Yucca plant: when can I cut back dried branches

(Question)

I have a large Yucca plant, and most of the branches are strong. It’s now about 7 or 8 years old, grows indoors, and is planted in a large pot about 35cm in diameter. But some of the lower branches are dried out, and brown, and I’m not sure why. Can I cut them off ? And if so, when is the best time?

(Answer)

Your yucca plant must like its environment — and your care —as it is clearly thriving. The yucca is a fairly slow-growing plant, as you know. As it grows new, strong, sword-shaped leaves, that develop in a rosette pattern from its central stalk, the plant also gains height. And so loosing some of the older, lower, leaves is a natural process. These can be trimmed off at any time, leaving the healthy, growing leaves to create a more overall pleasing visual effect. A good clean, sharp pair of clippers might be required to cut through the thick, fibrous leaves. If  a yucca plant, either growing outdoors or indoors, becomes very tall, and too bare in the bottom section for the gardener’s liking, a very common practice is to measure the halfway mark on the vertical stem, and entirely cut off the top portion, and re-plant the bottom half with the root ball, and water: the hardy root system of the yucca will soon send shoots out of the previously bare stalk.  You would then have a “brand new” yucca plant to enjoy ! But if after you spruce yours up with a pruning, you maybe be just as happy with it as is. Either way, hope this helps.