Yucca is a perennial tree plant that remains an integral part of the large agave family. The genus today unites about forty species of plants, which in natural conditions are most often found in the subtropical belt of the North American continent. At home, this plant is universal, and it is used in various spheres of human life.
From the flowers that are cut from the plant, you can extract juice, which contains a very large amount of sugar. Filamentous yucca is a source of durable fiber, which is excellent for making clothes and denim, and then yucca fibers were gradually replaced by cotton, although yucca is still very popular in this area. And today in America, yucca fibers are added to fabrics, since due to it the fabric becomes dense and wear-resistant, and this is a huge plus. In addition to the fact that the fiber is used to make clothes, it is also widely used to make rope ropes and paper. The plant also has some medicinal properties that should also be noted. In this article we will talk in more detail about this plant, describe its most striking properties and characteristics. We will also tell you how to grow yucca, take care of it at home, what species are common in culture today, what properties and characteristics these same species have, and why they are so famous and loved by the growers themselves.
Description of the plant, cultivation and care
Yucca is one of the many evergreens that grows on a fairly low stem. In this case, the stem either branches little, or does not branch at all, it all depends on the species of the plant. There are species in which it is almost impossible to make out the stem at all, but at the same time large and very decorative leaves unfold on the soil surface, which are not placed directly, but as if in a spiral. Agree, it looks not only spectacular, but also very elegant, and yucca, in principle, can become not only an excellent single planting, but also fit into decorative flower beds.
The inflorescences are large, erect, they can be up to two meters long, grow right from the middle of the leaf outlet. At the same time, the inflorescences themselves are collected in the form of a panicle, they look quite attractive. The flowers drooping on them, resemble bells, in length can reach seven centimeters. Flowers are painted mainly white. After flowering is complete, fruits are formed in place of the flowers - these are boxes ten centimeters long, inside which there are a large number of black seeds. In diameter, the seeds reach one centimeter, with their help, this plant can be propagated in the future.
When a tree grows in a room, at home, then it can be placed in a hallway or corridor, and also yucca will fit perfectly into a large room. Although, as experienced gardeners say, a plant can reach about four meters in height, and this fact is taken into account when collecting a room - it must necessarily have high ceilings. Such a plant is very similar in appearance to a false palm. It should also be borne in mind that only adult yuccas are capable of blooming, during flowering attractive white flowers appear, which in their shape are very reminiscent of bells.Such a plant is great for decorating wider spaces, but experienced gardeners appreciate those bushes that have multiple points of growth. A trunk branching in different directions will speak about this. This is due to the fact that such a bush will look even more attractive and decorative, and in general it should be looked after in the same way as for standard yuccas.
Now you should give a brief description of how to grow this crop, preserve all its characteristics and properties, and how to make the plant maximize its full decorative potential. So, the following aspects belong to the growing conditions:
- flowering - in room Under conditions, yucca is grown as a decorative deciduous large-sized, and it also blooms quite interestingly. But more experienced gardeners say precisely that planting is not famous for flowering, but for the excellent characteristics of the entire tree as a whole.
- illumination - the yucca really needs that the gardener can provide her with bright light. At the same time, it should not be allowed that these were direct sunlight - the light should be soft and diffused
- temperature regime is another very significant condition. In spring and summer, the plant will feel good at temperatures from 20 to 25 degrees. But if we talk about the autumn-winter time, then the air temperature in the room should be no higher than 12 degrees. The plant tolerates such cool conditions well, as they become part of the cool wintering. For the next season, a rested plant will demonstrate even more of its potential and decorativeness.
- watering is carried out immediately after the topsoil dries out. In general, if the soil has dried out to a depth of more than five centimeters, then moisture must be applied immediately. Water for irrigation is used at room temperature, settled, soft. Rain or melt water is perfect, and you can also take filtered water
- air humidity - this moment should be regulated solely based on what type of yucca the gardener is dealing with. There are several species that need systematic moistening, and this must be done by spraying from a spray bottle. You can also organize regular procedures for the plant in the form of a warm shower, and wet pebbles or expanded clay should be added to the pallet on which the container with yucca is installed, the bottom of the container should not come into contact with the pallet itself. But there are species that can tolerate the most standard air humidity inherent in room conditions.
