The unique appearance of the Red Yucca, or Hesperaloe parviflora, has drawn plant enthusiasts to add these individuals to their household collection.
The leaves themselves are long and leathery with stalks emerging from the center, which are adorned with pink or red flowers.
This appearance has led to an assortment of common names including Coral Yucca, Hummingbird Yucca, Redflower False Yucca, and Samandoque.
These evergreen perennial succulents are native to the Chihuahuan deserts of Texas as well as northeastern Mexico.
They can be found along a number of habitats such as prairies, mesquite groves, and rocky slopes. With such a resilient and hardy plant, adorning your house with a bold desert plant like the Red Yucca is a great statement!
- 1 RED YUCCA PLANT CARE BASICS
- 2 WATERING THE RED YUCCA PLANT CORRECTLY
- 3 RED YUCCA PLANT PROPAGATION METHODS
- 4 RED YUCCA PESTS AND PRUNING
- 5 RED YUCCA PLANT PROBLEMS
- 6 5 WAYS TO ENSURE A COLORFUL RED YUCCA PLANT
- 7 RED YUCCA PLANT FAQ
RED YUCCA PLANT CARE BASICS
Most succulents are sought after for their easy care. Beginners especially are drawn to these floras due to their lack of required care.
The Red Yucca follows this rubric, being quite hardy and requiring only a few considerations in their overall needs. The following section is everything you need to know about the basic requirements involved in keeping your succulent happy!
Desert plants are notorious for being somewhat particular in regards to the soil that they sit in. The Red Yucca plant prefers the soil to have a good amount of sand, though loam or rocky textures aren’t bad either.
The soil should never be too wet, meaning that it should be a type of medium that can drain properly. We’ve found a mixture of course sand, perlite, and typical potting soil to yield the best results.
Keep in mind that there are certain potting mixes designed exclusively for desert plants. Succulents are usually found in soil that is relatively low in nutrients and organic matter.
You can solve this problem by making sure that your mixture has nitrogen and phosphorus.
Being in the desert, it’s safe to say that these plants are used to an excess of sun. Looking at the morphology of Hesperaloe parviflora proves this suspicion true.
The stalks push the flowers up towards the sky so that they can get that necessary sunlight. In fact, Red Yucca plants won’t grow unless they receive full sun.
They can get by when placed in a spot with partial shade, but you don’t have those brilliant flowers nearly as much. As much as light as they require, these plants can experience scorched leaves.
The best compromise is to put your Red Yucca in a windowsill that faces the south or west, which gets plenty of bright light without it being direct. The general rule is that they need at least six hours of full sunlight.
These plants are gifted in surviving droughts. Living in the deserts of Texas is not an easy feat. The skins on the leaves are thick and waxy for a specific reason.
This combination of features allows the plant to store water without losing it to evaporation. An interesting fact about the Red Yucca is that it can get all the water it needs simply from the scarce rainstorms!
Your indoor individual won’t have to contend with the harsh reality of the desert. Although it’s not the end of the world, you’ll want to keep from overwatering your succulent.
Once a week while it’s in the midst of growing is the best plan of action. These plants have a more dormant period of time that they go through.
This is when you should scale back on your watering sessions. It may seem a bit too far between, but every few works best during this time. We’ll discuss how much water in a later section.
Have you ever been camping in the desert? If so, you’ll likely remember the wide range of temperatures you went through. The fact about just about any desert is that they tend to be extremely hot during the day and drop drastically during the night.
The Red Yucca is a fan of the heat, but has to be accustomed to surviving those dips.
The Chihuahuan Desert can reach freezing temperatures, even sitting as low as -12 degrees Celsius, or 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Your indoor Hesperaloe parviflora won’t have anything to worry about!
As long as your house stays colder than 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit), and warmer than -1 degrees Celsius (30 degrees Fahrenheit), you’re fine!
Keeping a close eye on the humidity within your house will help keep your succulent from rotting. The average home sits anywhere between 30 and 50 percent humidity, depending on where you live.
Unfortunately, anything higher than about 30 percent humidity is too much for the Red Yucca plant. A good number of succulent owners will keep their plants indoors if they live in an area that has a lot of moisture.
