Can You Keep a Yucca Plant Small

The Yucca plant can grow quite large; however, you may want to keep it smaller because of its location. The Yucca should not overpower the room when growing inside, so smaller would be a good choice. But how do you keep a yucca from growing too big?

There are ways to keep your Yucca plant small, which involve:

  • Frequent Pruning
  • Trim dead foliage
  • Cut off the points
  • Cutting off the top of a stem or the trunk

When you choose to grow an outdoor yucca, you are inviting a beautiful creation into your yard. But you don’t have to grow a yucca as big as it can potentially get. With a bit of pruning, you can develop the perfect small yucca plant. We’ll discuss how to keep a yucca plant small.

How do I Stop my Indoor Yucca from Growing?

The Yucca houseplant needs a lot of pruning to control its growth. You may need some tools to take care of this pruning, like a hand saw and pruning shears, and using the correct tools is half the battle.

The following are ways to control the growth of the indoor Yucca plant:

  • Take the Yucca plant in its pot outdoors– Pour out some soil from the pot and place it on a newspaper or small tarp. You will need it later.
  • Put on gloves and hold onto the trunk-Keep the pot steady and pull Yucca out of the pot. If the Yucca is small, try laying it down sideways.
  • Decide what height you want the leaves to grow on the Yucca plant – Mark this with a pencil.
  • Line your handsaw up on the pencil line – Cut through the trunk. Do this in small strokes to prevent tearing.
  • Place bottom side of Yucca with roots down into the pot – Put the soil you have saved back into the pot and pat it down it with vigor.
  • Water the plant.

If you snip or prune the Yucca tree and remove anything sprouting from the base, the formation of multiple trunks will stop. The top of the Yucca produces a rosette of leaves that come from new growth. Cutting off these growths controls the size of the Yucca.

If the Yucca tree has outgrown its space, you can cut it back completely, and it will re-sprout. The top of the Yucca you just cut off won’t go to waste. It can be used to propagate.

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How Do I Control the Growth of My Outdoor Yucca?

The Outdoor Yuccas can grow quite tall; however, if your landscape calls for smaller versions, you must prune and cut, just like you would the indoor version.

The following are ways to control the growth of the outdoor Yucca plant:

  • Trim off the dead or brown leaves with loppers – Be careful because there are sharp points on the Yucca.
  • Cut the sharp points off yucca-Cut off the pointed leaves that grow near walkways or paths so that it is safe for people and animals.
  • Remove all the sharp points from each leaf – The sharp points will grow again. You will need to cut them about every three months.
  • Cut blooms after the flowers dry-Cut the stalk about 3 to 4 inches above where it grows from the main stem. This cutting is what controls the height of the Yucca. The bloom stalks are very tall.

The amount of pruning you decide to do will be dictated by the garden landscape you want to present.

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Does Cutting Off the Top Make the Yucca Grow More?

Because of Yucca’s height, they can overcrowd the space they are in. So periodically, it needs to be done. But cutting off the top of the Yucca will typically stimulate new growth, as it creates a whole new group of Yucca plants.

For the most part, cutting back the Yucca plant causes the plant to grow new sprouts around the cut area. This will eventually need to be cropped. The flower stalk is one-third of the height of the plant and may be cut off at any time, even prior to cessation of blooming.

Use sharp pruning shears to cut the stalk off. Prune it off after a few weeks of blooming if you live in a wet area.

You Can Grow a New Plant With the Top of the Yucca

You’ll be left with the top half of the plant. This can be planted. It will propagate and you’ll have another Yucca.

  • Place the top part of Yucca into another pot
  • Hold the pot steady and cut the trunk a couple of inches below the leaves at the top.
  • Put bottom side into the pot
  • Fill the pot with soil and water it. 

There’s no need to run to the nursery if you want another Yucca. Yuccas are prolific. You just need to control it.

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How Fast do Yuccas Grow?

If your yucca plant is watered and fertilized correctly, it can grow up to three feet per year. Yuccas grow at a relatively slow pace, and they need little maintenance to survive. Water the Yucca regularly in the spring and summer months. This routine will make for healthy growth.

As with most plants, pruning should occur in the spring, after a growth spurt; however, the Yucca will be fine with pruning anytime.  After pruning, give them plenty of light to recover.

Make sure the plant has sufficient drainage and dries in between the times you water it. Only water periodically in the winter. Yuccas should receive partial sunlight to full sunlight. If they are grown in low light, they will not bloom as many flowers.


You can grow nice-looking Yucca plants while at the same time keeping them small. By Keeping them small, they can be a good fit for indoor display. If you have a little garden, you can keep your outdoor Yucca on the small size as well.

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