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Please Help Me Save My Dying Yucca.

Hello all!
I recently adopted an indoor plant obsession. One of my first ones was a Cane Yucca. He started off strong, however after about a month some of the leaves started yellowing and browning. I removed the dead leaves though the problem continued to get worse. The leaves were yellowing/drooping/browning to the point where I did a lot of research and suspected root rot.
I purchased new soil, shook free the old soil and inspected the roots, which appeared to be ok. Not brilliant, but not apparently brown and definitely not mushy either. I removed the worst peices and repotted it into its pot (with drainage holes, same as before).
If anything it seemed to get worse.. I took the advice of a plant shop owner to allow the drainage pot to sit on newspaper away from the sun for a week to remove any excess water that might still be there.
It's rapidly getting worse and I've lost a lot of leaves now, with entire bundles completely drooping away. During this process of root rot suspection I have given it no water until two nights ago ( about a cup) after about a month and a half of no water.
The trunk is firm and is not mushy at all. PLEASE HELP I have no idea how to save this lil guy.


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 33,833
    Hello smaegoodwin. Yucca plants do like to be in direct sunlight all day. It looks as though your plant is not near a window. They thrive in dry conditions and prefer a very gritty soil to avoid poor drainage.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,561
    I agree with Ladybird.  It needs more light.

    I would take it to the bathroom and give it a good shower to remove all dust and then let the compost drain thoroughly before putting it in a brighter spot tho not direct sun in summer.   This info from the RHS may help guide you.  Scroll down to indoor cultivation and then problems.  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you both!! I should have mentioned that he lived near a south facing window for most of this journey. I've only just moved to the photgraphed spot on sunday (feb 10). Do your thoughts remain the same, or is there now something else I should do? Currently moving it back to the window again though! Thank you for the suggestion. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,561
    I suspect it's been left too long with no water and house dust also impedes leaf function.  Give it the shower, make sure it drains thoroughly and then check the base.  If you can see roots poking out it's hungry and in need of re-potting with fresh, gritty compost below and around its root ball.

    If not, just put it back in a sunnier position and water more regularly but always let it drain thoroughly.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks again! Your help is much appreciated!
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,063
    I can't work out whether you bought the plant recently-ish or adopted it from someone else, but if you bought it then it had probably been growing in a nursery glasshouse so the move to a home, however bright, could have been a bit of a shock.
    Also the leaves on the shorter trunk look good and healthy, so maybe the taller trunk just isn't as well-rooted and isn't taking up as much water (as I understand it they grow the multi-cane specimens by putting 2 or more separate canes in one pot). 
    If it's either of those then it's not anything you've done - just give it the right amount of water and plenty of light, and wait. If the worst happens and the tall part dies back completely, you can probably save the smaller part.
  • Thanks JennyJ! I bought it from Ikea in late November where it lived under flourescent lights and appeared really healthy at the time.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,063
    I suspect Ikea have a pretty quick turnover - it'll have been grown on a nursery with ideal conditions before the store got it.
  • Hey everyone! Yucca is still declining rapidly after all advice has been taken. :(

    I've decided to repot it into a faster draining soil as it will not dry out completely between watering where it's at now (maybe this is part of the problem?). Decided to snap some photos of the roots while i was at it. Super concerened about the roots that i found throughout the soil that seem to have snapped off during the process. Extra concerning as i was careful/ gentle while doing this. There also seems to be an alarming lack of roots for the size of the plants? Maybe I'm wrong and this is normal?

    Please let me know yoir thoughts. 
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 33,833
    It looks to me like the roots have rotted, possibly because the yucca has been over watered and the compost has remained very wet. Yuccas prefer being dryish so resist the temptation to water too frequently and allow the remaining roots to grow. Yuccas are often grown successfully in smaller pots than you would expect but watering has to be very careful to avoid root rot.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
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