Yucca plants, both indoor and outdoor varieties, are sturdy and resistant to most pests and diseases. But even the most reliable plant can be infected with a very serious pest: the spider mite. Tiny spider mites thrive in the same warm, dry climates that yucca plants prefer. Left untreated, spider mites will destroy a yucca and spread to neighboring plants.
What Are Spider Mites?
Spider mites are tiny spiders, about 1/50 inch in size. They have an oval shape with a yellow or greenish color. They are so small, they are difficult to see. If your yucca begins to show a mottled yellow discoloration on the underside of the leaves, it may have spider mites. Test for spiders by placing a piece of clean paper under the yucca and gently shake the leaves, then watch for tiny moving specks.
Spider mites can be accidentally transfer around the garden through contact with your hands, clothes or even a watering can.
Wash Off Spiders
Spider mites can be washed from plants with lukewarm soapy water. Spray outdoor plants with a hose first to rinse off the insects. Wipe down the leaves with a sudsy solution of 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap and a quart of lukewarm water. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the sharp points on a larger yucca plant.
Regularly wash indoor yucca plants to keep them fresh and free of dust. Dust buildup on house plants not only looks bad, but weakens the plant by diminishing its ability to absorb sunlight.
Prevent spider mites from attacking your yucca plants by carefully inspecting all your plants. Conduct plant inspections while watering your plants.
Tiny spiders often find their way into your garden and home by hitching a ride on new plants. Isolate new houseplants for two to three weeks and observe them for spiders and other pests before placing them near established plants. Always inspect plants that spend the summer outdoors for pests before bringing them inside.