Propagating A Yucca Plant

Discussion in 'Seed Starting / Propagation' started by Folly, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Folly

    Folly New Seed

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    I'm hoping that someone can help me regarding an indoor yucca plant. It was my husbands initially, he had it for a few years and we've been married for fourteen years and it's been everywhere with us, so we're very protective of it.
    Unfortunately we had an infestation of black fly which wiped out half of our house plants but the yucca made it through thankfully and has very healthy looking leaves.
    The problem we have is that after losing most of the bottom leaves, it's very lanky and is getting top heavy; we're using a corner between the toilet and wall to keep it upright at the moment.

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    We know we have to do something to save it and it seems the only option is to propagate it but frankly the idea scares us, as my husband took a cutting before and it didn't make it, but I have a hunch it was to do with the black fly infestation at the time.

    I've been trawling the internet for a while now and we have been asking for advice from people we know and there seem to be many different methods and they seem to differ for different types of yucca (is this a yucca elephantipes??), but as it's a drastic step, we want to make sure it has the best chance, so any advice would be very gratefully appreciated.

    The general advice we have had so far is -

    1. Use cactus compost.
    2. Use a very sharp, clean knife to cut it into four or five sections.
    3. Use rooting hormone powder.
    4. Make sure the pot used is clean and the compost new.

    But then what is the next best step? I've heard of air drying in an airing cupboard, lying the sections horizontally on the earth, simply potting them up and even placing in water to root but I worry that that would just rot the section.

    I really hope someone can help us, and thank you so much for reading this post.
     
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  3. chocolate

    chocolate In Flower

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    I dont think it is a yucca,in my opinion it could be a type of draceana.
     
  4. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    I think least drastic would be to air layer the plant. When the roots appear then cut and transplant the new plant.

    Jerry
     
  5. Folly

    Folly New Seed

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    Thank you for replying, it's much appreciated. So it might very well be a dracaena? We never considered that.

    I just had to look up air layering as it wasn't a method I had found before and I do worry that it's just getting too heavy up top (there are new leaves coming through) to wait up to a year as one site suggested. Does it usually take this long?
     



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  6. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    I agree with Chocolate and Jerry, the only Yucca I know of is an outside plant with tiny serrated edges that if you run your hand or arm against them as you are working around them you will get a cut from the contact. It does not grow on a stalk. It grows in a big mound, ever spreading. I would be thinking a dracena, also.

    Jerry had an excellent suggestion for air layering it. You still need rooting hormone, or it can be done without, it just takes longer, a handful of damp sphagnum moss, a plastic bag or wrap, and tape.

    If you look closely in the bottom photo you will see a bump directly in the center of the stem right above the brown and right at the bottom of the green stem....that is a root node. there will be several of them around the stem, use that spot. then dust those with the rooting hormone (dampen them first so it sticks) then wrap the damp moss around the stem followed by the plastic wrap or bag that has been cut open, tape the plastic tight at the top and bottom and wait... occasionally check the moss and dampen as needed.it may take months, but it more successful than a pot and bag method. As the roots grow out keep the moss damp, then when you see a decent amount of roots coming out, you can lop it off pot it up. At that point you may want to put a plastic bag over the plant for a few days just to protect it and put less stress on the transition for it.

    When you have a naked stalk left, watch it and see if the buds swell up and may pop out and grow a new leaves... or you can try cutting several sections off and try another propagation method to see if you can get another plant or two from it. good luck.
     
  7. Folly

    Folly New Seed

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    Thank you so much Carolyn, your instruction was just what we needed. We have now done exactly what you suggested and just have to wait for some roots now. I shall keep you posted, thank you again.
     
  8. theficuswrangler

    theficuswrangler New Seed

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    I think air layering will work well for you, less traumatic for both plant and grower, although cutting and rooting would probably work just as well.

    I do think it's a yucca. Y. elephantipes is a soft-leaved variety often used as a houseplant. Keep sending happy, loving thoughts to it, you should all be fine.
     
  9. Folly

    Folly New Seed

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    Thank you :)
    We're just holding our breath right now with everything crossed.
     
  10. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    I remember cutting and rooting a large yucca filamentosa. We put the severed stalk in a pot of new soil surrounded with a very large plastic bag to retain moisture. We would check it weekly. Several weeks later we found roots and slowly raised the plastic bag to allow a better air flow. The plant survived the ordeal and is still alive today.

    Jerry
     
  11. Folly

    Folly New Seed

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    I'm glad to see people have had success :)

    Regarding ours, we checked it the other day and were really pleased to find roots! Lots of fat healthy white roots, which frankly caused me mixed emotions as I was very pleased to see it had them but I also have a plant root phobia so it unnerved me somewhat!
     

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