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Why is my Yucca Elephantipes Dying? I See!

Why is my Yucca Elephantipes Dying? I See!

Yucca Elephantipes. The name sounds impressive and the plant certainly is. Growing up to 16 feet (five meters) in your garden, it is also grown successfully as a houseplant.

Although a Yucca is a hardy plant, it can also be sensitive and can be killed by simple things like overwatering. Take care with this eternal giant among plants.


Why is my Yucca Elephantipes Dying?

Yucca Elephantipes can be killed by diseases and pests, very low temperatures, too little direct sunlight, too much fertilizer, or soil that does not drain well. The main reason for your Yucca dying, however, is usually overwatering. Yuccas should only be watered when the surrounding soil is almost dry, or it can eventually kill the plant.


What Causes Yucca Elephantipes to Die

Your Yucca may be dying because of the amount of water; the quality and amount of light it receives; being attacked by pests or disease; the incorrect temperatures; and the amount and type of fertilizer that is used.


Improper Watering

Remember that a Yucca is essentially a semi-desert plant, so it doesn’t need a lot of water. When you grow it in your garden or home, you must take care that it isn’t watered too regularly, or too much.

Too much water can affect the roots, which may begin to rot. Ultimately, this can kill your plant. To avoid this, make sure that you only water your Yucca only when the soil has practically dried out.

When you do water your Yucca, soak the soil around the root sufficiently to ensure that the water will drain into the soil. If the soil your Yucca is planted in doesn’t drain sufficiently, you can work some sand into it.


Inadequate Light

A Yucca Elephantipes needs full sun to grow effectively. If it doesn’t receive enough light, then it will affect its growth, and the plant may even begin dying. 

To avoid this, make sure that your Yucca is planted or placed in direct light for at least 8 hours a day.


Improper Temperature

Yucca Elephantipes plants prefer warm areas, but their natural growth environment does experience a range of temperatures, so they can tolerate 65°F-75°F (18°-24°C)

Although an established Yucca plant can tolerate occasional temperatures below 50° (10°C), they do not do well in a consistently cold climate and do not tolerate temperatures below 32° (0°C).

If your plant is outside, then it may be effective to consider protecting it during the winter months, by covering it with burlap or an equivalent.

If this is not working, then it may be a radical, but necessary, move to consider transplanting the plant. However, please remember that any plant can react negatively to being transplanted.

If you are considering growing Yucca Elephantipes, then take note of temperatures in your area. If your place has very cold winters, by all means grow your Yucca in a pot so you can shield it from the cold anytime .

I recommend rather growing it as an inside plant from the beginning.


Pests and Disease

One of the most common causes for a plant to become infected, or die, is pests or diseases that attack it.

Funguses and viruses, such as the bacilliform virus, can cause yellow or black spots to develop on Yucca leaves. Treat the plant with fungicide or wash it with insecticidal soap.

Applying neem oil to the Yucca’s leaves can also help.

The viruses and funguses are often spread through splattering onto the leaves, so you should avoid overhead watering. Rather soak the soil surrounding the plant’s base.

It is also important to manage the amount of moisture in the soil. It needs to drain properly until it is almost dry.

Wet soil that takes too long to dry can foster the development of fungi. The plant can also develop root rot, which can also explain why your plant may be dying.


Wrong Fertilizer Amount

Yuccas are very adaptable plants and flourish in a variety of environments, so there is generally little need to fertilize or even feed them.

However, if you are growing your Yucca in a pot and its growth seems to be limited, then it may be a good idea to apply some fertilizer.

Do this only every three months or so. If you’re unsure with  fertilizer use, then rather avoid it.

Overfertilizing can cause the leaves to turn yellow, or to wilt and develop brown edges. It’s also another possible reason behind your Yucca dying.

It can also slow down the growth of the plant and even leave it vulnerable to pests and diseases.


What Yucca Elephantipes is

The Yucca Elephantipes is an upright succulent, which can grow as a bush, or a small tree. Essentially, it is a semi-desert plant that has long yellow-green leaves and a bare trunk.

This plant can grow dramatically in the garden as well as a houseplant. As such, it is usually grown in a container.


Growing Conditions Yucca Elephantipes Prefer

The Yucca is essentially a semi-desert plant, which means that it does not need a lot of regular watering. It’s quite drought-resistant and should grow in well-drained, or sandy, soil.

Because it is used to growing in areas with relatively sparse vegetation, it prefers full sun and a generally warmer environment.

The Yucca is quite a hardy plant, so can grow in areas that are slightly cooler than its natural conditions. However, it is sensitive to iciness and will not grow effectively in very cold areas.


Frequently Asked Questions about Why my Yucca Elephantipes is Dying


What happens if I water my Yucca Elephantipes too often?

Yucca Elephantipes grow naturally in hot, dry environments, so they do not need a lot of water. In fact, you should allow the soil around your plant to dry, before watering it. Overwatering also affects the plant’s growth and even cause the roots to rot.


Do I need to fertilize my Yucca Elephantipes?

Yuccas are adaptable plants and grow quite successfully in a variety of environments, so they do not generally need fertilizer. If you do fertilize a Yucca growing in a pot, then it should be done only about every three months.



Yucca Elephantipes are hardy and adaptable plants and are not easy to kill! However, there are always things that can affect your plant and it may die.

The most common reason for your Yucca to be dying is overwatering, so pay particular attention to how often you water it.

A Yucca is, after all, remarkably drought resistant.