How to repot yucca plants

Written by b.t. alo | 13/05/2017
How to repot yucca plants
Yucca are very hardy plants, growing well outdoors as well as in pots. (Image by Jack Newton; Flickr.)

Yucca are hardy plants suited to drier, arid regions. Aside from its aesthetic value, Yucca root is a food staple in many countries, and resembles the potato closely. Yucca root is also called cassava and manioc, and is eaten steamed, boiled or ground into flour. Yucca plants may be grown indoors or out. Repot your yucca when it begins to outgrow its existing container.

Fill the empty pit with around 12.5 cm (5 inches) of coarse potting mix. Make sure that the new pot is 5 cm (2 inches) larger in diameter than the original, and 15 cm (6 inches) taller. Yucca needs very well drained soil, so coarse potting mix is essential.

Hold the base of the plant with one hand. Don't grasp the trunk like you would a pole, rather splay the hand, with the trunk in between two fingers, and the palm against the soil.

Invert the pot with your other hand, working it free so that the tree rests upside down, with your hand still firmly supporting the base.

Tease the roots out of the root-ball shape. This can be done by hand, pulling out sections of the roots so they hang freely, or using a knife to score roots, only about 2.5 cm (1 inch) deep in vertical lines around the root ball.

Settle the plant into the new pot, on top of the potting mix already placed inside. Make sure the plant is centred, and there is 7.5 cm (3 inches) height between the root ball and the rim of the pot. Add more potting mix on the bottom if the plant sits too far inside the pot.

Fill the remaining areas of the pot with potting mix, taking care not to compress it. Fill all the way to the top of the root ball, but don't build the soil around the trunk of the plant, around 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) over the roots is fine.

Lift the pot off the ground, and give it a good tap on the rim with the spade. This helps to settle the soil down, and removes any pockets of air. Further compression is not necessary, and will impede drainage.

Water the plant well and place it in a semi-shaded area after repotting for at least two weeks.

Things you need

  • Pot with drainage holes
  • Coarse potting mix
  • Small spade
  • Water
  • Knife (optional)

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