- in the spring-summer time, it is worth making fertilizing approximately once every 2-3 weeks. For this, ideally, a mineral fertilizer with a complex of all the necessary microelements is suitable. Moreover, it is better to take half of the dosage indicated on the package. The nutrient solution can also moisten the inside of the leaves, because through the green part of the plant, minerals and components are usually obtained much faster than through the soil and root system.
The dormant period of the plant is not too pronounced, and because of this, sometimes it is not even noticed at all. The transplant is carried out only if the need arises, and only after the root system becomes cramped in the already existing container, and it will simply have nowhere to grow further. It is best to plan a transplant in the spring, when the weather has already returned to normal. If we talk about a transplant in the summer, then it can be carried out only in case of emergency. If the bushes have reached very large sizes, then it is better not to touch them or disturb them at all, but you can locally replace the top layer of the substrate with a new one, this plant will transfer absolutely calmly, and this will not affect the quality of planting in any way.
The substrate for yucca must be neutral if we are talking about acidity. If the gardener has such an opportunity, then it will be better for him to purchase a ready-made mixture, which is just intended for yucca. To make the plant feel even better and more comfortable, then about 30% of the sand should be added to the same mixture and mixed very thoroughly. Yucca can be propagated in such ways as by cutting from the trunk, cuttings and seeds. Among the pests that can harm the planting, there are such as spider mites and whiteflies, scale insects and mealybugs. Diseases - in this case, it is worth saying that if the gardener takes proper care of the plant and provides him with the correct agricultural technology, then the risk of diseases will be low. But if some agrotechnical rules and conditions are violated, this will lead to the fact that the leaves will lose their decorative effect, and the plant, in principle, will become weaker, less attractive.
When the plant is in indoor conditions, it is imperative to ensure that it receives full bright lighting. But even in spite of such a need, the yucca must be shaded and protected from direct sunlight. In particular, this condition must be met when the plant is located close to south-facing windows. The plant grows best on windows that have a west and east orientation. If the plant lacks natural light, then it is necessary to highlight the bush, using phytolamps or fluorescent lamps for at least sixteen hours in essence. For this, the lamps are installed at a distance of 30 to 60 centimeters from the plant. In the warm season, yucca can be taken out into the fresh air, but this is exclusively at the request of the gardener himself. In this case, it is worth taking care of the choice of a place - it should be such that it will be protected from direct sunlight, and the plant should also be protected from rain and precipitation. If the plant is in the room in summer, then the room must be regularly ventilated. But at the same time, yucca does not react very well to sharp gusts of wind or drafts, so it is worth taking care of this, and remembering about the measure in all caring procedures that are applied to this culture.
In the spring and summer, the gardener needs to carefully monitor that the air temperature in the room does not drop below 20 degrees, and also does not get warmer than 25 degrees. If the tree has been exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, then it must be moved to a shaded place. After the plant has cooled, it should be sprayed with a spray bottle. In autumn and winter, the air temperature should not rise above 12 degrees, this condition must be observed by the gardener, supported by him and taken into account.
If suddenly the yucca was given a warm winter, and the lighting at this moment will be scarce, then the leaves will cease to be decorative - they will fade, become lethargic and completely unattractive. If the yucca is completely weakened, then this can cause the plant to be attacked by pests, and the leaves will turn yellow and gradually fly around. If the gardener cannot provide a temperature regime of 10-12 degrees in winter, then in the fall the yucca should be kept in the open air exactly until the onset of cold weather. With the onset of spring, the plant is transferred to fresh air a little earlier than the periods indicated in the standard plant care. If the bush is placed in a more protected place, then even short-term frosts will not be able to cause absolutely no harm or damage to the yucca.
