Yucca, Houseplant of the month of January

New Year, new Houseplants of the month. We will be kicking off with the Yucca, Houseplant of the month of January. This stubborn stress reducer is known for its pointy leaves and Tex-Mex style.

The cowboy among the houseplants
An explosion of green-yellow-grey, leathery leaves which end in a point, sometimes growing on a trunk and sometimes directly from the earth; that is typical of the Yucca. It’s a tough desert inhabitant who isn’t really into cuddles, but quietly does its best to stay true to you for as long as possible and give you peace. Tough, spiky and trustworthy: the Yucca is really the cowboy among the houseplants.

Warm and dry habitat
The Yucca is used to warm and dry environments. The plant originates from the southern United States, South America and the Caribbean. It grows there in the desert, but is equally happy with you in your home.

Caring for the Yucca
This is how you will keep your Yucca in top form: place the plant in a light position, but not in full sun. Water the houseplants regularly and treat it now and again to some plant food. Allow the soil to dry out a little between watering to prevent rot. If the lower leaves become brown and wilted, remove them. This will give the new leaves more energy to grow.

Fun facts:
• The Yucca is the ideal plant to give as a present to people who love plants, but aren’t as committed to a regular watering regime.
• Just like other plants, the Yucca has the gift of calming people. Research carried out by Surrey University showed that people were less stressed and had a lower blood pressure in a room full of plants, than in a room without plants.
• Yucca varieties are sometimes confused with the edible cassava which is called yuca in Spanish.
• The Indians have known for a long time that the Yucca is a special plant. It is not surprising they called it the ‘life giving plant’. They honoured the plant for its healing properties and used the leaves and roots to treat psoriasis, dandruff, hair loss, skin ulcers and infections.
• Some Yucca varieties have flowers. These ivory coloured flowers have been the symbol of the American state of New Mexico since 1927.
• There are at least 40 varieties of Yuccas, from small shrubs to trees.

For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk

Published on: 30 December 2014