What kind of home care does a yucca need?
In the southern regions, yucca, a native of Central America, can grow outdoors, but in the middle lane it lacks warmth, so it can only be found in interior design. Yucca care at home should be based on the habits and preferences of the plant, laid down in the homeland..
In nature, yucca is fully or partially leafy, large shrubs. If the foliage from the lower tiers of a plant dries up and falls off, the yucca is very reminiscent of a palm tree with a bare lignified trunk and a bunch of hard leaves at the top. However, it is wrong to consider this, belonging to the agave family, a palm tree..
Yucca has dense, sticking out in different directions or slightly drooping leaves, pointed lanceolate. The edges of the leaf blades are covered with long, stiff hairs. In nature, the length of such a leaf can reach up to a meter, in indoor varieties the leaves are more modest and often do not grow more than 50 cm.But in a room yucca, as in the photo, the leaves can be not only green, but variegated, decorated with bright yellow or white stripes.
With such a harsh appearance, characteristic of desert and semi-desert plants, yucca blooms amazingly beautifully, throwing out powerful vertical peduncles, strewn with a mass of buds. Flowers resemble white, yellowish or pinkish bells.
Getting into the house as a small enough plant, the yucca for several years turns into a large bush or tree that requires special treatment and care..
How to care for a yucca to keep its compact shape, small, room-friendly size? What needs to be done to make the plant feel like at home?
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Features of yucca care at home
As a houseplant, varieties are most often grown that are naturally accustomed to an arid climate and an abundance of sun. Such specimens can withstand temperature fluctuations, are not afraid of dry apartment air, are unpretentious to the composition of the soil..
And yet such a hardy plant has weaknesses. For yucca, the main hazard is over-watering, especially when combined with cold indoor air..
If you doubt whether you need to water the yucca, it is better for a florist to postpone the procedure for a day or two. The plant will tolerate short-term thirst without any problems, but it will immediately let you know about excess moisture.
The frequency of irrigation and the amount of irrigation moisture depends on:
- from the season;
- on the temperature and humidity of the air in the room or in the garden, where the plant is taken out for the summer months;
- from the size of the flower of the room yucca, as in the photo;
- on the volume of the pot and on the ability of the soil to evaporate water.
From spring to autumn, the soil is frequently and abundantly moistened as the substrate dries up to a depth of 2–5 cm. Then watering becomes less frequent and sparing. The colder it is in the room, the less water the plant consumes. Therefore, yucca care at home is constantly being adjusted. Irrigation moisture should not penetrate into the sheet socket. It is better not to pour water between trunks growing closely in the same pot. In both cases, there is a risk of decay, which threatens the loss of a flower..
Watering is combined with dressing, which is carried out from spring to autumn. It is especially important to support the plant during the flowering period..
Dry air is not terrible for yucca, but to maintain the cleanliness of the leaves and improve their breathing in hot weather, the crown can be wiped with a damp, well-wrung out napkin. To avoid burns, after such a procedure, the yucca should not be exposed to the sun. It is more correct to arrange the “washing” of the flower in the evening, because the crown dries well overnight.
Yucca loves light, warmth, but cannot stand cold wind and draft. To make it easier to care for a flower at home, yucca find a place on the south window..
Large specimens are placed near the window. Plants also like this partial shade. The main thing is that direct sunlight falls on the crown for at least three hours a day, and the plant does not suffer from excessive dampness. In the summer, the pot is taken out to the balcony or veranda. If the year is warm, and the owner of the flower is not afraid of its growth, then the yucca can be planted in the ground.
For a room yucca brought out into the fresh air, as in the photo, a temperature of about 18-25 ° C will be acceptable. But when night temperatures drop to 12–16 ° C, it is better to return the pot to the house. The minimum allowable temperature for this crop is +8 ° C.
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How to transplant a yucca at home?
A transplant for yucca, as well as for other indoor crops, is a serious stress. Therefore, it is worth carrying out such a procedure in two cases:
- when the root system has grown so much that it took up the entire pot, leaving no space for the ground;
- when the plant needs urgent help due to root rot or other mistakes made when caring for yucca at home.
In the first case, small plants are transferred into a pot of a slightly larger diameter, in which the drainage is previously poured. Empty spaces are filled with fresh substrate, simultaneously renewing the top layer of the old soil.
But how to plant a room yucca, in the photo, and care for it, if the plant already takes up a lot of space, and the owner does not want to allow further growth?
To limit growth, the pot is not changed. And before transplanting the yucca at home, the root system of the plant is cut off by about a quarter with a clean sharp knife. Places of cuts are processed with ground charcoal. New drainage and soil are poured into the pot. And then the plant is planted. Be sure to pour fresh substrate on top. The annual addition of new soil is also limited in a situation where the plant is already too large for transplanting.
After transplanting, the yucca is not watered for two days, and then the soil begins to be very carefully and moderately moisturized, waiting for the surface to dry.
Yucca grows well in a ready-made commercial substrate, but you can make the soil with your own hands, mixing sand and leafy soil in equal proportions. To provide nutrition, half the amount of humus is added to them..
Reproduction of yucca at home
As it grows, the trunk of the yucca becomes bare, and it becomes like a house palm. The higher the tree becomes, the faster it loses its decorative effect. It is more and more problematic to maintain and care for him. How to return a plant to an acceptable size and former attractiveness?
It turns out that if you cut off the top of a yucca with a bunch of leaves and trunk fragments of at least 10 cm, you can rejuvenate the old plant and get a new one. At the same time, caring for yucca “palm”, in the photo, at home is not at all difficult.
The operation is performed in the spring, when the growth period begins. The plant is well watered beforehand. And after a couple of days, the top of the yucca is cut off with a sharp knife. The remaining stump can be trimmed to the desired height. When the weeping cut dries up a little, it is treated with garden pitch..
The pot is transferred from the shade, where the plant will spend about two months. In this case, the yucca does not need to be watered. Without a crown, the plant cannot consume water, which only becomes a source of disease and rot..
In the warmth on the stem of the yucca, the buds that have been sleeping before will soon become noticeable. When new rosettes of leaves develop from them, the plant is transferred to the light and the usual care of the yucca at home begins..
The tip is not thrown away, since it is an excellent planting material for the rapid multiplication of yucca at home. The lower leaves from the top are neatly torn off, and then the cutting is dropped into wet sand, covered with a bag or film and put in a warm place. It takes no more than a month for rooting, and then the top with its own roots is transferred to a pot, where the yucca is to grow further.