Yucca desmetiana: Grow It Like You Mean It!

Are you ready to add a striking, sun-loving succulent to your plant collection? Look no further than Yucca desmetiana, also known as the “Blue Boy Yucca.” With its vibrant blue-green leaves forming a rosette, this Mexican native is sure to be a showstopper in your home or garden. Keep reading to learn the secrets to growing this exceptional plant with ease!

yucca desmetiana

About Yucca desmetiana

Native to Mexico and South America, Yucca desmetiana is a rosette-forming succulent with large, bluish sword-shaped leaves. Its bold foliage and architectural shape make it an eye-catching addition to any space. Despite its exotic appearance, this hardy plant is surprisingly low-maintenance when its needs are met.

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How to Care for Yucca desmetiana


Yucca desmetiana thrives in full, direct sunlight for 6-8 hours per day. Position it near a bright, sunny window or on a balcony that gets ample light exposure. Afternoon shade is beneficial in hot climates.

If growing indoors, supplement with a grow light placed 12-18 inches from the plant for 12-16 hours per day. Use a full-spectrum LED or fluorescent bulb.

You can also use grow lights if you are growing the plant in a greenhouse or an indoor setting.


As a succulent, Yucca desmetiana has water-storing capabilities but still needs proper watering. Soak the soil thoroughly and allow it to fully dry out before watering again, following the “soak and dry” method. Adjust frequency based on the season, watering less in winter.

Overwatering leads to root rot, so err on the dry side if unsure.

yucca desmetiana


Use well-draining cactus or succulent soil, or amend regular potting soil with 30-50% sand, perlite, or small pebbles to improve drainage. The ideal pH is 6.0-7.0 (slightly acidic to neutral).

Add organic matter like compost or manure to provide nutrients.


Feed in early spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer according to package instructions. This provides nutrients for the growing season. Avoid fertilizing in winter when the plant is dormant.


Yucca desmetiana prefers warm conditions, ideally with temperatures between 68-95°F (20-35°C). It is hardy to temperatures as low as 18°F (-8°C) for brief periods.

Bring plants indoors if temperatures drop below freezing. Reduce watering in winter to allow the plant to rest.

yucca desmetiana

Pests and Diseases

Root rot from overwatering is the primary disease concern, which proper soil and watering can prevent. Occasionally inspect for sap-sucking pests like scale insects and mealybugs. Treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil if needed.


Yucca desmetiana has minimal pruning needs. Remove any dead or dying leaves with clean pruners, but allow spent leaves to drop off naturally as the plant matures.

Potting and Repotting

Plant in a well-draining container, at least 8-12 inches wide and deep, with a drainage hole. Use cactus/succulent potting mix.

Repot every 2-3 years in spring, moving to a pot 2-4 inches wider. For large, rootbound specimens, simply replace the top few inches of soil.

How To Propagate Yucca desmetiana

Yucca desmetiana can be propagated from seed or offsets for new plants.

Seed Propagation

  1. Lightly abrade seed coat with sandpaper
  2. Sow 1-2 inches deep in well-draining cactus/succulent mix
  3. Keep warm (70-85°F) and semi-shaded until seedlings emerge

Offset Propagation

  1. Carefully remove offsets/pups with roots intact
  2. Allow offsets to callus over for 2-3 days
  3. Plant offsets in fresh cactus/succulent mix, burying base
  4. Water sparingly until new growth appears

With the right care, your Yucca desmetiana will reward you with unique, architectural foliage for years to come!