En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Can I trim back my 20 ft Yucca plant?

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 11, 2009

From: San Jose, CA
Region: California
Topic: Pruning, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Can I trim back my 20 ft Yucca plant?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a yucca tree which is about 20 ft. tall, has four main trunks. I would like to prune it to approx. 10 ft. but wonder if that will kill it or if new shoots will come out up near the cut.

ANSWER:

You didn't tell me the type of Yucca that you have, and you may not know, but you can go to our Native Plant Database and type the word Yucca in the "name box". You will get a list of 28  species of Yuccas native to the US along with images and descriptions that can help you learn the name of your plant. Two of the spectacular "tree like" forms are Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree), and Yucca elata (soaptree yucca) with images.

 You can safely trim the tops of the trunks and new shoots will appear just below the cut point. I would suggest that you do one trunk and wait for the new shoots before you proceed to the other trunks. See this link for details.

You could also experiment by putting the cut off stems into potting soil to see if they will form roots.  Free Yucca plants!

I would offer two words of caution. The leaf margins of Yuccas can be sharp, so be careful when you handle the leaves, and don't over water your Yuccas.

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Fruit on Jasmines
March 13, 2013 - My jasmines have grown some small purple fruits and she is about to get her full bloom soon. Should I cut them off to help the plants out? What are they?
view the full question and answer

Will a cut back yucca grow back in Lockbourne OH?
October 28, 2009 - I live in Ohio and recently I cut back all my plants to prepare for winter. I am wondering if my Yuccas will grow back. I cut them to ground level so only a little bit of the leaf is showing. I was...
view the full question and answer

Removal of Carolina Jasmine in San Antonio
March 02, 2009 - We are attempting to permanently remove large old-growth Carolina Yellow Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens bushes from our property. The bushes are cut down. Any suggestions for stump/root removal (mec...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of yucca plants in Blanco, TX
May 12, 2009 - How does a person get rid of Yucca plants? We have four fig trees that do not bear figs, what do we need to do? We live in SE Blanco County, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Maintenance of milkweed from Austin
September 12, 2013 - I help plant and maintain a Monarch Waystation Garden in San Leanna, Texas (South Austin). Should milkweed plants be cut back during the winter? Last year we cut them back a bit late and some died c...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center