Yuccas, commonly known as Cassava, are extremely tough plants and perfect for indoor and outdoor growth. These fleshy succulents can survive a ton of neglect and more than the average potted plant. But do they need full sun to survive? We've researched how to grow and care for yucca plants, and in this post, we will answer this question for you.
Most yucca plants thrive in full sun. In order to thrive and grow to their full potential, they'll need exposure to full sun for at least part of the day. If they're grown in primarily shady or low-light areas, you may find that their branches will be thinner, and their leaves may contain fewer flowers. There are, however, certain yucca varieties that can thrive in shaded environments.
Daily sunlight is vital to keep this plant growing and healthy. In this post, we'll go over other requirements needed to maintain yucca plants and how to determine if they are suffering from stress. Continue reading to learn more about how to care for yuccas.
Sunlight Requirements For Yuccas
If there is one rockstar type of succulent plant, it's definitely the yucca plant. Though yuccas are notoriously easy to grow, they require direct or at least partial sunlight to grow larger. Like with any plant, photosynthesis is very important to the yucca plant, as many of these succulent varieties are native to warm, sunny weather conditions. There are over 40 yucca varieties, and while some may tolerate partial shade more than others overall, you'll find it they need at least a few hours of sun a day.
Once these plants are placed in a prime location indoors, you'll notice that they will begin to flourish with little effort. They will produce white creamy flowers during mid to late summer when exposed to full sun for a few hours a day. It's best to place them in a sunny to partial location when planting them indoors and keep a lookout for any white or browning tips on the leaves, as these can be signs of sun-related stress. When grown in the right environment, these plants can grow up to 10 feet tall, and their leaves can reach about one to three feet in length.
Can Yucca Plants Grow In Shade?
Most yucca plants can grow in areas that have partial shade to full sun. However, if they are grown exclusively in partial shade may suffer from stunted growth. This means that their branches may not be as full, and their leaves may not grow to their full potential. It's best to place the plant in an area where they receive anywhere from three to six hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. Also, yucca plants prefer real sunlight as opposed to artificial sunlight from indoor plant light.
On the other hand, if you have a yucca plant that shade-tolerance, as is the Arkansas yucca, then you can definitely plant it in an area of your home that doesn't receive much sunlight. The Arkansas yucca plant is a small shrub that grows to about one or two2 feet high--so it won't get as tall as sun-loving yuccas. However, to ensure a full springtime bloom, the plant will need to be exposed to full sun for at least a few hours a day to grow.
If you don't care about the plant flowering, you can still plant the shrub in a shaded area, where it will still grow. Keep in mind that if you plan to grow your yucca plant in a shaded area, it'll need less water than a sun-loving yucca plant--which doesn't require much sun itself.
What Is The Best Place To Plant A Yucca?
It's best to plant most yucca varieties near a window, patio door, or other areas where they can receive direct sunlight throughout the day. Even if the area only receives a few hours of direct sunlight and then partial or filter sunlight for the remainder of the day, this is enough for the plant to get the nutrients that it needs. Consider placing your yucca plant outside on a south or west-facing patio. Or, if you plan to place the plant in a front living or dining room, be sure to leave any curtains or other window dressings open so that the plant is exposed to direct sun.
How Do You Know If A Yucca Is Dying?
Though yucca plants are easy plants to grow and have a high tolerance for neglect, they can suffer from plant diseases just like any other plant. Here are a few tell-tale signs to determine if the succulent needs a little TLC.
Wilted leaves with white or yellow spots
Too much sun can also be a bad thing for the yucca plant. If you notice any yellow or white spots appearing on the plant's leaves, the chances are that it is receiving too much direct sun daily. This can also happen when the plant's environment is abruptly changed. For example, moving a plant from a low-light area immediately to one where it's exposed to hours of direct sunlight.
You may also notice that the leaves contain burn marks on their tips. It's always best to slowly accumulate yuccas to new environments to prevent them from becoming stressed.
Spots on leaves or branch disfiguration
Dark or light spots on the plant's leaves can be a sign of stress, typically from temperature settings that are not ideal. On average, the yucca plant prefers temperatures ranging from 45 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures outside of this can range cause the plant to show signs of distress and potentially die.
Also, if you notice that the new growing branches on the plant appear disfigured, this can be a sign of temperature stress. The best way to correct this is to slowly change the environment's temperature each day until it reaches around 70 degrees Fahrenheit on average.
Leaves appear greener, yellow, or fall off
Surprisingly, one sign that a yucca plant is dying is when the plant's leaves began turning greener. This is a result of the plant overcompensating from being exposed to too little lighting. Eventually, the leaves will turn yellow, and then they all fall off completely. The best solution for this is to place a plant near a natural light source such as a window or patio door so that it can be exposed to more direct sun on a daily basis.
Withered leaves are dark bark
If the yucca plant is over-fertilized, you may notice that it begins to look sickly and thin. The bark on the plant will also appear darker than usual. Also, if the plants' growth seems stunted while it's receiving a sufficient amount of sunlight per day, this could mean that it is over-fertilized. It's best to fertilize the plant no more than once every two to three months during the growing season unless the plant is in a dire state of health.
Yellow or brown leaves
One of the biggest signs that a yucca plant is dying is when the leaves begin to turn yellow. This is typically a sign of over-watering. Remember, yucca plants are succulents. And like most succulents, they thrive in drought-like conditions--which means they can easily become overwatered. If the plants are overwatered too often, they may develop root rot, a fungal condition that can quickly kill the plant.
If you notice the leaves on your plant turning yellow, it's important to hold off on the watering for the next few weeks until the soil has a chance to completely dry out. It's also a good idea to ensure that your plant's pot has proper drainage and that it's not holding water at the bottom of the pot after your watering session. If you suspect that your plant has root rot, be sure to replace the soil and place the yucca in a new pot. You also may need fertilizer, depending on the condition of the plant.
Do Yuccas Spread?
Depending on the variety that you have, you may find that your yucca plant spreads fairly wide. Mature yucca plants can reach up to three feet wide, and they're known to have an extensive root system. If you plan to place the plant indoors, it's best to place it in a pot by itself and a short distance away from other plants. And if you plan to place the ground, it's important to note that this plant can be difficult to get rid of once it's established.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope that this post has helped answer your questions on how much sun and shade yucca plants need to survive. Overall, yucca plants will need direct moderate sunlight daily to thrive.
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