Botanical Name: Yucca Filifera
Plant Common Name: Palma China, Chinese Palm.
Origin and Habitat: Yucca Filifera is native to the Chihuahuan desert in North-Eastern Mexico (Coahuila, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, México, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas) where it is seen by the million along roadsides and sometimes form forests extending over many square kilometers of countryside. Yucca Filifera occurs in more Mexican states than any other species of Yucca.
General Description: Yucca Filifera is one of the largest and fast growing yucca's, it branches highly after about 3-4 m and can reach heights of 9 m with a trunk of 1.5 m wide.
The leaves are straight, sword shaped, growing in rosette-shaped bunches from the end of each stem. The inflorescence hangs over and is made of many separate white flowers. The plants take many years to develop into large specimens.
Exposure: Spineless yucca tolerates full sun to shade, but with shade and humidity, it may become leggy. Place your yucca in full sunlight.
They are not picky about sun or shade but do need bright light if indoors. Not enough light can sometimes discourage blooms on yucca plants and can be one reason for yellowing leaves.
Trunk: up to 5 feet in diameter.
Hardiness: Yucca Filifera is not so cold resistant, around -8°C the head will freeze of, but in dry climates they can take a few degrees more.
Hardiness Zone: 6-9
Soil/Substrat: It grow in any well drained soil, acidic or alkaline, and it is moderately tolerant of salt spray and salty soils. It is adapted to a dry environment, but has a good tolerance to moisture and humidity when planted in a well-draining soil.
Waterings: Treat like a succulent. Yuccas are drought resistant and can survive for many months without water. However, they grow faster if watered well (don't water the crown, though they rot easily). In the garden they should be placed in a sunny, well-drained area with additional summer water in dry climates. Watering from a hose or sprinkler should be done slowly and deeply, not frequently, to avoid shallow root development or root diseases. Allow soil to dry several inches deep before irrigating.
Provide little or no water in winter. Most winter injury is from drying out, not cold temperatures. Be prepared to water during prolonged sunny, windy, dry spells even in the winter. Mulches help prevent water loss during hot, windy, or sunny weather.
Fertilization: Proper fertilization of yucca plants starts with application. Fertilizer should be evenly spread in a circle over the soil of the surface where the roots of the plants spread. Apply water immediately after applying fertilizer to the soil to help the fertilizer seep into the ground. Fertilizer should be applied to yucca plants once a year, at most, in the early summer.
Sometimes, however, applying fertilizer to yucca plants may do more harm than good. The salt found in fertilizers may harm plants that are already suffering from unhealthy roots. Giving plants too many nutrients may be as detrimental as giving them too few. Don't start fertilizing yucca plants, or giving them extra fertilizer, simply because they look unhealthy. Follow a fertilizing schedule and stick to it to avoid doing damage to the plant with excess fertilization treatments. Never fertilize yucca plants when they are newly transplanted.
Maintenance: Outdoor yucca plant care: Plants prefer dry soil that has full access to the sun. Avoid overwatering the plant as this can cause rotting of the roots. Cut off all the dead leaves in order to keep the plant neat. Yuccas are not fond of being transplanted, so make sure that you will choose the right location before planting them.
For potted houseplant, Yucca plant care indoors: make sure that the plant has sufficient access to intense light. Use heavy pots as yuccas tend to be heavy in both their stem and foliage. When watering, simply sprinkle water on the top of the plant if the soil feels dry. Although yuccas do not prefer to watered heavily, draught or lack of water can cause the leaves to turn brown or yellow. Remove dead and yellow leaves from the yucca plant, and dispose of the leaves in the garbage. Keep healthy yucca leaves clean by dusting them occasionally with a soft cloth. Dust will block sunlight and air from entering the leaves.
Blooming season: Creamy-white, tepals segments oval or broadly oblong, acute, shorter than filaments.
Fruits: Oblong, 5-7 cm long. The mature fruits are fleshy.
Problems: There can occur rust fungus, specially after a wet warm winter, If the damage is done there are noting to do, but the rust fungus rarely spread to the new growth. The rust fungus can be prevented if the plants are protected against winter moisture or with a sheet of glass.
Watch your yucca plant or signs of anthracnose of agaves, a fungal disease that causes lesions on leaves and red to orange spore masses. Remove affected leaves at first sign of infection.
Check your yucca plant often for signs of spotted mites, which leave tell-tale gray webs under leaves, as well as tan or gray speckling on the plant. Spray the yucca plant with insecticidal soap to control the mites; you can also discourage them by misting your yucca plant frequently.
Water regularly, because if the plant doesn’t get enough liquid, its leaves will soon turn yellow and then brown.