How Do You Care For A Yucca Gigantea Plant?

How Do You Care For A Yucca Gigantea Plant?

Yucca Gigantea is easy to care for. Yucca Gigantea plants prefer arid conditions and are considered drought-tolerant, which makes sense considering their desert origins. In general, wait until the top half of the soil is dry before watering.

Unlike other plants, which prefer rich, fertile soil that is somewhat acidic, Yucca Gigantea prefers poor, dry, and alkaline soil. If you intend to plant yucca outside, you may need to enhance drainage by introducing a large amount of sand or gravel into the soil.

Yucca Gigantea can withstand a greater range of temperatures than many other popular indoor plants. The recommended temperature range is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They are, however, fully at home in 50 or 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The following are aspects to consider when caring for Yucca Gigantea:

Sunlight:

Yucca Gigantea prefers full sunlight to partial shade. Avoid exposure to sunlight during the hottest part of the day. It requires at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily, but more is preferable. The indoor plant should be placed under an east-facing window or artificial light such as fluorescents. Excess sunlight can burn leaves, so be careful to avoid this.

A south-facing window is a good location for a Yucca Gigantea plant. Remember that the plant needs to be moved away from the window periodically so that it does not get burned in direct sunlight. Fluorescent lighting can provide adequate light for the Yucca Gigantea indoor plant.

Watering:

Yucca Gigantea will survive on very little water but will thrive with moderate watering. Water regularly without allowing the surface of the soil to become soggy, but do not allow water to collect in the root ball. Water is generally considered acceptable once a week during winter and summer.

During periods of extended dryness, you may need to water every other day or once every three days during heat wave conditions. If your plant begins to droop or if it appears unhealthy, stop watering immediately and investigate the cause of this condition before it causes considerable damage.

Soil:

Yucca Gigantea plants thrive naturally on sandy soil. Plant your Yucca Gigantea indoors in a loose, well-drained potting mix. Low-maintenance yuccas don’t require specially prepared or richly textured soil. Instead, get a low-cost potting mix and add coarse sand and perlite to enhance drainage, help retain moisture, eliminate molds and fungus, and revitalize the soil.

Fertilizer:

You can provide fertilizer to feed your Yucca Gigantea plant once every month or so if it is growing in a brightly lit area. Treat your indoor Yucca Gigantea with liquid fertilizer or controlled-release fertilizer during the growing season according to the package directions.

Feeding once a month is generally adequate.  Adding granulated wood ashes stimulates new growth and improves iron uptake. You can also add humus to the soil, but be careful as this may make the soil too alkaline or make the roots burn.

Temperature:

Yucca Gigantea prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will grow well at 50 or 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Yucca Gigantea is a perennial and therefore can tolerate cooler temperatures than most tropical houseplants, which are often killed by freezing conditions.

Be aware, however, that if the temperature in your home drops below 50 degrees, Fahrenheit and the area where the live Yucca Gigantea is stored has poor insulation, your plant will be under extreme stress.

Humidity:

Yucca Gigantea should be allowed to sit in a room with a humidity of 50 percent or higher. If you don’t have this type of humidity, you may use an inexpensive humidifier to supply additional moisture to the air in your Yucca Gigantea pot. The humidifier can be placed on the floor or on a table that is close to your plant. The humidifier will add moisture to the air, which will keep the leaves of Yucca Gigantea from wilting.

Pruning:

Yucca Gigantea has no specific flowering period but is a perennial and, therefore can be pruned as you would other perennials. Pruning a Yucca Gigantea is best done while the plant is dormant, in late winter or early spring.

Before pruning or cutting the Yucca Gigantea plant, use sharp clippers to remove dead leaves. Cut away any dead roots and brown fronds. To stimulate new growth and discourage pests, cut back on some of the tallest leaves and trim out damaged parts of the plant.

Propagation:

Yucca Gigantea is not difficult to propagate by cuttings and seeds during the spring and summer. Yucca Gigantea is propagated by cutting off mature plant pieces: Remove the bottom leaves from these pieces and place them in a container with good-quality potting mix or a cactus and succulent mix, and water thoroughly for a few weeks.

Scarring the seed entails gently rubbing it with sandpaper or a file to “scar” the seed covering. After that, plant the seeds in a well-draining potting mix, such as cactus mix. Plant the seeds in the soil one to two seed lengths deep. Place the plant in a bright, warm location.

Repotting:

Repot your Yucca Gigantea plant every two to three years in spring or early fall using a pot that is only one size larger than the previous one. Remove Yucca Gigantea carefully from the container and use your fingers to dislodge any compressed roots.

