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The yucca, or palm lily, is a popular houseplant found in countless German living rooms. If you want to increase your stock of the yucca palm, you will face some problems due to the fact that this asparagus plant usually only flowers and produces seeds from the age of around ten years. How the propagation of the palm lily by offshoots and cuttings is easy and uncomplicated is explained here in a clear and understandable way.
Propagation of the yucca palm
Common practice for propagating many plants is not to propagate by seed, but by separating offshoots and creating cuttings. An offshoot is a naturally occurring side shoot that can be separated into an independent plant. A cutting, on the other hand, is a part of a plant that can also be used to grow a plant, but which was not intended by nature to propagate the plant. Both options for the yucca are explained step by step below.
Propagating a yucca palm with the help of offshoots is the simplest form of propagation imaginable. The garden yucca in particular tends to form numerous offshoots, which - still attached to the mother plant - sprout from the ground at some distance from its trunk. In just a few steps, you can get an independent palm lily with little effort:
- Expose cuttings until connection to the mother plant can be seen
- Disconnect from the mother plant and remove offshoots from the ground
- Plant the seedling in a pot of a suitable size in nutrient-rich potting soil; If there are few roots, add sand to loosen up and prevent waterlogging
- water regularly, avoiding waterlogging
- after sufficient growing time, if necessary, transfer to a larger pot with suitable potting soil
The only downer when propagating the yucca with the help of offshoots are two things. On the one hand, the natural emergence of an offshoot is random and cannot be planned for the propagation of the plant. In addition, however, different yucca species also tend to form offshoots to different extents. Species to be kept outdoors tend to form offshoots more than the well-known houseplant Yucca Elephantipes.
The second way that is well suited for propagating the yucca is to grow new plants from cuttings. In contrast to the naturally occurring offshoot, the following artificially created plant sections are used:
- Side shoots of an existing yucca
- segments of the plant stem
Cuttings from side shoots
A yucca palm is particularly easy to propagate from side shoots. Since the shoot already has leaves, it can start generating energy immediately after planting and develop rapid root growth. The following steps must be observed:
- Cut off the side shoots on the stem of the main plant
- In the case of thick side shoots, seal the cut surface of the mother plant with tree wax to prevent it from drying out
- Place the cutting with the cut surface a few centimeters deep in humus-rich potting soil with added sand
- Water thoroughly, avoiding waterlogging
- Cover cuttings with foil cover or cut off bottle; thereby increased humidity for better root growth with undisturbed exposure at the same time
- Remove cover after 3-4 weeks, if necessary transfer to larger pot for sufficient propagation opportunities
Cuttings from stem segments
Another way to get a yucca palm tree that will have a thick and decorative trunk shortly after growth begins is to propagate stem segments. The trunk of an existing palm tree is divided from above into approx. 5-10 centimeter long sections according to the number of desired youngsters. The lowest part remains in the ground together with the roots. Important with this type of propagation is the fact that the mother plant is also clearly affected and has to form completely new leaves on the remaining trunk section. This type of propagation is suitable for a high number desired pupils in combination with propagation via side shoots. The shoots can be used to grow their own plants, while the stem segments create additional plants. This way of propagating a palm lily is the most complex. With these steps, however, you can still do it reliably:
- Cut a 5 to 10 cm segment from the top of the yucca trunk
- Seal the cut surface of the mother plant with tree wax to prevent drying out
- Seal the upper cut surface of the separated segment (cutting) with tree wax as well
- Place the cuttings a few centimeters deep in nutrient-rich potting soil with an addition of sand
- water, but without waterlogging
- Wrap the cuttings and mother plant in foil or cut off the bottle so that increased humidity stimulates the growth of shoots and (in the case of the cuttings) the formation of new roots
- After shoot formation (approx. 3-4 weeks) remove the cover and, if necessary, transfer to a larger flower pot
Success factors for propagating yucca
Like the care of an existing yucca palm, the breeding of new plants also depends to a large extent on the Environmental conditions away. Cuttings and offshoots depend on optimal conditions far beyond the extent of a healthy and fully developed plant in order to be able to develop the necessary roots and shoots. The optimal environmental conditions are:
- Bright location, but without excessive direct sunlight
- High humidity, increase by covering if necessary
- sufficient heat
- good nutrient supply, to be ensured with suitable growing soil, fertilization with calcareous universal fertilizer only makes sense after root formation (3-4 weeks).
If, despite the right approach and under good conditions, youngsters do not develop into full-fledged plants, there is always the possibility of previous damage or weakening of the mother plant. This can lead to a lack of strength for the development of necessary shoots or roots. In most cases, the implementation of the work steps shown leads to new yucca palms, but there is no absolute guarantee for success in propagating the palm line.