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?
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
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.
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.