An excess of humidity can leave the plant wilting. There are certain rooms that tend to have higher levels of humidity.
We suggest you avoid placing these individuals in a bathroom. If your home is more humid than the average household, opt for a few strategies.
Keeping your plant near an open window will deplete the risk of wilting. You may need to mist your flowering plants from time to time. These succulents don’t need this assistance!
Red Yucca plants are quite self-sufficient, not truly needing the use of fertilizer to produce those beautiful flowers. Their wild counterparts are used to thriving in nutrient-poor soil.
This likely lends a hand to how resilient they are. Although they don’t really fertilizer, you can still add some food during the appropriate months. Any general-purpose solution will work just fine.
You’ll want to apply the fertilizer before the plant starts to grow in the early spring months. Any solution you add should be diluted to half the strength without too much nitrogen.
Also be sure to not add too much. As long as you have met all of the basic needs, you shouldn’t have to apply fertilizer for it to bloom.
One thing we haven’t mentioned yet is that the Red Yucca plant isn’t a Yucca at all! We bring this up so that you don’t go about propagating these plants in the same way that you would a true Yucca.
The methods commonly chosen for propagating Hesperaloe parviflora is through seed germination, stem cuttings, and clump division.
The last technique listed tends to be the most favored choice. There are a few conditions that the Red Yucca wants followed in regards to being propagated. We’ll mention these later on with an in-depth step-by-step guide for clump division.
The Red Yucca isn’t known for being all that quick in their overall growth. Succulents aren’t known for growing to be that large overall, aside from a few species.
Compared to other desert plants, these individuals do hold their own, especially in the wild. When given free reign, the Red Yucca plant will spread out to expand take up two to four feet with a height of 10 feet.
The clump of the leaves held towards the bottom half of the plant is about two feet high. Potted individuals take a while to reach even half this height.
They can be kept at a more manageable size through routine pruning. The lifespan of these individuals is also quite impressive, particularly for those kept in pots. An indoor Red Yucca plant can live up to five years, sometimes even longer if kept in peak condition.
Some plants do best when transferred to a new pot every year. Not the Red Yucca plant! Their slower growth rate makes them a candidate for less frequent repottings.
You can expect to transfer them to a larger container every two years at the minimum. This will depend on the fibers on the bottom of the plant.
These succulents have a rather complicated root system. There is a deep taproot that needs a deeper container than most floras.
There are also radial roots that extend on either side of the taproot. Repotting a Red Yucca plant tends to be the most successful in the spring or summer months during optimal growth.
WATERING THE RED YUCCA PLANT CORRECTLY
As a succulent, you run the risk of overwatering your plant. They are known for being drought tolerant, surviving off of very little water in the wild.
The individuals kept inside share those same preferences. In this part of the article, we will go over how much water to add, how frequently, and ways to ensure that you don’t go overboard.
Let’s first discuss how much water a Red Yucca plant would want. Generally, these floras would like to receive about one to two gallons of water a month.
When you pour the water into the pot, you’ll want to do so slowly and evenly so as to cover the base in a non-invasive way. What we mean by this is that the plant might become shocked if you were to suddenly add a large amount of liquid.
Now for how often. You should change the frequency based on the time of year.
More active growing months such as spring and summer will require more water. During this time, give your Red Yucca plant water once a week.
The rest of the time, they will be just fine with a thorough watering every two or three weeks. We also can’t stress enough that the water needs to be able to drain properly. You don’t want your flora sitting in water!
Watering succulents isn’t all that easy. Fortunately, we have an article dedicated such a task. Read it here!
RED YUCCA PLANT PROPAGATION METHODS
There are a number of ways that you could go about gaining a new individual from the parent plant. Seeds are a relatively easy technique, though time-consuming. You could also choose to propagate through stem cuttings. This is a favored method, though we prefer clump division.
PROPAGATION THROUGH CLUMP DIVISION
- Find the offshoots that are located near the base of your Red Yucca plant. They’ll be held along the small rhizomes.
- Carefully remove the entire plant from the pot, being mindful that the leaves are rather sharp. It should be one large clump at this point.
