The Q&A Archives: How do I revive my indoor yucca plant?

Question: I have a yucca in my house... it is about 2 feet tall and has two stems (trunks). One is growing very nicely with three outgrowths of foliage on the top. The foliage on the other trunk however, is slowly drying up and falling off (this one had 5 outgrowths but three have totally dried up and the other two are looking very unhealthy). At one point, some green foliage started to grow out of the soil near the dying trunk, but that has since begun to die as well. What can I do to revive this trunk? Can I cut it shorter? Will new foliage grow out of the trunk lower down on it? The trunks of both plants are about 1.5 inches in diameter, so not real easy to cut. I am confused about why one would not be doing well while the other is, when they are in the same pot, purchased as one plant, and getting the same water and light and nurtrients. What is your advice on getting healthy foliage to grow on the one trunk? (the official name of the plant that is written on the card it came with is: dracaena yucca elephantipes)

Answer: Although your yucca is occupying a single pot, you have two plants; one is thriving, the other is suffering from some type of root rot. I know it sounds impossible for one plant to exhibit healthy growth and the other to be in a stage of decline when they are getting the same water, light, etc., but the truth is, one of them is struggling. If it were my plant, I would unpot it and carefully cut the ailing plant away from the healthy plant. Repot both in fresh potting soil. The healthy one should be no worse for wear after being repotted and the ailing one may recover once it is in its own pot and doesn't have to compete for moisture and nutrients. It's worth a try1

Best wishes with your yucca plants!

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