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Pruning a yucca

YuccaI have a yucca plant which is about 3m high and now too tall for our lounge. How can we prune it so that it is half the height? It has two large spikes off the top. I have heard that by making a cut mark in the trunk it will cause it to sprout. Is this correct? If so, is the cut horizontal or vertical and how big?


MAKING a horizontal cut 1-2cm deep into the stem just above where you want it to sprout would probably work. You could do this with a sharp hand saw. But the easiest and most effective way is to simply saw the tops right off just above where you want the new shoots to grow from. Unfortunately, your plant will look rather unsightly for a while.

You can treat the pieces you cut off just like huge cuttings. Plant them directly into the garden or in pots of mix and, with just an occasional watering, they'll eventually produce roots and you'll have another couple of yuccas. Be careful not to water the original plant much, as it now has no leaves so won't need much water for some time. Once new shoots have started growing, give it some fertiliser or repot into fresh mix to encourage strong growth.

This is a good time of year to cut back oversized yuccas as the lengthening days and warmer weather are good for growth. If your yucca is healthy and the growing conditions ideal, you may get several shoots sprouting from just below each cut. If there are too many for your liking, just cut the excess ones off with a sharp knife.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 181, 2005, Page 36

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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