The Red Yucca (Hesperaloe Parviflora) plant grows in clumps that are around 6 feet wide. It produces red and yellow stalks that can reach 5 feet in height.
This plant produces small yellow and red flowers on the top ends of the stalks, and they bloom during the growing season. If you are looking forward to growing this perennial succulent, read through this article.
What Is Red Yucca (Hesperaloe Parviflora)?
The Red Yucca (Hesperaloe Parviflora) is a drought tolerant, slow-growing plant that is also known as the Hesperaloe parviflora, Coral yucca, Hummingbird yucca, Texas Red Yucca, and Redflower false yucca. It originates from Mexico’s northeastern parts and areas of Texas that are covered by the Chihuahuan desert.
Red Yucca Care
Being a low-maintenance plant, the Red Yucca gives you ample time to care for other plants. However, if you need to grow a healthy and appealing plant, ensure that all its care requirements are provided.
– Water Requirements
Some Yucca plants are very resistant to drought, which calls for little watering. In their natural habitats, the mature plants can survive only on annual rainfall.
When grown as houseplants, you should water the red Yucca regularly during the first year. However, you should inspect the soil frequently in the first two weeks of planting and water each time you find it dry.
When the young Red Yucca has established itself or after two weeks, you can reduce the watering frequency. You should irrigate the plant once every two to three weeks during spring and summer. During the cold season, consider reducing the watering frequency due to low water loss and reduced plant development.
– Light Requirements
The Red Yucca plants enjoy the full sun for their upkeep. You should ensure that this plant gets between six to eight hours of exposure to full sunlight.
However, to help the Hesperaloe parviflora to thrive and grow fast, position it on a spot with direct or partially-direct sun exposure throughout the whole day. Despite the advantage of vigorous growth that is facilitated by direct sun, the plant’s leaf tips will turn brown thereby spoiling the overall beauty of the Red Yucca.
When growing the Red Yucca indoors, you should consider placing it on a south- or west-facing window. This location exposes the plant to enough sunlight that is essential for it to thrive while protecting it from harm at the same time. Hesperaloe parviflora plants that are kept in low light places become dull and their flowering chances are very low.
– Soil Requirements
The Red Yucca grows fast and healthy in well-draining or sandy soils. If you want to grow this plant in a container, you need to make a mixture of sand, potting soil, and perlite for consistent and quick growth. Remember that the main point here is to mimic the desert conditions in which this plant is native and make a few amendments to produce the best growing environment.
Heavy soils can choke the roots, thereby hindering them from absorbing enough nutrients as needed by the plant.
You should avoid using water-holding soils and ensure that the pot has adequate holes to lose excess water. We advise that you loosen the soil after a few waterings to prevent it from getting compacted.
– Temperature Requirements
Heat is Red Yucca’s best friend, although it can tolerate cold temperatures that are as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celcius). Considering that the Red Yucca is a desert plant, it grows through a wide temperature range during its lifetime. Remember, during the day deserts are extremely hot and temperatures drastically fall at night, but the Red Yucca still survives.
If you decide to grow the Hesperaloe parviflora as houseplants, you have to gradually accustom it to the available temperatures to avoid shocking them.
However, indoor temperatures will not fall to the extent of damaging this plant because it can still survive in the Chihuahuan desert where temperatures fall to -12 degrees Fahrenheit (-24 degrees Celsius). Just make sure that your indoor temperatures are within the range of 30 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to 31 degrees Celsius).
– Humidity Requirements
Poor humidity management around the Red Yucca makes it vulnerable to rotting. On average, indoor humidity levels range between 30 to 50 percent but this depends on the climate you are living in.
Please note that a humidity level above 30 percent is too high for the Red Yucca. Although this plant is tolerant to harsh or extreme conditions, it will not be as vibrant as it should be.
– Fertilizer Requirements
The Red Yucca performs well when fed with all-purpose fertilizers that contain potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. We recommend that you feed the plants with this fertilizer at the onset of the growing season for vigorous development. Carefully read the packaging instructions on the fertilizer container to avoid misusing it on your lovely plants.
