Why Is My Yucca Plant Drooping: Troubleshooting Drooping Yucca Plants

Why Is My Yucca Plant Drooping: Troubleshooting Drooping Yucca Plants

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By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Why is my yucca plant drooping? Yucca is a shrubby evergreen that produces rosettes of dramatic, sword-shaped leaves. Yucca is a tough plant that thrives in difficult conditions, but it can develop a number of problems that may cause drooping yucca plants. If your yucca plant droops, the problem may be pests, disease, or environmental conditions.

How to revive a droopy yucca plant depends on what is causing the issue. Here are some reasons for yucca drooping along with steps you can take to remedy the situation.

Improper watering

Yucca is a succulent plant, meaning that the fleshy leaves store water to sustain the plant when water is scarce. Like all succulent plants, yucca is prone to rot, a type of fungal disease that develops when conditions are too wet. In fact, occasional rainfall provides enough moisture in most climates. Yucca thrives in nearly any type of well-drained soil, but it won’t tolerate soggy, poorly drained soil.

If you irrigate, the soil should be allowed to dry between each watering. If your yucca plant is grown in a container, be sure the container has at least one drainage hole and that the potting mix is loose and well-drained.


Young yucca plants benefit from an application of fertilizer, but once established, yucca requires little supplemental feeding, if any at all. If your yucca plant droops, it may benefit from a time-release fertilizer applied in spring. Otherwise, beware of too much fertilizer, which can damage, or even kill a yucca plant.


Yellowing or droopy leaves may be an indication that a yucca plant lacks adequate sunlight. If the problem isn’t resolved, the droopy leaves will eventually fall from the plant. Nearly all types of yucca need at least six hours of full, direct sunlight.


Yucca tolerates a wide range of temperatures, depending on the variety. Some types tolerate cold climates as far north as USDA plant hardiness zone 4, but many struggle in anything below zone 9b. An unexpected cold snap that lasts for more than a few hours can cause drooping yucca plants.


A common enemy of yucca plants, snout weevil can cause the plant to droop when the pest lays its eggs in the base of the trunk. The eggs hatch small white larvae, which feed on plant tissue. Once established, snout weevil is difficult to eradicate. This is a case where prevention is worth a pound of cure, as a healthy plant is less likely to be attacked.

Other pests of yucca that may cause droopy leaves include mealybugs, scale or spider mites.

This article was last updated on

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Plants in the Yucca genus, which contains over 20 species of perennial evergreen trees originally grown in desert conditions, are known to tolerate drought well but often succumb to overwatering in home environments. An outdoor resident in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, though often kept indoors in other climates, the yucca is highly susceptible to root rot if not properly maintained.

In the wild, yuccas tend to grow in full sun on dry soil, according to Clemson University. The plants can tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions as long as the soil is not overly wet. Little maintenance is required besides making sure the soil stays in optimal conditions.

According to the University of Florida, root rot is more common in wet soils and can be made worse by cool temperatures and plants that are weakened by other conditions, like nutrient deficiencies.

A yucca tree suffering from root rot, according to the University of California, will develop leaves that wilt or turn black and drop off, drooping branches and a soft trunk, mimicking the signs of a drought-stressed plant. Once root rot has set in, only careful root pruning and a correction in care may revive affected trees.

You can identify Yucca filamentosa by its white filaments along the leaf margins

Adam’s needle is a variety of flowering yucca that produces a dramatic tall stalk. The panicle has a massive cluster of white flowers and can reach up to 8 ft. (2.4 m) high. The Yucca filamentosa thrives in USDA zones 4 – 11 and is cold hardy down to 5°F (-15°C).

Also named the common yucca, Adam’s needle and thread yucca is a popular evergreen landscape plant. The yucca shrub has long sword-shaped green leaves that grow up to 3 ft. (1 m) tall. The sharp, spine-tipped foliage forms a clump up to 3 ft. (1 m) wide.

An identifying feature of Adam’s needle and thread yucca plants are the thin filaments in their foliage. These thread-like growths are a reason why the yucca’s botanical name is filamentosa, and its common name is ‘needle and thread.’

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Thank you so much. I popped a finger in and it was dry up to about an inch. And to add, it’s not that leaves are falling off so much as they are turning yellow/brown and becoming desiccated. The tree gets lots of light, and the smaller of the two in the same pot is v happy so I’m confused!

