Spineless yucca propagation


How do you propagate an indoor spineless yucca, very tall. I would like to cut it in half and plant the top half, what are the steps and what type of soil is needed. Thank you


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners about propagating your spineless yucca (Yucca elephantipes). This plant is generally pretty easy to care for including propagation. ‘Cutting it in half’ is one approach for this. Using a clean, sharp knife or secateurs cut the trunk about 4 inches below the foliage. Remove any yellow or brown leaves then place the cutting in a cool dark place for a few days to let it dry out a bit. The cutting can then planted in soil. It’s important that the soil is well-drained but heavy enough to support the weight of the plant, You can use regular potting mix for indoor plants mixed with about 50% perlite or combination perlite and coarse sand. The container must have a drain hole. Keep the soil a bit moist but not soggy while the cutting is rooting. There should be roots after a few weeks. Feeling some resistance when tugging lightly on the trunk is an indicator that roots have started to grow.

If you want an additional plant, continue to care for the bottom half of your yucca and it will produce the beginning of new foliage fairly quickly. If the trunk that remains is too tall after removing the top part of your plant, you could cut it back to the desired height.

Other possible methods of propagation are offset propagation (probably the safest method) and putting stem cuttings in water. You could check your plant for offsets which look like miniature plants including leaves growing off the main trunk. These miniature plants can be removed from the trunk with a sharp knife or secateurs and then proceed as described above. You could also take stem cuttings if the trunk is no more than a few inches thick. Cut the trunk into 6” lengths (remember which way is up) and place the bottom of the cuttings in a jar of water (top this up regularly). The cuttings will produce white nodules that will grow into long roots around the base. You will also see swellings along the cuttings that will develop into shoots that are the beginnings of new plants.

Lastly, a couple of comments on caring for your yucca: The more sunlight you can provide for it the better. Since your yucca is very tall, perhaps it is stretching for additional light and would benefit from being relocated to a brighter spot. And it’s very easy to overwater yuccas. They are drought tolerant and should not be watered until at least the top inch of the soil is thoroughly dry.

Best of luck with propagating your yucca!

Oct 6, 2023