Q. Why are the tips of my yucca leaves turning brown?
|Brown leaf tips on yucca. Can be from soil or irrigation problems.|
A. This is pretty common on yucca in our climate and soils unless they are grown in filtered sunlight and the soil has been prepared well before planting. They always tend to have brown tips. In the case of your plant, judging from your picture, it does seem excessive.
When we see brown tips on the foliage of desert plants it usually means a watering problem, a soil salt problem or lack of drainage.
This particular yucca is native to the Chihuahuan desert so infrequent irrigation is critical to its health. Most of the soils in the Chihuahuan desert are better than our landscape soils created by the builders of our homes.
Regarding your irrigations, compare your watering with how these plants might be watered in their natural habitat. This is a guideline for how you should water. They won’t need watering that often so if you are watering more frequently than every two or three weeks in midsummer, I would suggest this is too often.
If this plant is on the same irrigation circuit as other landscape plants, and these other plants are not a desert plants, then I would suggest the plant is being watered too often.
The volume of water you give the plant is not as critical as the frequency it receives water. In other words, you can give it a large volume of water and not hurt the plant as long as you wait long enough before the next irrigation. Giving large volumes of water may waste water but it seldom keeps the soil too moist for the plant between irrigations.
If this plant is watered too often, remove it from that irrigation circuit and water it by hand every few weeks. It will like a couple of deep winter irrigations, a spring irrigation, a couple of midsummer irrigations and a fall irrigation and that's about it.
If the applied water is close to the trunk, then the trunk could be rotting. Keep frequent irrigations away from the trunk. However, it is okay to water in a large basin beneath the plant if it is done infrequently.
If there are other plants around it, it is probably getting enough water from its neighbors. But I would still give it an occasional drink to be on the safe side.