Yucca Plants Care: Pruning

Keeping the Different Types of Yucca Neat

Yucca plants care pruning is an important part of Yucca growing. How to trim off the ugly bits and restore beauty to yucca trees. Pruning hairy Yucca.

Is there any hope of getting rid of an in-ground Yucca plant that you no longer want?

Yucca Plants Care
Pruning Trunkless Yucca Plants

'Sapphire Skies' Yucca image from springhillsSapphire Skies YuccaWhen pruning hairy Yucca (Yucca filamentosa) or other trunkless, rosette forming Yucca plants, don a pair of heavy gloves and cut the dead or ugly leaves off.

Use a sharp knife or shear for this. You don’t want to pull them off as this can damage the plant. Do this in the spring.

After the Yucca flowers, you can remove the bloom stalk if you’re not interested in harvesting Yucca seed to start new plants. Just cut the stalk off low so as not to leave a stub sticking up above the leaves.

After Yucca plants flower, the clump of leaves that gave rise to the bloom stalk will often die. New plants will form around it.

If you wait long enough, you may be able to gently pull the dead rosette of leaves out of the center without disturbing the new plants.

This is the one instance in which pulling may be less damaging than cutting.

If the expired Yucca plant will not pull away, take a dedicated knife and cut it out. Fill the resulting hole with the same soil the Yucca cactus is planted in.

Yucca Plants Care
Pruning a Yucca Tree

Joshua tree in death valley
Joshua tree in…
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If you are growing a Spanish Bayonet Yucca (Yucca aloifolia) or a Joshua Tree Yucca (Yucca brevifolia) or some other Yucca plant species with a cane or trunk, this is how to neaten it in the spring:

When these Yucca palms are young, their leaves can be tender. At this stage of their life cycle, you will be hard pressed to keep the local wildlife from “pruning” them for you. Once they begin to approach a foot in height, the leaves develop their dagger-like qualities and this grazing stops.

The evergreen Yucca leaves tend to cluster at the branch tips where they persist for several years. The shape and growth habit of a Yucca plant’s leaves is meant to help the plant catch what little rain falls in the arid places in which they grow.

For this reason, you only want to remove dead leaves.

Old, dead leaves turn brown and form a dense mat around the yucca canes. These will eventually fall off on their own but can be unsightly in the meantime.

Carefully, trim these leaves off with a sharp knife or shear.

You can remove the flower stalk at any time you like.

Yucca Plants Care
Pruning a Yucca Cane

This is a rooted Yucca cane for sale in a nursery.Suppose you feel your Yucca house plant is getting too tall or you want it to branch.Can you cut the top off the cane?Yes. Cut the Yucca cane off at the height where you want new leaves to sprout.

If your plant has multiple stems and you are afraid to do something this drastic, just cut back 1 stem for now. Wait and see what happens.

If all goes well, prune the remaining stems.

As an added bonus, you can stick the piece you cut off into a pot of coarse soil. Remove the leaves and keep it just barely moist. You may get a free Yucca palm!

Getting Rid of Yucca Plants

Getting rid of Yucca plants once they have rooted in is a nearly impossible task. Each bit of Yucca root that you leave behind when you dig the plant up will sprout into a new plant.

Instead of 1 Yucca, you now have multitudes.

Spraying them with Roundup won’t usually work.

Your only hope is to dig it up and then keep a watch on the spot where it used to be so you can dig up all the new plants as they emerge.

After doing this for a few years, you may triumph over the tenacious unwanted Yucca plants.

Or not.

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