House Plants/My yucca plant is in trouble
QUESTION: I bought this plant few months ago. It is place beside a large window with plenty of light exposure. It has 2 stems. One big and one small. Bigger one has a shoot whose leaves are curling up. Smaller stem has lost 3 shoots and the last one also seems dying. I m watering it once a week and no water stands at the bottom. Its potting soil looks ok but there are small white kind of caterpillars and some white packing foam type particals in it. Please tell me what to do.
ANSWER: Hi Asma,
The pot is too large for you to be watering weekly. You have to wait until the top 2-3 inches of soil feel dry before adding just enough water so that is reaches that level of dryness again in about a week. Your Yucca also would benefit from additional light. Place it immediately in front of a sunny window that is completely uncovered throughout the day.
The foam particles are in the soil to help aerate the soil. The centipedes indicate that the grower cut corners using unsterile soil. However, the critters will not harm the plant. If you allow the soil to dry out more that will have an adverse effect on the centipedes.
YUccas need lots of sunlight and soil that stays dry. I have written an article on Yucca care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com.
Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.
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Horticultural Help, NYC
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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your response. I did let it dry out and then the leaves started turning solid yellow. The window nxt to plant is wall sized and blinds stay open through out the day.
There are few leaves that had blackish kind of fungus looking color on them. I am worried if it has some plant disease.
Plants are slow to react to existing conditions. The yellow leaves were the plant's slow response to the previous overwatering, not to your more recent allowing it to dry out. There is no doubt that you are not allowing the soil to dry out deep enough into the soil before ever giving it water. The root rot has already started (and it may already be too late) so the yellowing will continue for a while afer you allow proper drying. You have to be patient in allowing the soil to dry and the roots to gradually recover.
The black color on the leaves is not a fungus. It is the plant's response to the stress of rotting roots.