Could it be at all that I’m not watering it ENOUGH?

Peter Reader Landscapes

Hmm - really hard to know. Most sources say you should let then get quite dry between waterings as they are a desert type plant. Would be worth popping it out of its pot to look at the roots and see what the soil looks like and make sure there are no infesting bugs.

As it has been so cold, have you had the heating on a lot more as I guess that might have contributed.

Any sign of fresh growth in either of the plants?


I can't see any new growth. The small one looks green and verdant, but not sure it's fresh growth. I have clipped off the brown/dead leaves off the big one, and will leave it a week or two before I attempt watering again!

Perhaps I ought to spritz the leaves to counteract the effect of having the heating on more recently?

Checking the pot is a good idea. I will save that treat as my final resort as it's so heavy!

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Sueanne Dolentz has been writing since 1999, and holds a degree in creative and professional writing. She has worked as a newspaper content editor and humor columnist, as well as a copy writer and website content editor.

How to Care for a Young Yucca Plant

Yucca can be easily propagated from the stem and root cuttings. This requires you to cut the Yucca stump and paint it to prevent infection. Paint it with a pruning putty. Place the stump in a shaded area to let it dry. Now, place the stump into a hole with dry soil making sure it extends 18 inches (46cm) above the soil.

Water the stump properly after planting it. Keep watering only after the soil gets dry, and within three to six months, the plant will establish a strong roots system. Soon enough, the foliage will begin to emerge from the stump. With just sufficient watering and regular pruning, a young Yucca plant will grow healthy and strong.

If you are planting the Yucca from seeds, it will take longer for the plant to germinate. In some cases, it takes up to a year. Take the seed pods from the plant which have been dried out. Start planting the seed inside containers in a warm environment. Make sure the environment is well lit to promote the healthy growth of the plant.

When you plant the Yucca plant from the stem cutting, you can verify whether it is growing by checking whether the crown is green. If it is, the plant is alive and growing.

Baby Yucca plants can be kept indoors to slowly keep growing for two to three years before they need pruning. Outdoor Yucca plants may grow faster and need slightly more attention to manage their growth.

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I bought a Tacca three days ago and the leaves started to hang down i watered it almost every day. He is on a place where it doesn't get direct sunshine but there is a lot of light. It has two gorgeous flowers too..

Please give me some advice what i should do,i don't wanna lose it. :(


Do you have a photo? It may be too much water. What sort of soil do you have it in?


I have one which is flowering now. It has two flowers open and 3 fat buds which are starting to open.

I grow it in a pot under a large oak tree. It gets full, early morning sun and direct late day sun. I discovered it can take more light than recommended.

It is potted in Miracle Gro mixed with small wood bark (orchid bark), sphag and perlite mixed in. Very free draining but holds moisture due to the sphag and MG.

I fertilize with Foliar Gro or Orchid fertilizer. It has tripled in size in less than a year and is beautiful. I potted it because it doesn't like cold weather and I will bring it in the house during cold spells.

I put a tomato cage over it to keep squirrels from climbing on it and digging up the plant (they did in Spring!).


A little late, but my Tacca has been doing great up until the heat turned on in my flat. Stuck it in the bathroom with the shower on and it perked up. Drooping is possibly humidity related.


Hi everyone,
have found many useful and great information on this board and recently I subscribed to participate in the discussion.

I have also some problems with my Tacca and looking for some advises. I bought a blooming Tacca about 5 month ago and I am almost fine with it. I keep it in the living room at a birght spot without direct sun light. the temperature is about 75 degrees and I try to keep the humidity level at around 50 % (very hard during the winter).

The plants reacts when it gets to dry or if I do not water enough by dropping the leaves but the plats recovers nicely after some water.

Now my problem is that a lot of new leaves are growing but they have all the tendency that the tips are dried out and once they reached about 10 inches the entire leaf is wrinkled and dried up. The old leaves are doing fine and have no sign of becoming brown. But I cannot make any new leaves grow and stay healthy and green.

I assume that my humidity level is still a little bit too low but there might by any other reasons. Any help or shared experience are greatly appreciated.

Watch the video: handy way to propagate yucca plants