Yucca Aloifolia: Spanish Bayonet Plant Care

Ed Wike
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Quick Care

Spanish Bayonet plants, or Yucca Aloifolia, are a fast grower and unique houseplant. They're a popular houseplant because they offer much versatility. No matter the size or the brightness of your room, you can find the right spot for your Yucca Aloifolia and achieve a certain level of satisfaction straight away. If you live in a dark space, your Yucca Aloifolia will thrive there. The same is true if you have an extra-bright space, your plant will do great there as well. The only criterion is that your pot should be well drained. This plant, however, can offer more than just practical reasons to choose it. For instance, you love the way it looks and you want to keep it in a specific place for this reason. They're great for this purpose as well.

However, Spanish Bayonets aren't all about looks and practicality. If you have pets, this plant also distinguishes itself in this way. This plant won't be damaged by cat barf or dog pee. In case you have smaller pets that may get their legs caught in its sharp edges, this plant is a must. So, regardless of the reason why you want to add this plant to your house, keep in mind a few things first. No matter the type of this plant, it's all about one thing, the care.

Yucca Aloifolia Care

There are many misconceptions about incas aloifolia care in the United States because it is a plant native to tropical environments in South America. The best time to plant yucca aloifolia is between the months of April and October.

These tropical environments are not capable of producing enough heat for the plant to grow. This means that to successfully grow the plant in the United States, it needs to be in a warm and humid environment that is very similar to the plant’s natural environment. Since it should receive very little sunlight, it needs to be placed in an area that receives shade.

In order to grow this plant successfully, the temperature in the room or exterior area in which it is placed should be between 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

A refined amount of sunlight is needed to grow Spanish bayonet plants indoors. If too much sun is provided the foliage of the plant will burn. Therefore, if you need to grow the plant inside, then it should be placed in a south-facing window that is not directly in the sun.

Light & Temperature

  • Light**: Yucca aloifolia are best grown in bright light. These plants do not reallized in the shadows , so make sure you keep it some where it gets enough sunlight.
  • Temperature**: Spanish Bayonets are cold tolerant, so they can survive in the winter with around 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit ( don't forget to give them some protection against the freezes though!). In the summer though they like some warmth and they need temperatures of around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't forget to acclimatize them to temperatures when you bring them home.
  • Potential Problems**: The yucca aloifolia plant likes extremely well drained soil. As we mentioned previously yucca plants are cold hardy, but their tender roots are not! So make sure your plant has pots with very good drainage.

Also, they are best kept dry between watering. These plants don't mind being under watered, but they will be very unhappy if they stay wet for a long time.

Watering & Humidity

In order to thrive, this plant needs to be kept in temperatures between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, with at least 15-30 percent humidity. If this plant is to be kept anywhere else but completely dry places, it will need to be misted with water at least ten minutes twice a week, just enough to keep the plant’s leaves from drying out.

If you live in an area where it is very dry, watering at least once a month should be fine. These plants thrive in direct sunlight, so make sure to move them to a window during the day if you are going to keep them in your home.

One of the most important things about the Yucca Aloifolia plant is that it does not like having its roots disturbed. If you are repotting the plant, you have to find the proper sized pot that matches the size the pot the plant is currently planted. When you find the right pot, loosen the soil at the plant’s base while making sure it stays intact.

Move the plant into the right sized pot, and while holding the plants center tightly, put a pot that is larger than the current one. If the plant’s roots are tightly attached, you can expect to have a bunch of them that will break off.

Soil

Yucca aloifolia has a reputation for dealing with adversity, a characteristic often appreciated by those of us who have far too little time to devote to garden care. While it is true that Yucca aloifolia is a tough plant, it does have certain requirements that, when met, help ensure its successful growth and appearance.

It is essential that Yucca aloifolia be planted in soil that drains well. The soil needs to stay moist, but it must also allow excess moisture to drain away. In cases where the plant is planted in areas where drainage is poor, sinking in the soil around the Yucca aloifolia’s root system is almost inevitable.

While the plant’s appearance might suffer from this problem, the overall success of the plant is not compromised. In cases where the root system is above the soil line, however, it is advisable to avoid planting the plant in soil that is extremely porous.

Fertilizer

One of the keys to growing Yucca Aloifolia in great shape is to ensure that it is cared for appropriately throughout the year. A regular fertilizer schedule will help your plant maintain good health and the right shape and size. If you fail to feed your Spanish Bayonet plant, you will notice a decrease in its growth and it will take on a spindly, thin build. This is largely due to the fact that the plant is struggling to convert sunlight into energy.

There are a lot of commercial fertilizers on the market, all with a different list of ingredients. There are also DIY solutions that can be made at home. The best solution for you will depend on the size of your plant and the rest of your available materials. A good DIY solution for smaller Y. Aloifolia plants would be fish emulsion and fertilizer pellets. If you are sitting in front of the computer right now and searching for a reliable source of fertilizers, that is the best advice that you are likely to get.

Size & Growth

There are two types of Yucca aloifolia, the Spanish bayonet or tree yucca and the stiff yucca. Both are evergreen perennial, which have a symmetrical growth habit, but the stiff yucca has leaves that are stiff and spear like (hence the name) and it reaches the size of 15 feet tall. The Spanish bayonet, for which these plants are often used, is much faster growing and reaches a maximum height of 5-6 feet tall.

