The Q&A Archives: Yucca Plant

Question: The Yucca plant in our front yard seems to be dividing and dividing as well as stacking one plant on top of the other. Can it be divided and if so, how would one go about dividing the plant. Should the stickery edges be trimmed or cut back before attempting to divide the plant? When is the best time of year to divide a Yucca plant? If I leave the main plant root in the ground, will it rejuvenate itself or should I dig it up completely and start over with a new plant. I really don't know what to do with this plant as it is growing so big and bulky. Please help. Thank you.

Answer: You actually don't divide a yucca - it has a long taproot and you can't divide it. The plants have pups or babies that you can remove. Some plants can be divided by gently pulling off sections of the crown, while other plants may require a sharp, clean knife to cut through the roots. Remember that each division must have enough healthy roots to sustain growth. If any part of the rootmass looks dead, damaged or diseased, trim back to healthy white tissue. Because of the taproot, your original yucca will come back, even if it is cut to the ground. So, if you want to keep the offsets, pull or cut them away from the mother plant and pot them up. Then cut the remaing plant down to ground level. You might be surprised how quickly the mother plant will recover and new sprouts will emerge from the crown of the plant.

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