Although the Red Yucca is a low-maintenance plant, it will not tolerate being over-fertilized.
If your plants look healthy but you need to boost them a little, adding a small amount of bone meal is just enough. The Red Yucca is a light feeder and will not like being fertilized during winter when its growth rate is low. When over-fertilized, you risk losing your plant’s gorgeousness as the leaves and flowers get burned.
The Red Yucca is not fast growing but it tends to spread out, thereby taking over a good portion of your spaces. You can only stop this wild spreading of the foliage by pruning.
Ensure the safety of your plants by using sterilized utensils when pruning the Red Yucca as this prevents the transmission of pathogens to the plant. In addition, pruning should be done in early spring so that the plant takes advantage of the growing season to recover.
In cases of disease or pest infestation, we advise that you trim off the infected parts any time of the year to save the plant from further damage. When pruning the Red Yucca, go to the center of the plant and cut off the flower spike. Also, pluck off all dried-up flowers that remained on the plant during winter, to prepare the plant for new flowers.
Remember, the Red Yucca plant is not a Yucca at all. This means that you do not have to use Yucca propagation methods on this plant. Successful Red Yucca propagation is done during the growing season as it supports new growth. You can propagate the Red Yucca through stem cuttings, seed germination, and clump division.
– Clump Division Method
When it comes to propagating these live plants, the clump division method is the most preferred among horticulturists. Follow these steps:
- Look for some healthy offshoots that appear at the base of the Red Yucca. These shoots will be held together with the plant’s small rhizomes.
- Gently remove the plant from its container keeping in mind that the leaves are sharp and can cut your hands.
- Separate the offshoots from the rest of the plant and return them to its pot.
- Place the offshoots on a spot that enables them to dry only for a few days.
- After that, you should place them in a separate pot containing a well-draining potting medium.
- Make sure that the soil is always kept moist, and the offshoots will start growing their roots in a few weeks.
- Once new growth appears, repot the new plants into a 6 to 8-inch pot containing the normal Red Yucca potting soil and you are good to go.
The Red Yucca has specific types of pests that cause problems with its growth and appearance. Some other pests that are a menace to plants in the Yucca group should not worry you.
– Agave Bugs and Black Aphids
The Red Yucca is mainly attacked by the agave bug, which destroys the plant’s leaves taking away the stored moisture.
Black aphids are also problematic when they infest the Hesperaloe parviflora. However, early detection of these pests is key because when left to reproduce, large populations become uncontrollable. In wiping out the agave bug and black aphids, we advise that you wash the foliage with soap and water first. Monitor the plant to see how these pests respond to this type of treatment.
In severe cases, you should use pesticides but you have to read the instructions on the container first as these chemicals are quite invasive.
– Root Rot
The Red Yucca is not a thirsty plant, and its roots are very sensitive to overwatering. After irrigating it, make sure that excess water drains out of the pot, leaving the soil slightly moist.
If the roots continuously sit in damp soil, they start to rot. Once you notice the Red Yucca wilting and yellowing up despite the presence of enough moisture in the soil, quickly inspect the roots for rot.
Trim off the dead roots, clean the rest, and repot the plant into a new potting mix. If the Red Yucca is left in damp soil for long, the rotting will extend to the stem. In this case, recovery chances become slim and it is best to discard the whole plant.
Growing Red Yucca is not an arduous task at all as you can grow it with minimal supplies.
Below are some of the important points mentioned earlier in this article.
- The Red Yucca is easy to grow, and you should just maintain a balance of its growing conditions and always inspect your plants for early detection of problems.
- Being a desert plant, the Red Yucca loves heat and can survive direct sunlight exposure.
- This plant is a light feeder and does well without fertilizers but, when the need arises, general-purpose fertilizers are the best.
- The Red Yucca can be propagated using seeds, stem cuttings, and clump division. The clump division method is the most preferred among horticulturists.
The Red Yucca is perfect for landscapers or outdoor growing due to its drought tolerance and cold hardy nature. If you are a desert plant lover, the Red Yucca is the perfect candidate for you!
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