Yucca plants are drought hardy so only need to be watered between once per week to once every 10 days when they are growing in pots. Outdoor yucca plants can rely on rainfall for most of the year and you may only need to water them occasionally. Indoor yucca plants in pots will need to be watered more often in the summer, up to once per week to once every 2 weeks.
Yucca plant watering will depend on the time of year, rainfall and type of soil they are grown in. Plant yucca plants in well draining soil with enough organic matter so they don’t dry out too fast.
Yucca plants have large, tuberous roots which are great at holding water allowing them to survive dry periods. Their leaves are specially designed to minimize water loss so they will be happy to grow in a sunny position.
This article will explore how much water a yucca plant needs to grow well in a pot, outdoors in the ground and indoors.
How much does a yucca plant growing in the ground need?
Yucca plants growing in the ground will need water once every 2-3 weeks. If they are growing in good quality soil that contains organic matter, they can survive on rainfall alone. These plants evolved to withstand hot and dry climates with specialized root systems.
If you are getting regular rainfall, around once every 2-3 weeks they will usually be fine without any additional water. In the hot, dry summer if rainfall is minimal water them once every 7-10 days. Check the soil with your finger and if it is dry at least 2 inches below the surface you can deep water the plant.
The best way to water yucca plants is to deep soak the root system with your hose less often rather than adding a small amount of water each day. Apply water around the root zone and avoid splashing water or soil on their stems. This will reduce the risk of fungus and disease entering the plant.
How much water does an outdoor yucca plant need?
Outdoor potted yucca plants will need watering every week or so in summer if there is no rainfall. Depending on the age and size of the pot they can even survive for longer without water. Established yucca plants growing in good quality soil will last for 2-3 weeks even in summer without additional water.
Slow down watering significantly over winter and when the weather starts to cool in fall. Too much water can stress the plant, cause root rot and cause the leaves to droop and curl.
Too much water can also wash vital nutrients out of the soil including the nitrogen needed for leaf growth. If your yucca plant looks overwatered, the leaves are drooping and the soil is wet stop watering immediately.
Add some dry bark mulch and allow the plant to dry out for at least 2 weeks before adding more water. Cut back any leaves that have started to turn brown and add some pelleted chicken manure in spring.
How much does an indoor potted yucca plant need?
Indoor yucca plants will be completely reliant on you to give them the water they need. Most indoor yucca plants will need to be watered every week in summer if the weather is hot, once every 2 weeks in spring and fall and once per month in the winter.
It is always best to test the soil before watering your yucca plant. Stick a popsicle stick in the soil 2-3 inches down and if it comes out clean then you can add water.
Yucca plants can last longer without water in climates that are higher in humidity. Their leaves are able to collect and absorb moisture from the air keeping them alive during dry times.
3 Ways to know if your yucca plant needs water
There are 2 easy ways to tell if your yucca plant needs water.
1. Test the soil
Stick your finger or popsicle stick into the soil 2-3 inches below the surface. If the soil is dry then it is time to water your yucca plant.
2. The leaves are drooping
If your yucca plant leaves are drooping or curling downwards this can be a sign that it needs water. Check the soil to see if it is dry and then water the plant well. Check the leaves for signs of any insects or fungal leaf spots which can also cause drooping.
3. Leaf tips are brown
Check out your yucca leaves. If the tips of healthy or young leaves are turning brown and then it needs more water. Add a dash of seaweed solution to your water to help it to recover faster.
What is the best way to water a yucca plant?
The best way to water an indoor potted yucca plant is to bring the pot outside if you can and to deep water it with a hose. Allow as much water as possible to drain out before bringing it back inside to drain on a pot tray.
If the pot is too large to move, use a small watering can to add water to the entire pot surface allowing any excess to drain in the tray. Make sure that the tray water is reabsorbed by the plant after around 10 minutes. If the water is still there after this time, it is best to tip it out or absorb it with an old rag.
Leaving the yucca roots sitting in water can cause them to rot or grow fungus.
Can you overwater a yucca?
Yucca plants can be overwatered. Adding too much water can cause their leaves to turn yellow, droop, for their roots to be damaged by fungus and the whole plant can die. It is best to under rather than overwater yucca plants as they can store loads of water in their roots.
Slowly increase your watering and always check to make sure the soil is not damp before adding more water.
How Much Water Does a Yucca Plant Need? | Summary
Yucca plants will need just enough water to keep their roots happy. They have an extraordinary ability to absorb and hold water over dry times so they are more likely to be overwatered rather than underwatered.
Many yucca plants grown outdoors can survive on rainfall alone. Indoor yucca plants need water only every 7-10 days during the hottest part of the year. Reduce your watering to once every 2-4 weeks when the weather cools and their growth slows.