Watering - its abundance and frequency can be influenced by some external factors, which in no case should be ignored. Among these factors, it is necessary to highlight the following:
- air temperature and humidity level
- the size of the container and the quality of the material from which it is made
- the size of the bush itself and its age
- characteristics and composition of the substrate
In spring and summer, watering must be plentiful and regular, in accordance with the schedule. It is carried out immediately after the topsoil dries out by about five centimeters. If there is a drought in the summer, then watering should be more frequent, but you should still wait between waterings for the soil to dry out, otherwise this will lead to stagnation of moisture in the soil, and because of this, the root system will begin to rot. If the container with yucca is located in a cool place, then the number of waterings must necessarily be reduced.
When growing some varieties of yucca in room conditions, it is necessary to periodically moisten the bush with a spray bottle. Boiled water that has been cooled to room temperature is best suited for this. Also, in order to maintain high air humidity, a small amount of wet expanded clay or gravel can be poured into the pallet. When wetting the bush, it is necessary to put it away from direct sunlight, otherwise it will provoke the appearance of burns on the green leafy part of the plant. In order to get rid of the accumulated dust and dirt on the leaves, the bush can be periodically placed under a warm shower, and you can also wipe the foliage with a damp sponge. If the plant takes a warm shower, then the surface of the substrate must be protected from the ingress of liquid, but the green part must be well moistened.
In the spring and summer, it is recommended to feed the yucca about once every two or three weeks. For this, it is best to use mineral fertilizer, which will be diluted in water. The plant also responds well to organic matter - for example, to tincture of mullein, to leaf humus or to horse manure, but you should also be very careful with them: mullein, for example, if you add it incorrectly, can burn the root system. But more experienced gardeners give slightly different recommendations. They say that the leaves from the inside should be sprayed with a solution based on the mineral complex. If the plant lacks nutrients, it got sick or was recently transplanted into a new container, then feeding for this time must be suspended, since they not only will not bring any benefit to the plant, but can also do a lot of harm in general.
A yucca can form only one trunk, but if you make the correct pruning, then several full-fledged trunks can form at once. To do this, it is worth taking a young bush, which must be strong and viable, without signs of disease. The height of this bush is about thirty centimeters, no less. In late spring or at the very beginning of autumn, the entire upper part of the bush is cut off; for this, you should use a pre-sharpened and disinfected tool - a knife or pruner. Cut off from five to ten centimeters, but at the same time it must be done in such a way that the maximum leaf cover remains on the bush. Places of cuts must be processed, it is enough to sprinkle them with a powder based on activated carbon.
It is best to prescribe a yucca transplant in the spring, but in principle, if there is such a need, the procedure is also scheduled for the summer. A drainage layer is installed at the bottom of the container for the transplant; expanded clay or pebbles, as well as broken small bricks, are perfect for this. The substrate should have an average level of neutrality (here we are talking about the acidity of the soil), the composition of the substrate must include such a component as peat.It is also necessary to add about 30% of sand to the finished soil mixture (this is the volume of the total volume of the substrate itself), the yucca is also best transplanted by transshipment, while the earthen lump around the root system should remain as intact as possible. If rot has formed on the roots, and this happened due to a violation of the caring conditions and due to stagnant moisture, then the plant must be transplanted simply immediately. In this case, areas that are already affected are removed, and a small healthy part of the plant is captured. Yucca is a great plant to grow hydroponically as well.
If the gardener has such a desire, then he can propagate the yucca by seed method. To do this, the newly harvested seed is sown directly into the substrate, which consists in equal proportions of sod and leafy soil, sand. Crops are sometimes watered according to the schedule and systematics, and they are also aired. The first seedlings will hatch in about a month after planting, after they get stronger, they must be dived in separate containers, and these pots should be at least six centimeters across. Further, these plants gradually become accustomed to the care that is usually applied to adult plantings. A year later, the plants can be shipped by transshipment to already large containers, which can become their permanent home.
