How to Grow Yuccas
Yuccas are an incredibly easy plant to grow, require very little maintenance and are being seen increasingly in contemporary gardens. However, if you prefer a more traditional garden, don't be concerned; there is always a place for yuccas.
Yucca elephantipes is a commonly grown yucca and is also known as either the spineless or soft tipped yucca. This article will focus mostly around this variety, but most details will apply to most yuccas.
Yuccas can tolerate quite cold conditions - sometimes as low as -10 degrees celsius. More commonly though, they do prefer hot and dry conditions.
They do not like a lot of water, so if you live in an area that is usually subjected to high rainfall, then you will need to plan how to minimise the impact of this on the plant - high himidity can promote fungal disease and wet roots and lead to root rot.
Yuccas need a fast draining soil. This is necessary in order to minimise the risk of root rot. Therefore, if your soil is clay, you will need to break up the clay into a more friable soil. Sandy soils work well with yuccas.
Fertilize your yuccas rarely. But when you do fertilize, utilise a diluted potassium rich fertilizer. It is unlikely that it will be necessary to fertilize more than once or twice a year - their natural enviroment is quite sandy and low in nutrients.
Pest and Disease
Snails and slugs may attack new growth, but generally, yuccas do not suffer much from many pests. In addition to this, fungal diseases such as rust and mildew can affect yuccas, but are typially uncommon. Fungal diseases should be traeted using an organic fungicide - see here for some organic fungicide recipes. Also, due to the structure of the leaves, most pests can be easily washed off with soapy water.
Prune your yuccas to size and shape as required. But, ensure that you do not throw out the prunings. Yucca cuttings are very easy to propagate and can save much money when it comes to the purchase of new plants.
If you live in a cold region that is subject to frost, a layer of mulch can be used to minimise the impact on this on the roots of the yucca.