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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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

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Wednesday - October 28, 2009

From: Lockbourne, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pruning, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Will a cut back yucca grow back in Lockbourne OH?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

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 told that I shouldn't have cut them so I'm just wondering if they will grow back or if I need to replace them?

ANSWER:

We are assuming that the yucca you have is Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle), the only yucca native to Ohio and just about the only one that will survive outside the Southwestern desert. It doesn't matter because we can assure you that your yucca will come back. In fact, if you were trying to remove the yucca, and dug it up, you would still have to use weed killer for months to keep the root bits left behind from propagating more yuccas. Yucca is a survivor, and you will get new little plantlets coming up all around where the root was cut off. It is evergreen and obviously adapted to your climate, so we would suggest that you only trim off any dead or unsightly growth once a year so you won't have to wait so long for it to come back to size in your landscape. See this Ohio State University website Yucca filamentosa for more information.

 

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