Since the plant can grow strongly in indoor conditions, it is also propagated in such a way as a section of the trunk. And they usually do this only in case of serious need. In the summer, several divisions are cut from the trunk, one should be more than twenty centimeters long. Sections are planted for the period of their rooting, the soil mixture should be constantly slightly moist. It consists of sand and peat. The boxes are taken out into the street in a shaded place, protected from direct sunlight; on the parent bush, the cuts must be protected using a garden pitch. After planting, the sections are covered with foil to create a slight greenhouse effect. The air temperature should vary from 20 to 24 degrees. Also, the gardener must constantly monitor the moisture content of the soil, so as to periodically ventilate the delenki. Rooting of the segments occurs quickly, if you follow all the rules - it takes from four to eight weeks.
In order to propagate yucca, you can also use a method such as cuttings. For this, it is necessary to take precisely the apical cuttings. They are cut with a sharpened tool, the places of the cuts are powdered with coal powder. For two hours, the cutting is left to dry in the fresh air, the places of the cuts should also dry out a little. Then the cuttings are planted in moistened sand, when rooting in water, a little charcoal is added to the liquid, as this allows the plant to reliably protect the plant from bacteria and fungal spores. Sometimes, even before the first roots form, rot can form on the cuttings, but this can be avoided. The leaves should be removed, the water should be replaced immediately. After the roots grow back, the cutting is planted in a pot, which is filled with a nutritious soil mixture.
Sometimes, when growing this crop, the gardener may face some problems. They are also worth talking about, and helping the gardener avoid them in order to preserve not only the quality of the plantings themselves, but also their own impressions of this plant, because this is also extremely important. So, among the common problems and difficulties there are such as:
- the yucca begins to turn yellow, especially the lower leaves suffer from yellowing. But do not be intimidated by this, since this is a completely normal process. Leaf plates can form only on the upper part of the bush, and, accordingly, only they retain a bright green color.The unusual appearance of the plant is due precisely to the fact that it tends to shed the lower leaves, and nothing can be done with this, and it is not necessary
- the deciduous part falls off - if the leaves flew around as soon as the flower was brought to a new place, then this is its usual reaction to a change in environmental conditions. If the foliage flies around in large quantities and abundantly, then this is due to the fact that the plant did not have enough heat and lighting, or it was in a draft for a long time or under the influence of strong gusts of wind
- the tips of the leaves darken and dry - this is due to the fact that the humidity in the room is below normal. The edges of the leaves can also darken and dry out. This can also happen due to the fact that there was a draft in the room, or the gardener did not adhere to the rules and norms of watering - the introduction of moisture is either excessive or insufficient for yucca
- brown spots on the leaf plates - if the gardener noticed them, then this indicates that the lump of earth in the container is completely dry and must be moistened immediately.
Sometimes it happens that the leaves begin to curl due to the fact that the temperature in the room where the yucca is located is too low. If the species are very delicate and picky, then this also happens to them due to the fact that at night a low air temperature, unacceptable for the plant, occurs. In order to avoid this, it is recommended to remove the flower from the windowsill. Stains may appear on foliage due to too much scorching sun, which indicates burns. Also, harmful insects can attack the plant - among them spider mites, mealybugs, whiteflies are most often found. You can deal with them manually, using folk methods, or using special insecticidal preparations.
Types and varieties of yucca, their characteristics
Aloe leaf yucca - in natural conditions, this species is most often found in Jamaica, as well as in Central America and Bermuda. The plant grows very slowly, but over time it can reach a height of eight meters. His stem looks like a tree, when the plant becomes completely adult, the stem may show signs of strong branching. Rosettes that have fibrous foliage can form on the branches. The length of the leaves reaches half a meter, they are painted in a dark green shade, there is a thorn at the very top. When the bush finally grew and matured, it blooms in the summer, and at this time paniculate inflorescences are formed on the yucca, reaching 45-50 centimeters in length. The inflorescence includes a large number of flowers that are painted in a white-cream shade, and flowers can also have an interesting purple tint, which makes them quite interesting and attractive.
