There is an intimate and familiar feeling when it comes to Yucca. Being a native of America and the Caribbean, it is an amazingly resistant plant which can adapt to practically all sorts of environments.
This trait, along with the beautiful appearance makes Yucca hugely popular as an indoor plant.
Yucca plants grow on large woody stems or canes demanding attention while being stylish. They are flexible in nature and quite easy to maintain.
Some common names for this plant are Adam’s needle and needle palm. They give out stiff erect sword-like evergreen rosettes. They grow indoors as a bush form or as a tree with multiple canes.
Among the different species of yucca, yucca elephantipes does very well as an indoor houseplant.
Benefits of Indoor Yucca plant
Below are some of the benefits of keeping indoor Yucca plants.
Lights up the interior decor
Yucca plants look quite stylish indoors and can be used as natural decors for a bold architectural look. They can be placed in empty or awkward spaces and corners for a beautiful aesthetic look.
Group it along with cactus to achieve a perfect southwestern look or a desert theme. They provide an elegant accent to any room they are placed in. The dark green leaves are a treat to look at.
Yucca plants help boost immunity
Yucca contains a high amount of vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which help boost immunity.
Vitamin C stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells, which fight infections and viruses.
Consuming Yucca can help fight heart disease
The regular consumption of yucca can help fight heart disease by reducing oxidative stress.
It was able to do so by slowing the production of free radicals in platelets.
Can be used as Soap and Shampoo
Yucca plants were used by native Americans for making soaps and shampoos. All the natural shampoos have yucca as a key ingredient.
You can extract the roots, remove hair-like extensions and the root coverings. Next, chop the roots into pieces and then with the help of a blender, make them into pulp. You can use it as a shampoo or soap. The roots are rich in saponins or natural soap.
The high amount of vitamin C found in Yucca helps in the production of collagen which is an essential protein of the skin. The folic acid also helps to improve the overall skin.
The multiple benefits of yucca to the skin include treating sores, cuts, skin infections, etc.
Studies have shown that yucca has photoprotective properties so it can be used as a natural SPF for the skin against sun damage.
Some parts of Yucca plant are edible
Yucca plants are natural anti-inflammatory plants and non-woody parts are edible. The fruits or seed pots can be baked. If the seeds are soft and tender, they can be removed from the pot and eaten raw.
Dried pods can be made into flour. The flowers of yucca can be used in salads, soups, stews and stir fry dishes. The rhizomes are not edible and can be poisonous.
Some examples of species of yucca which can be eaten are banana yucca and soapweed yucca.
Improves Humidity and Oxygen Levels
Lastly, like all indoor plants, yucca improves humidity and oxygen levels at home while absorbing our respiratory waste- carbon dioxide. It is eye-pleasing, relaxing and helps to reduce loneliness and depression- an ideal companion plant with minimum requirements.
How to care for Yucca Plants
Caring for this plant is pretty easy. It grows even when neglected and needs little care. Due to its reliability and sturdiness, this plant is a favorite among indoor houseplants.
Yucca grows slowly and the only way to kill Yucca is to overwater it or exposure to frost.
Where to place the Yucca plant?
The ideal location for a Yucca Plant is from sunny to partly shaded environment. It loves sunlight. A south-facing window works quite well for this plant. In general, a yucca root plant is usually too big for the window when the rosette leaves get too large. Place it on the floor as a group with other plants near a warm sunny setting. Avoid shady and dark spots for a healthy Yucca plant.
One of Yucca plant best features is its ability to handle different temperature ranges. This makes it an excellent choice for areas with different temperature changes like the lobby or at the entry of house doors.
Yucca plant cannot withstand temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit)
Water requirements of Indoor Yucca plant
Yucca plants are drought resistant plants and do not require much water indoors or outdoors. Allow the top ⅓ or ¼ of the soil to dry out before watering well.
They can handle poor and dry soil conditions. Do not allow the plants to sit in water. That will cause the root to rot. Wipe the leaves clean gently with a damp cloth to remove dust.
A large number of yellow or brown leaves indicate under-watering. Leaves with brown tips indicate overwatering.
Water sporadically in winters.
Soil and fertilization requirements
Soil should be heavy enough to maintain this plant upright. Dry and well-draining soil works best. Soil that retains water causes yucca root to rot. The soil does not need to be rich. A high percentage of sand or pebbles is preferable. You can use peat and coir and one part sand.
The soil should have good air circulation with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.5.
Another important thing to remember is that when choosing pots, lean towards heavy containers that provide a solid base. Otherwise, the weight of the plant may cause the pot to topple.
As the plant matures, move it to larger containers as needed. Any attempt to limit their growth with smaller pots will not be successful and cause distress to the plant. As a rule, repot every two years in spring.
A light fertilizer should be used in the growing period. Give a diluted feeding of liquid soluble food in the springtime and once during the summer. Alternatively, use a light fertilizer every month during the growing period. Do not feed in fall and winter.
Troubleshooting problems with Yucca plant
Yucca plant is usually free from pests and insect problem. Sometimes, however, there might be an infestation with plant scale bugs. There can also be grey webbing and speckled spots indicating spotted mite infestation. Keep an eye out and use insecticide spray or a spray of neem oil.
If you see orange-red rust spots it is a sign that infection or “yucca leaf spot” has set in. Trim away the infected leaves and use a fungicidal spray after trimming.
Finally, despite all the benefits of yucca, in some people, yucca can cause allergies including contact urticaria and contact dermatitis. Severe allergic reactions are rare but can occur.
Yucca supplements can also cause some side effects like nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, bitter taste. Prolonged use of yucca can interfere with the body’s absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
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