Can You Cut the Top Off a Yucca

Some yuccas can quickly grow to 30 feet and fan-out 25 feet wide, while others can be 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide. But if your yucca is a house plant, you might want to keep it small. Can you cut the top off to keep it from growing too tall?

The top of a yucca can be cut off. The yucca plant will need time to recover, but eventually, it grows new shoots around the cut portion. Giving the yucca water after cutting the crown (top) is important.

Yuccas have many unique properties. For instance, you can cut a portion of the plant to grow a second plant. We’ll go more in-depth into cutting the crown and propagating a yucca plant.

Removing the Yucca’s Top

Cutting the crown (top) of the yucca is sometimes needed when dealing with a yucca that has outgrown the surrounding area.

When a yucca plant becomes too tall, an individual can use loppers or a saw to cut the yucca where they want new shoots to grow. Removing the yucca plant from the pot and marking where to cut can make this easier. Once complete, cap the yucca and care for the yucca plant as before.

Use a small saw. The blade only needs to be twice the size as the width of the trunk you’re cutting.

Yucca plants must be cut on the stem to have a place to regrow. Be careful because any leaves you remove will not grow back. Only cut above or below leaves.

The yucca plant grows shoots that look the same as the original plant, only shorter. It will need time to regrow and may look unpleasant while the plant heals.

Why Do You Put Wax on a Cut Yucca?

Wax is used on the cut to prevent the yucca plant from drying out. The wax locks the existing moisture inside the plant. It also prevents excessive water from other sources, like rain, entering and creating rot. Waxing also protects against insect infestation. Wax should stay on the yucca plant throughout its life.

How to Wax a Cut Yucca

Waxing a yucca that has been freshly cut is ideal for locking in moisture while preventing rot. Listed below are steps on how to wax a recently cut yucca.

  • Once the yucca plant has been cut, gather a plain, unscented candle and a heat source to melt the wax. (a tapered candle works best)
  • Hover the candle over the cut portion and let the melting wax drip on the cut. A utensil, like a butter knife, might be needed to spread the wax in a thin layer if the dripping wax doesn’t cover all the cut portions.
  • Once the wax dries, the yucca will gain some protection from rot and prevent the stem from drying out by locking in a small amount of moisture.

The yucca plant will not grow from the waxed-over area but will have new growth areas around the waxed portion. Eventually, these portions can be cut off and planted to create more yucca plants if desired.

Can You Plant the Top of a Yucca Plant?

When a mature yucca plant crown has been cut off, the clippings can be propagated. A mature plant is more likely to root. It should be cut in the spring for the best results, but cuttings in the summer can have similar results.

The top of a yucca plant can be planted. Start by removing leaves at the base of the cutting to decrease the chances of rot due to extra water. The Yucca cuttings should then be laid in a shaded area to dry out for a few days. The yucca can then be placed in a pot to finish propagating.

The yucca crown should be in a well-draining pot. The pot should be small. Don’t go too big or the new roots won’t be able to absorb all the water. Place the crown in indirect light. In three to four weeks, the propagation should be complete with the growth of roots. You can only plant a cut crown in a pot. It will not propagate if it is planted in the ground.

The new yucca should be cared for as the older one. Although, be cautious not to overwater the yucca. Overwatering will cause rot to form in the plant’s roots. Once the roots have taken, the soil should dry before adding more water.

Trimming Yucca Blossoms Reduces Height

If your yucca has bloomed, cutting yucca blossoms can help maintain a cleaner look and prevent seeds from creating more yuccas. Once the flowers have bloomed and dried out, you can cut the stock three to four inches above the main stock. Trimming the blossoms will immediately decrease the height by several feet.


Cutting the top off a yucca plant will shorten the plant and provide an opportunity for a new yucca plant. The parent yucca will look different at first but recovers quickly and should be cared for the same as before the cutting.

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