Yucca Whippla - this slow-growing plant naturally lives in California and Mexico, as well as in the state of Arizona, and therefore it is worth keeping in mind some grooming activities and subtleties. The stem of the plant is very short, the leaves are tough, fibrous. In diameter, the rosettes reach almost one meter, the foliage is painted in a dark green color, the length of the leaves is also a meter. The inflorescences of this species are almost identical to those that are formed in the aloe-leaf yucca, only at the same time it is even longer, it can reach a length of up to two meters. The flowers have the same color, they also give off a very fresh and pleasant aroma. Moreover, the flowers are also formed even larger in size than in the aloe-leaf species. When flowering stops, the rosette dies off, while at the very base of the plant a large number of shoots are formed, which can either be pinched or allowed to grow further, and with their help this type of yucca can be propagated.
Yucca beak - this is a very interesting species, the plant has a thick trunk, it can reach a height of three meters. The crown of this species has a very strong branching.The leaves are long, leathery, they are not so massive to the touch, but rather very thin. The leaf is decorated with attractive stripes; a panicle can form on a peduncle of impressive length, which consists of white flowers.
Short-leaved yucca - This species can be found in California and Arizona, as well as in those parts where the climate is dry enough. In other words, this plant can also be called treelike yucca or giant yucca. The height of the tree can be up to nine meters, the diameter of the trunk is up to half a meter. The upper part of the trunk is highly branched, the foliage is short and very dense, hard. The leaf above is colored brown, the peduncle itself is very short, consists of flowers that are yellow in color. In principle, this plant is quite common and is renowned not only for its beneficial external characteristics, but also for the fact that it is unpretentious to care for.
Yucca radiant - in other words, this type of yucca is also called high yucca. The height of this tree is really impressive - it can reach seven meters, a large number of tightly adjacent leaves can form on the plant, their length is about 60 centimeters. At the widest point, their width reaches one centimeter. Approximately to the base, the plate begins to gradually taper, its tip is slightly pointed. The length of the inflorescence is two meters, at the top there are flowers, which are collected in a plentiful and very decorative panicle, and it looks really attractive and very interesting.
Yucca filamentous - the homeland of this plant is the eastern part of the North American continent. The stem of the plant is absent, or almost invisible. The root system goes deep into the soil layers. Plants can grow very strongly just due to their root offspring, and all this looks quite decorative and, moreover, saves the gardener time for reproduction of yucca species. At the same time, this species is distinguished by its special endurance, it can withstand periodic drops in temperatures up to -20 degrees, and if this decrease is moderate, then it will not have absolutely any negative impact on the plant. The leaves are about seventy centimeters long and four centimeters wide. To obtain viable seed material, the plant needs artificial pollination. On a two-meter peduncle, a large number of flowers are formed, which are painted in yellowish or white shades. After flowering is complete, a rounded box is formed in its place - this is the fruit that contains the seeds.
Yucca folded - this species has a very short trunk, its height barely reaches fifty centimeters. Sometimes this trunk can produce copious amounts of twigs. At the top of the stem are fibrous leaves that are collected in an interesting rosette. The foliage is colored grayish-green, if you touch it, it will be leathery. The length of the leaves is about one meter, a thorn is located at the very top, and the edge of the leaves itself is jagged, uneven.
Yucca gray - the height of an evergreen plant is two meters, the native land of the plant and the corresponding species is the western part of the United States of America. The plant has a short stem, one meter rosettes, they consist of leathery leaves. The plates are painted in a greenish-bluish, almost bluish hue - hence the name of this species. The height of the inflorescence is about 100 centimeters, the inflorescence consists of bell-shaped flowers, painted in a delicate creamy white shade, nothing superfluous, but the plant looks interesting and attractive.
Yucca glorious, yucca elephant, yucca trekula, yucca schotta, yucca south - also varieties of this plant, which also gained particular popularity.They are really incredibly different, attractive, they can grow in different conditions, but if you provide them with all the necessary care, you get unusual and very decorative plantings. The most important thing is to take care of the plant, to be able to determine its features and characteristics and observe them. Only in this case it will be possible to achieve an excellent result, and only in this case any look will look great and attractive.