- Those offshoots that you located earlier should now be pried apart to remove the tangling. You can also remove any dead or dying parts.
- Return the parent plant back to its original pot.
- Offshoots into a spot that they can dry. Leave them there for a few days and then proceed to bury them in a separate container with well-draining soil.
- Keep the soil moist. You’ll see them start to sprout their own roots after a few weeks, where you can then repot them.
RED YUCCA PESTS AND PRUNING
Although this succulent is rather slow in its overall growth, they tend to spread out and overtake a good portion of the house if left to their own devices. Pruning is a way to stop this from happening.
You’ll also want to watch out for a few specific bugs that attack the leaves.
The Red Yucca plant should be pruned at the beginning of early spring, though it can happen during any time of the year.
To go about doing this, you’ll start at the center of the individual and cut the modified part called the flower spike. You can also pinch off any dried flowers that didn’t fall off during the winter season.
There is actually a type of pest that is specific to the Red Yucca. Remember how we said that they don’t belong in the Yucca family?
Well, the Agave plant bug attacks individuals found within the group including Red Yucca. They attack the leaves and steal the stored moisture. Other pests include black aphids.
Catching it early on is key! Pesticides are a bit more invasive, so try to solve these problems with soapy water first.
Another thing to keep in mind is that these plants are highly susceptible to root rot if forced to sit in water for too long. Reading up on the treatment of root rot before it happens can mean a world of difference for your Red Yucca.
RED YUCCA PLANT PROBLEMS
Overall, these individuals are easy to keep happy and healthy. But, just as with any living being, there are problems that can arise if one of the aspects of care isn’t met to their standards.
To help you along, we’ve devoted a section specifically to the various issues that may arise, and how you can stop them before they create irreparable damage!
PROBLEM #1: BROWNING OF LEAVES
The reasoning behind brown leaves is generally because you’ve given your plant too much water. This may be accompanied by drooping of the foliage.
The first step is to make sure that the pot has drainage holes located on the bottom. If that’s the case, you’ll want to scale back on how much water you supply.
PROBLEM #2: SPONGY TRUNK
At the very center of your Red Yucca plant is a trunk. If it feels sponge-like in it’s texture, you once again are overwatering your plant.
Adjust your watering routine so that the plant can dry out a bit before being given more moisture.
PROBLEM SIGN #3: BROWN TIPS ON THE LEAVES
We’ve discussed the cause of leaves turning brown, but what about just the tips? If you see this, it’s safe to assume that your Red Yucca is getting too much fluoride.
Fluoride toxicity is a direct result of the water that you use. This will depend on where you live. Consider using filtered water.
PROBLEM #4: WHITE SPLOTCHES AND DISINTEGRATION
Remember how we mentioned that there is a bug that goes after Agave plants? Well, this is how you can tell that they’ve attacked the leaves on your plant.
Investing in a insecticidal soap before it gets worse is the best thing that you can do for your Red Yucca plant! Use it to treat the affected areas, and anywhere else that it may spread.
5 WAYS TO ENSURE A COLORFUL RED YUCCA PLANT
The Red Yucca plant is an easy-keeper, as long as you know how to properly care for it. Too much information to remember? That’s okay! Here is a good synopsis of what you’ll need to meet the basic needs.
- Make sure that the soil contains some sand for the best results.
- Plenty of full sun is crucial!
- Only water your Red Yucca plant once a week.
- Keep the humidity rather low if you can help it.
- Stay on top of pruning to ensure that it doesn’t become unkempt!
RED YUCCA PLANT FAQ
Is the Red Yucca plant poisonous?
If the leaves of this plant contain an enzymes known as “saponins”, which are considered to be toxic to humans and dogs. We would get a rash, while it provokes vomiting in dogs.
Are Red Yucca plants invasive?
They may not grow very quickly, but these individuals are known for spreading out and outcompeting with native species.
Is the Red Yucca plant edible?
There are some people who claim that it is safe to eat Red Yucca plant leaves. If it were a true Yucca plant, then this would be true. They are considered toxic and could potentially cause rashes or irritations.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.