How to Remove Yucca Plants

Overview

There are more than 30 species of yucca growing wild in North America today. Some cultivate the plant to eat its starchy root, others for its exotic appearance. Still others find it growing independently on their property and simply want it to go away. Yucca, like many tuberous plants, is a rapid spreader. Because its leaves are covered with a thick layer of wax and its roots grow deeply, it is nearly impossible to kill yucca plants by spraying them with herbicide. The quickest and most efficient way to remove these plants is to dig them up. However, digging up yucca plants is not a simple job. Keep an eye out for seedlings over the next season to prevent another outbreak.

Step 1

Cut the yucca plant's foliage to the ground with a sharp pair of lopping shears or small axe. Getting rid of the stiff, pointy leaves will make your job a lot easier.

Step 2

Dig up the main root of the yucca plant with a sharp spade. The age of the yucca will determine how deeply you need to dig, but the large root is easy to spot. Loosen the soil around the root and remove it in one large piece, if possible.

Step 3

Dig up the soil around the yucca plant. The yucca reproduces through its rhizomes or tubers and pieces as small as 1/2 inch can produce a new plant. Use your spade to excavate an area of soil that is 2 feet in diameter, roughly 2 foot deep and centered around the parent plant.

Step 4

Monitor the area for the rest of this growing season and the next. Uproot any yucca plants as soon as they sprout. If the yucca plant's foliage is not above ground long enough to photosynthesize and feed the underground rhizomes, the roots will eventually starve.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Lopping shears or small axe

References

  • Simple Gifts Farm: How to Kill Yucca
  • Virginia Tech University: Control of Undesirable Woody Species in Pastures and Hayfields
Keywords: remove yucca, dig yucca, rid yucca

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.