Image by Tim Bowers
By Heather Rhoades
The yucca plant is a popular indoor and outdoor plant. One problem in caring for yucca plants that indoor owners have that outdoor owners generally do not is that indoor plants can grow too tall. They need to be trimmed back. Pruning a yucca may look harsh, but it is an excellent way to not only keep your yucca plant manageable but propagate the plant.
Yucca Plant Care and Pruning
With yucca plants, care and pruning are easy. When your yucca plant becomes too tall for the space it is in, gently remove it from the pot. Determine where the halfway mark is on the trunk or a point where you wish to be pruning a yucca that is above the halfway point. Using a saw or a sharp pair of loppers, cut the trunk in half.
Repot the bottom, rooted end of the trunk. Water well and then you are done with your pruning. While the plants are recovering, continue caring for the yucca plants as you normally would. In a short time, the plant will produce new leaves. It will recover to look as good as it did before, except that it will be much shorter and more appropriately sized.
Propagating a Yucca Plant
If you wish to produce more yucca plants, take the top half from pruning the yucca and use a marker on the trunk to indicate where the leaves are. After you have marked the trunk, cut off the leafy top. Plant the trunk in potting soil, making sure to have the end that previously had the leaves pointing up. Check the mark on the trunk if you have forgotten which end is which.
In a few weeks, the trunk will have rooted itself and a few weeks following this, the trunk will start producing new leaves. Continue caring for the yucca plants as they grow.
Best Time for Pruning a Yucca
Like most plants, the best time for pruning a yucca is right before it goes into its growth period. This will be in early spring. While early spring is the ideal time, a yucca can be pruned anytime. Just make sure the yucca plant gets plenty of light while it is recovering.
Pruning Yucca Flower Stalks
Though not exactly pruning, many people wonder about cutting off the yucca’s flower stalk after the blooms have faded. The flower stalk can be pruned off at any time, even before it is done blooming. Simply cut the stalk off with a sharp pair of pruning shears or cutter at about 3″-4″ above where the stalk emerges from the main stem.
Like all things about yucca plants, care and pruning is very easy. It may seem drastic, but I assure you that your yucca plant considers this to be a very normal thing.