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How to Propagate Yucca Plants

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

If you live in the southwestern portion of the United States you are most likely familiar with the yucca. A member of the agave family, it thrives in arid, desert regions and is completely dependent upon the yucca moth, Tegeticula maculata, its only pollinator, for its survival. In fact, yucca that are cultivated in areas where yucca moths are not present will not produce seeds, according to Professor Wayne Armstrong of Palomar College. It can be challenging to propagate yucca. Plan to take your cuttings in the spring.

Propagation by Cuttings

Take a 3-inch cutting off the tip of the yucca plant.

Remove all of the leaves except for those at the top of the cutting.

Allow the cutting to sit in a cool, shady area for three days to one week, or until it has formed a callous at the cut end. It may appear to be drying out and dying during this time.

Pour the cactus mix into the planting pot and water it until the water runs out the bottom. Allow all the excess water to drain.

Push the yucca cutting 1 inch into the soil and tamp the soil lightly around the base.

Place the potted cutting in an area that receives filtered sunlight.

Water the cutting only when the soil appears to be dry. Use a plant misting bottle to avoid over-watering it. The cutting should have roots within one month.

Propagation by Seed

Scarify the yucca seed. This is a process of removing just a tiny bit of the outer seed coat and exposing the endosperm of the seed. This must be done carefully so as not to injure the embryo. Rub the seed gently with sandpaper until it is worn down enough to see a small portion of white inside the coat.

Pour cactus mix into the planter. Moisten it slightly and push the seed 1/4 inch into the soil.

Place the planter in a bright area where it will get lots of warmth, but not direct sunlight.

Make sure that the soil stays moist, but not soggy. If the seed does not sprout within two weeks, let the soil dry out and then resume watering.


Things You Will Need

  • Sharp hedging shears
  • Cactus planting mix
  • Planting pot, with holes in the bottom for drainage
  • Plant misting bottle
  • Shallow planter for seed starting


  • Seedlings should be transplanted into a pot and remain, in a sunny location, for five months prior to planting outdoors.

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.