Houseplants forum→Getting yucca to branch.

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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 22, 2020 11:44 AM CST
I have a yucca that I rooted from a cutting. It's only a single stem and it's starting to look pretty spindly. Because it only has the one green top I'm reluctant to decapitate it and hope the trunk send out new sprouts... space is always a premium, so I'd rather not have to baby what will end up being a pot with a bare stem if it's unlikely to sprout side shoots.

I know that some plants can be encouraged to branch by nicking the stem, but when I tried that with a dracaena it grew roots, not shots from the cut.

What do you think? Top it, and keep the bottom? Top it and toss the bottom, or nick it? Oh, I'm pretty sure it's gigantea/ spineless yucca
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - May 22, 2020 11:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 23, 2020 7:18 AM CST
Yuccas don't readily branch. If a healthy stem is cut back, it will push out a single stem of new growth starting at that point. If you have the cane-type of Yucca, don't try to cut back the cane. Photo?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 24, 2020 9:35 AM CST

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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 24, 2020 12:03 PM CST
You've had obvious success with propagating your Yucca, so you could do it again by taking as much off the top as you want. But then that would add another plant to your collection and space is already an issue for you!

If you cut the top off, you will get new growth starting just below where you make the pruning cut. It is unlikely to push out more than one shoot a bit off to the side so it will lose a bit of its symmetry.

You could also propagate the top cutting in the same pot to fill it out while the original stem gets new growth.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 24, 2020 11:19 PM CST
Thanks Will. I went back to the mother plant, and youre right.
There was almost never more than a 1:1 toping/ regrowth factor.
I took out my big clippers and chopped 4 stems from both plants...
Ill root them later, but only one yucca is coming in this fall.





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The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - May 24, 2020 11:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 24, 2020 11:21 PM CST

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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 25, 2020 8:22 AM CST
I admire your boldness! And your very serious pruners. Hurray!

Keep us posted.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jun 16, 2020 12:06 PM CST
Surprised by results. 4 new green nubs from the single stem I beheaded (100% of leaves removed). The mother plants that had multiple stems and I only removed one have no new buds.
I really thought that the plants that retained a way to photosynthesize/generate energy would be more vigorous growing back, but only the one where all green was removed decided to play ball.

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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 16, 2020 12:21 PM CST
Oh what a nice and successful experiment Thumbs up

When I cut off one of my Yucca branches a few years ago, I just stuck the cutting in another container, took quite a while to go active growing again and finally giving me a new baby near its base. The mother plant though did not respond in the same manner like yours did. I guess it just poured all its energies to the remaining branches on the mother trunk.



Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jun 16, 2020 12:46 PM CST
Im debating taking off the second *and final)head on one of the branching plants to see what happens... data is only data if its repeatable...
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Stay Home-Save Lives-Wear a Mask!
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Jun 16, 2020 12:58 PM CST
How is your weather there, temps-wise? I would say if your daytime temps are still nicely in the 70F to 80F range, go for it. Over here on my side, I have more success in getting cuttings in mid Spring, but never during our summer time here since it gets way too hot and dry already for the plants to adjust safely. At this time we are gradually entering high 90F's to 100F so not the best time to do cuttings.

So at times, the repeat of an experiment for me will occur on next Spring season.
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Jun 16, 2020 1:20 PM CST
Yep, looks like your Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea) is branching! I have a huge one growing in my yard and I've chopped off lower branches a couple of times. The cuttings root easily and new growth branches will form around the area just below the cut end.

~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jun 16, 2020 1:39 PM CST
Oh, you guys....

Its not gonna get over 80 all week, with nights in high 50s.. slightly cool for the season, but not by much

Green Grin! forgive me, youre taking the brunt of every hot weather friend who calls me when I have an ice storm to say "hows your blizzard? Its 85 here"

My poor 12 year old 3ft tall yucca...
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Jun 16, 2020 1:40 PM (+)]
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