Yucca Plant Bugs

April 1, 2024

Why is My Yucca Plant Turning Yellow?

It's spring, and many of your plants are pushing out new growth and blooming. But your yucca plant, on the other hand, has started turning yellow! What's going on? Well, you might need to take a closer look at the leaves because you MIGHT just have a few uninvited guests dropping by to suck them dry!

Yucca plant bugs Halticotoma valida (order Hemiptera), which are cousins to other sucking insects such as stink bugs (but much tinier), have already been out in force on my yucca plants for a good month already this spring. I usually try to stay on top of it but I’ve been busy…so the REALLY yellow foliage color today really caught my attention.

Yucca plant bugs are in the order Hemiptera and are related to other sucking pests such as stink bugs and leaf-footed bugs, but are much smaller. Both stages of the insect pierce plant tissue and suck out water and nutrients. This leaves small black dots and a progressive chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage.

How to Treat Yucca Plant Bugs

Always choose the lowest impact treatment that can be successful first.

Now, I usually don’t treat them - nature usually takes it’s course and my plants are fine; but I’d say this is the worst I’ve seen them. It’s been a particularly cool and humid spring and that’s meant a boom in insect populations.

Due to the severe impact the infestation is now having on the plants, I’ll probably try hitting them with a rotation of alternating insecticidal soap and horticultural oils. But, you really have to get good coverage for these to work as they smother the pests they come in contact with.

There’s no need for me (in this context) to use anything stronger or a systemic pesticide, as again, usually the yuccas pull through with no treatment. In fact, I’ll probably just start with a hard water blast from the hose.

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