The Spanish bayonet can also be propagated through vegetative means and it will develop roots off of its leaves. You can easily root a Spanish bayonet off a stem or leaf by simply placing the entire part in the ground. This is a good way to thicken your plant herd.

Propagation

Spanish bayonets are interesting when planted in dense groups because the small leaves form a dense, tropical looking mass of dark green. When grouped in rows parallel to a wall or fence, they create a wonderful backdrop for the smaller, flowering plants that fill the spaces in between.

There are three different rhizomatous varieties of yucca, all of which can be propagated by stem cuttings. The different varieties can also be propagated by division.

Plant the stem cuttings in a sandy soilless media like a mixture of sand and perlite. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked wet. When the roots appear, you can move the plants into individual pots.

The plants will not tolerate hot Summer months outdoors in most climates, but they do well in the Winter and should be planted at the back of the garden where they will not cast shade on plants in more favorable locations.

Pruning

When you purchase this beautiful houseplant, it comes in a tall and upright shape, which allows for excellent height and style. But as it grows and fills out, you may want to prune some of the longer greenery and can even cut the plant down to just a foot or two in length.

“Prune” is a strong word for this. It is more like taking a huge pair of scissors and cutting off the tips of each stem. This doesn’t take much time, and it is easy to do.

Spanish bayonet plants like good air circulation, and they require plenty of sunlight. They like a well-drained soil with at least 50% of it being made up of organic matter. This plant loves growing in fertile soil, but it does need to be watered properly … if you over-water, they will rot!

This is a magnificent plant. But you can be bothered by its spines. Don’t worry! The spines reduce over time. Use gardening gloves when handling a yucca aloifolia and you won’t have to worry about the spines.

Problems

As the name suggests, this is a flowering unusual outdoor perennial that has become a popular substitute for barbed wire fencing.

Though it is not considered an invasive exotic species, it is still banned in many states. For example, in Florida, it is illegal to plant, cultivate or sell. This is because of the devastation that it can wreak on already existing and fragile ecosystems. It can damage your existing garden if you plant it yourself, rather than buying it and it can be difficult to remove.

Its popularity in many states is at least partly because of its distinctive flowers. It has beautiful white trumpet shaped blooms from May through October that appear against dark, waxy green, heart shaped leaves. They grow to about 2 feet tall and will give you a lot of visual interest.

One of the reasons why it is not allowed in so many states is because it is susceptible to insect infestation. Over time, moth larvae will chew through the leaves and flowers of your Spanish Bayonet, reducing their appearance. The females of the moth species will lay eggs on the leaves. These eggs will feed off plant tissue, effectively damaging the plant. If not controlled, the moths will completely strip their host of all leaves. A popular method of control involves eliminating the infested plant from your garden.

Pests

For the Yucca Aloifolia: Spanish Bayonet Plant

Yucca aloifolia, also commonly known as the Spanish bayonet, has a few pests that like to munch on its leaves and stems.

Pests for this succulent are similar to pests for other succulents, such as aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, and spider mites. If you notice a lot of bugs on your yucca, it’s likely a sign the plant is overwatered. A healthy, well-watered yucca won’t have bugs, but an improperly watered one will.

Check for bugs on any opened buds and leaf tips. If there’s lots of insects, you need to thoroughly clean all leaves and buds.

Don’t spray the plant with a pesticide. Putting pesticides on a yucca can cause it to be harmful to humans.

Instead of killing pests, use a spray bottle of 2 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Spray the plant thoroughly and wait for the water to be absorbed into the soil.

Then use a sharp instrument (like a toothpick or the end of a pair of scissors) to gently get at any small bugs sticking to the leaves.

Diseases

If your yucca aloifolia is being attacked by a pest, you need to do two things: identify the pest, then treat the problem, fast.

If your plant is diseased, you might need to replace it. The most common problem occurs from a stubborn spider mite infestation. These are tiny red capillaries that feast on the sap of your yucca. If they're attacked by aphids, they will also draw sap from these bugs.

If your plant is also being attacked by mealy bugs, the infestation will spread quickly from the bug to the plant. Mealy bug waste attracts other pests.

If you already have aphids on your plant, a strong blast of water will dislodge them. Wash the plant with warm water and soap daily; if there's a heavy infestation it's best time a new plant. Again, even if you fall in love with this yucca plant, don't use it as a permanent solution. It will probably fail when you get hit with a major pests infestation. Whatever you do, don't spray it with Round-Up or other weed killers.

FAQs

How do I care for a Yucca Aloifolia?

Dampness

Enclosed areas, that are below the ideal temperature range, that are drafty.

Sun

Change the soil weekly. Over time, the soil will become compact, resulting in poor drainage, killed roots and unhealthy plant growth. Plants should be watered 1 inch (2.5 cm) a month in warmer zones, 1 inch (2.5 cm) every two weeks in colder zones. In a desert area, you may need to water your Yucca Aloifolia more or less every few days, depending on the weather. Remember to keep the soil damp, but never soggy.

You may want to watch your plant closely during the winter, as it may not be able to survive freezing temperatures. Once well-established, the Yucca Aloifolia can tolerate occasional light frosts, but should be brought indoors before the temperatures drop to 25 degrees F (-4 degrees C).

How big will my Yucca Aloifolia grow?

Huge

Proper drainage, at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) a week

Partial or Full Sun

How do I prune my Yucca Aloifolia?

Trim off Dead Leaves and Dry Up

Stems. Remove water-damaged leaves and