How to Care for a Dead Outdoor Yucca Plant


Landscapers typically grow yucca for ornamental purposes, but they may sometimes grow out of control and need to be killed with herbicides, according to Texas A&M University. Remove the dead outdoor yucca plant to free up room in your garden and minimize the risk of attracting insect and animal pests that may be drawn to the dead plant.

Step 1

Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and gloves. A yucca plant's foliage can be serrated and may inflict serious injuries, even when the plant is dead.

Step 2

Cut off the plant's spiky foliage with pruning shears until all you have left is the plant's central stem or trunk. Rake up the discarded foliage and either discard it or chop it into smaller pieces to add to your compost pile.

Step 3

Chop the plant's center stalk down to the ground. Use pruning shears for thin, juvenile plants. Otherwise, the stalk will likely be thick and you'll need to use a saw, ax or a mechanical tool like a chainsaw.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't try to dig out the dead plant's roots. A yucca's root network is often extensive and impossible to completely remove. The underground roots will decompose in time. The yucca plant's sap is toxic, according to the University of Florida. Avoid breathing in the dust generated by cutting down the plant, and never place plant parts in your mouth.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective clothing
  • Pruning shears
  • Saw, ax or mechanical cutting tool


  • University of Florida: Agave and Yucca: Tough Plants for Tough Times
  • Texas A&M University: How to Take the Luck Out of Controlling Yucca
Keywords: dead yucca plant, remove dead yucca, kill yucca

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.