Low-maintenance yucca plants are a favorite with many gardeners, because the plant may be potted and grown indoors or planted outside in flower beds. Yucca, a common southwestern desert plant, grows up to 1 foot in height. Yuccas bloom each year, the bell-shaped flowers appearing in white clusters. The foliage ranges in color, appearing in shades of blue, white, yellow and green. Learn how to best apply and use fertilizer for yucca plants to keep them healthy.
When Not to Fertilize
Many gardeners use fertilizer as a go-to plant-pick-me-up, applying it when plants begin to look droopy, wilted or otherwise unhealthy. Sometimes, however, applying fertilizer to yucca plants may do more harm than good. The salt found in fertilizers may harm plants that are already suffering from unhealthy roots. Giving plants too many nutrients may be as detrimental as giving them too few. Don't start fertilizing yucca plants, or giving them extra fertilizer, simply because they look unhealthy. Follow a fertilizing schedule and stick to it to avoid doing damage to the plant with excess fertilization treatments. Never fertilize yucca plants when they are newly transplanted.
How to Apply Fertilizer
Proper fertilization of yucca plants starts with application. Fertilizer should be evenly spread in a circle over the soil of the surface where the roots of the plants spread. Apply water immediately after applying fertilizer to the soil to help the fertilizer seep into the ground. Fertilizer should be applied to yucca plants once a year, at most, in the early summer.
Is Fertilizer Needed?
Yucca plants are hardy and quick growing, and in rich soils that receive regular water, they will not need fertilizer at all. Yucca grows native to many parts of the United States, and flourishes easily on its own. Add organic mulch to soil to provide nutrients, and no additional treatments will be needed for the plants to thrive in good and high-quality soils.
Types of Fertilizer
Time-release nitrogen fertilizers are best for yucca plants if gardeners determine that additional soil nutrients are needed to keep the plants healthy. Apply 7 grams of slow-release fertilizer for every 8 inches of soil once every three months when the plants are first getting established in the pot or garden. Use rich potting media containing peat moss for potted yucca plants.
- Plant Care: Indoor Yucca Plant Care – Problems From Over Care Over Maintenance
- University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Cactus, Agave, Yucca and Ocotillo
- Wildflower: Trimming and fertilizing Yucca
- University of Florida IFAS: Yucca Production Guide
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Agave and Yucca: Tough Plants for Tough Times