Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Prune a Red Yucca

Red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) is a grass-like ornamental often grown as an accent plant in the home landscape. Despite what its name suggests, Red yucca is not a true yucca. But like yucca, it grows well in hot arid areas. And, like most drought-hardy plants, red yucca will need virtually no pruning during its lifetime. But you can help your red yucca maintain its ornamental beauty by making a few pruning cuts during the growing season.

Prune the red yucca's flower heads once they brown and die. Make the pruning cut just below the flower head.

Prune the yucca's flowering stem once it dries out and becomes brown and brittle. Make the pruning cut at the very base of the stem. Leave as little stump as possible.

Prune any brown, dead yucca leaves at their base.

Prune any pups (small red yucca plants) growing out of the base of the yucca on the end of a thin stem. Make the pruning cut at the base of the stem. If you leave the pup in place, it will eventually root and form a new adult yucca plant in the bed.

Prune A Red Yucca

Snip off dead or winter-damaged foliage from the interior of the plant with hand pruners. Reach into the center of the red yucca plant with long-handled loppers, and cut the flower spike off at the base when the flower has faded. Remove any dried flower spikes at their base in winter. The old foliage sinks to the ground around the plant as it fades. Pups can be dug up and replanted to propagate red yucca.


Never shear the ends of red yucca's leaves. The plant does not respond well to hard prunes, and the foliage may not grow back. If red yucca does not have enough room to spread to its full height and width, consider transplanting it to a spot where it will have ample room to grow.

Garden Guides