scorch unless the plant has adapted to it.
  • Temperature – Warmer temperatures are best for both plants. The ideal temperature range should be around 70 to 90 °F or higher.
  • Soil – Both plants can survive in multi-purpose potting soil that is well draining.

There are some differences in care that you should be aware of, and I’ll explain these in the following section.

Differences Between Yucca Vs Dracaena

Now that the similarities are out of the way let’s take a look at what separates these two plants apart.

Overall Size & Leaf Size

Probably the biggest difference is the overall size of these two plants:

  • Yuccas are much larger; certain types can grow to over 30 feet outside with a spread of over 20 feet.
  • Dracaenas are smaller and usually reach up to 10 feet tall, although certain types can grow over 10 feet tall when cared for properly and planted outside.

Yuccas also grow much longer and thicker leaves, although they are very similarly shaped to dracaena leaves.

Outdoor Vs Indoor

Both plants can be kept as houseplants or grown outside, but it is much more common to see yuccas grown outside and dracaenas kept inside.

Yuccas have a better cold tolerance due to this, whereas dracaenas will start to suffer if the temperature drops below 50 °F.


Dracaenas thrive in more humid conditions, whereas yuccas are well-adapted to drier conditions.

Dracaenas prefer humidity in the range of 50-70%, whereas yucca like lower humidity of 20-50%. In my experience, this doesn’t have a huge impact on their growth, but it’s still a key difference to know about.

Which Would I Recommend?

To be honest, both are great choices for houseplants and require pretty minimal care, assuming you place them in the right position and choose the right type of soil.

Dracaenas do tend to be on the smaller size, which is better if the size is a concern. Yuccas are much larger, so you’ll really need to consider where to place them, especially if you want to keep them indoors.

Photo of author

About Me

Hi, I'm Joe! I'm the head of SEO and content management at Bloom and Bumble. I'm a huge plant lover and over the years my home has become more like an indoor rainforest. It has taken a lot of trial and error to keep my plants healthy and so I'm here to share my knowledge to the rest of the world.

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