Yellow Yucca Leaves – Why Is My Yucca Plant Yellow

yellowing yucca leaves
Image by RobiBuecheler

By Jackie Carroll

Whether you grow it indoors or out, one plant that thrives in the face of neglect is the yucca plant. Yellowing leaves might indicate that you are trying too hard. This article tells you how to save a yellowing yucca.

Why is My Yucca Plant Yellow?

Extreme conditions are no problem for a yucca plant. In fact, once established, it doesn’t need any more help from you. Attempts at pampering this sturdy plant may result in a yucca plant leaves turning yellow.


Water – A common cause of yellow yucca leaves is too much water. If you water the plant regularly or plant it in soil that doesn’t drain freely, the roots begin to rot. For best results, plant yuccas in sandy soil and don’t use organic mulch. If you want to mulch for a neater appearance, use gravel or stones.

When you keep yuccas indoors, the best way to keep moisture to a minimum is to keep them in small pots. Large pots hold lots of moisture, and it takes a long time for a large pot to dry out between waterings. Wait until the soil feels completely dry a couple of inches below the surface before watering the pot.

Light – Another reason for yellow leaves on yucca plants is poor sunlight. Plant yuccas where they can experience the direct rays of the sun all day. If surrounding plants grow enough to begin shading the yucca, cut the surrounding plants back or move the yucca to a better location.

You may think that setting your indoor yucca in a sunny window is enough for indoor yuccas, but it depends on the window. South-facing windows are best. The direct sunlight coming through other windows isn’t as intense and doesn’t last long enough.

Yuccas may trick you into thinking you have found the perfect indoor location by turning dark green. This is actually a desperate attempt to take advantage of the little sunlight it receives, and the leaves soon begin to yellow when the food production can’t keep up with the plant’s needs.

Pests – Indoor yuccas often suffer from spider mites, which can cause discolored leaves. Wiping down the leaves with a damp cloth every two or three days removes the mites, or you can try putting them in the shower under a gentle spray for a few minutes.

Age – The lower leaves on a yucca plant yellow naturally as they age. In most cases, you can simply pull the yellowed leaves off with a gentle tug. If necessary, use a sharp knife to remove the discolored leaves.

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