Getting rid of Yucca plants isn’t quite the simplest of tasks. Often it involves multiple steps and possibly repeating the entire process a few times.
The reason Yucca Plants are more complicated to get rid of than typical weeds or unwanted plants is that they may have large and extensive root systems.
The large and complex root systems of Yucca plants are a self-preservation technique, so unless you follow really put some thought into your approach the Yuccas will more than likely grow back.
To learn exactly how to get rid of the Yucca plants in your yard or property, read on below!
How to Get Rid of Yucca Plants
The best way to get rid of Yucca plants is triple-pronged; cut them down to the ground, spray them with herbicides, and dig out the roots. First, cut the plant down, then spray the stump with herbicides. Lastly, return to dig up every last bit of their roots that you can.
Method 1: Cut the Plant Down and Spray the Stump
1. Gather supplies
Whether your Yucca plants aren’t blooming, or you simply don’t want them on your property, the first step to properly removing them is gathering the correct tools for the job.
You will need:
- Small axe or a saw
- Pruning shears
- Small to midsize shovel
- Protective clothes and glasses
- Ingredients for a herbicide mixture
2. Pick the right time of the year
Another thing to keep in mind before jumping into action is whether or not it’s the right time of the year for removing Yucca plants.
Preferable seasons for getting rid of these pesky plants are springtime, early summer, or fall. That’s because herbicides work the best when the weather has constantly cooler temperature ranges.
3. Cut the plant down
When you’ve gathered your gear, and made sure it’s a good time to do so, you’re ready to start cutting the plant down.
Start by cutting the largest branches with the axe (or saw). Follow up with pruning shears for smaller branches. Make sure to cut as low down to the ground as possible and leave only the stump.
4. Make the herbicide mixture
One of the most beneficial remedies for getting rid of Yucca plants is a herbicide mixture that’s made specifically for hard plants to kill such as this one.
Create this mixture by taking herbicide and adding vegetable oil or diesel fuel. Do so in a container that won’t be used for anything else afterward. A five-gallon bucket works great.
Also, always pour the herbicide in first followed by the oil or fuel. Stir the bucket for 10 to 15 seconds. Use a funnel and pour the mixture into a sprayer.
Likewise, shake the sprayer up nicely before actually using it.
5. Spray the stump
Make sure that the Yucca plant is not wet before you start spraying. In case it is, wait for a day or so and let it dry out before treating it.
When you’re sure the plant is dry, and there is no rain in the forecast, spray the stump for just a couple of seconds (literally, just two seconds).
Try to be accurate as much as possible and not to spray nearby plants. Any excess spray or splatter that lands on other plants will more than likely kill them.
6. Check the area daily
Even if it seems that the job is done, it is still necessary to check the Yucca stump for new growth regularly.
In the case that you spot some new Yucca plants shooting up from the stump or nearby ground, cut the stems off immediately. Follow up the same day by re-spraying the area with your special Yucca-killing herbicide mix.
Keep checking and repeat the process as many times as needed. Be prepared to practice patience, as it may require up to two months until the baby Yucca plants stop showing up (no matter how well you do your job).
Method 2: Remove the Yucca Plant by Digging
If you have not already cut down and sprayed the Yucca you want to remove, first, start by moving any plants that are growing near the Yucca that you don’t want to kill.
If there are no plants growing around the Yucca plant, you’re good to go.
Either way, you need a few things before you get started:
- Pruning shears
- Small axe or a saw
- Proper clothing
2. Cut the plant
Start from the top, cutting branches and smaller stems all the way down to the ground. Pull out any smaller root close to the plant.
When only the main stump is left, cut it down. Use an axe (or saw, or pruning shears depending on the size of the Yucca plant).
3. Measure where you will dig
Next, measure a circle three feet wide around the base. The Yucca has a big and wide root system, and you want it all out.
Marking the area before you start digging goes a long way in ensuring you remove enough of the plant and its roots.
4. Dig up the plant
It is very important to get most of the roots out of the ground while you are digging. The surest way to do so is to dig your hole at least three to four feet deep.
Start from outside of the marked area and shovel down towards the base of the plant. During the process take out every part of the routing system that you spot.
5. Check out the hole
When the stump and the attached root systems are all removed, double-check the area for stragglers. Remove the leftovers if there happen to be any.
6. Let the hole dry
If there are any roots hiding deeper in the ground, exposure to the sun will eventually dry them out and kill them. For this reason, leave the hole open for two to three weeks before covering it.
7.Check back regularly
After you fill the hole with soil, keep monitoring the area daily. Fresh yucca roots can grow very quickly and you want to react as quickly as possible.
Keep in mind that roots may keep appearing for up to one month after the Yucca plant is removed.