How to Get Rid of Yucca Plants


Yuccas, also known as Adam's needle, grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 9 and add a Southwest feel to the yard or garden, even though the plants are actually native to the Southeast. During the summer months, yuccas bloom large creamy white flowers that hang down from stems that reach 3 to 8 feet tall. Always wear gloves when working with yucca plants because their foliage has sharp edges.

Step 1

Select a day when the ground is moist or water the plant with a couple of inches of water the day before. It's easier to dig into the soil when it is wet.

Step 2

Dig up the yucca plant. Dig a deep circle, at least 12 to 18 inches deep, around the plant. Move further out if you feel roots. Cut in toward the center of the plant on all sides.

Step 3

Push down on the shovel's handle to lift the plant and the bulk of its roots out of the ground. Be careful not to strain the shovel too much causing it to break. Pull up on the plant to get it out of the ground.

Step 4

Fill in the hole with dirt. Be prepared to add more as the soil settles over time.

Step 5

Spray new yucca shoots with weed killer as soon as they appear, if applicable. Alternatively, cut them off repeatedly as they grow. This process will starve the yucca so the roots that were left behind--which is often the case--eventually die.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Weed killer
  • Pruning shears


  • Ohio State University: Yucca filamentosa
  • University of Illinois Extension: Getting Rid of Yucca

Who Can Help

  • United States Department of Agriculture: Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: get rid of yucca plants, dig yucca, Adam's needle

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.