Adjust the soil level in the new pot so that the plant is seated at the same soil depth as it was in the prior container. Fill in around the roots with potting mix and lightly press it down to remove any air pockets.

Pests and Diseases:

Yucca Gigantea is susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases, including mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, scale, and whiteflies. Many of these pests exist on the plant in a dormant state until the plant is stressed or over-fertilized. Cacti and succulents are often susceptible to root rot caused by overwatering or poor drainage.

Yucca Gigantea usually requires no pesticides or chemicals. If insects cause serious damage, consider using an insecticidal soap spray or neem oil spray according to the directions on the product packaging.

How Do You Propagate Yucca Gigantea?

Yucca Gigantea is propagated by seeds and stems cuttings off mature plant pieces during the spring and summer. Remove the bottom leaves from these pieces and place them in a container with a good-quality potting mix or a cactus and succulent mix, and water thoroughly for a few weeks.

When propagating Yucca Gigantea by seeds, scar the seed covering. Afterward, plant the seeds in a well-draining potting mix such as cactus. Plant the seeds in the soil one to two seed lengths deep.

Place the plant in a bright, warm location and wait until they begin to germinate and sprout. You should see leaves emerge after about three or four weeks.

Yuccas are propagated by taking cuttings from the lowest leaves of mature plants in the summer months. Remove the bottom leaves from these cuttings and place them in a container with a good-quality potting mix or a cactus and succulent mix. Water thoroughly for a few weeks. The following are the steps to follow when propagating Yucca Gigantea:

Propagation from seeds;

  • Start by scarring the seed covering by gently rubbing it with sandpaper or a file to “scar” the seed covering.
  • Plant the seeds in a well-draining potting mix such as cactus. Plant the seeds in the soil one to two seed lengths deep. Place the plant in a bright, warm location and wait until they begin to germinate and sprout. You should see leaves emerge after about three or four weeks.
  • Water when the soil feels dry approximately 1 inch below the surface or when the top of the soil is dry; never allow water to stand in the rosette (trunk).
  • When the rosette begins to develop, remove the top leaf with a sharp knife or pruning shears so it will not get in the way.
  • Water at this point when the soil feels dry, approximately 1–2 inches below the surface, or when the top of the soil is dry.
  • When the first leaf appears, remove it and transplant it to a larger pot or place it into a hanging basket. Continue to water as above until the rosette is developed, removing any second leaves as they develop.
  • After the rosette is developed, mound up and repeat steps 4–6 for another growth period with the top leaf removed before rooting takes place.
  • After roots begin (from 3–4 weeks), pot up when roots fill out, transplanting to a larger container.
  • Water when the top of the soil is dry.

Propagation from stem cuttings;

  • Remove stems from mature plants after the primary root system has formed and dig up roots by hand. Make sure to keep leaves on stems for best rooting.
  • Clean stem surface and underside of leaves as much as possible with rubbing alcohol to avoid diseases (germination).
  • Place the plant in a plastic bag before putting it in the refrigerator for better rooting, but keep it at room temperature (60-70 degrees F) during the rooting period (approximately 10 days).
  • Remove plastic bags before taking them. Do not keep wet in case of fungal diseases.
  • Cut bottom leaves off stems using sharp clippers.
  • Use the resulting stalks for propagation that are between 2-4 feet tall, with at least two leaf nodes (buds) and no flowers or seeds.
  • Stems from smaller plants can be used, but take stem cuttings from the bottom rather than from the middle of the stalk.
  • Place stem cuttings in a mixture of half peat moss and half perlite or cactus soil and cover with plastic to retain moisture and heat within the potting mix (approximately 82 degrees F).
  • Cover the pot with a transparent pot cover or plastic wrap to retain moisture and fungus.
  • Remove plastic wrap or transparent pot cover after one week and spray with water using a spray bottle, especially the bottom of the stem that is rooting in the soil. Do this every two days by taking off leaves and spraying until roots are established (approximately two to three weeks). If propagation is successful, you should see new growth at the leaf node of the propagating stem cutting.
  • Once leaves are approximately six inches long, use sharp scissors to cut them from their main stems. This secures root growth located in leaf nodes at the base of the plant. Move the potted plant into full sunlight for best results.
  • New growth should be about one to two inches per day. Continue watering and provide light to new growth.
  • Begin repotting plants after new growth appears and continue with step 3 to propagate new plants as required.

 

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