Do Yuccas Die After Flowering

When a yucca blooms, it’s breathtaking. They have beautiful bell-shaped white flowers that cascade down the stem. They’re lovely, but does a yucca die after it blooms?

A yucca plant does not die after flowering. The rosette that bloomed and the stem that holds it dies, but the overall yucca plant remains healthy. New growth occurs from a side shoot or axillary bud. There are other consequences to a yucca blooming.

Yuccas produce gorgeous flowers. But there are some consequences to this beauty. A lot of energy goes into the flowering process; this is diverted from other parts of the plant.  We’ll discuss the flowering yucca and how it contributes to growth.

Flowering Yuccas are Healthy

For a yucca to flower, it must be in top shape. Only a well-nourished and disease-free yucca will flower. If your yucca isn’t flowering, there may be several factors that are contributing to this.

A healthy yucca will produce a long stalk that rises out of the center of a rosette. The flowers are located at the top of the stalk.

The buds are actually immature fruit. The flowers forming the fruit are part of most yucca’s reproductive cycle. The fruit from the yucca holds its seeds. The flowers must be pollinated by the yucca moth, or it can be hand pollinated.

Hey, read this one too:  What is a Yucca Moth

Flowering Rosette and Stem Die

In most yuccas, the rosette that bloomed and the stem that held it die after blooming. But this doesn’t mean the entire plant is dead or will die. Yuccas are hardy and quite prolific. A post flowering yucca grows pups or offshoots and continues to live.

There are some instances where the flowering rosette and stem will not die. In these cases, it will go onto live for the life of the plant.

Blooming Halts Yucca Growth

A yucca will continue vertical growth until something interferes with it. This interference could be intense cold, insect infestation, fire or injury. Another factor that will stop vertical growth is blooming.

Flowering takes a lot of energy. To create the stalk that the flowers will appear on, a yucca uses the apical meristem and terminal bud as an energy source. The apical meristem is the region of the yucca plant’s cell capable of growth and division in the root and shoot tips.

How Often Does a Yucca Flower

Only a mature yucca flowers and they usually flower once a year during summer. If they flower in late spring, they may bloom in late summer. Unfortunately, it may take some yuccas up to 20 years to bloom. So, if you’ve done everything right and your yucca still doesn’t bloom, it may just be the yucca’s nature.

Although most yuccas flower once a year, yuccas that are Hesperoyucca whipplei will only flower once. After they flower and produce fruit, the whipplei begins the dying process.

Should You Cut a Yucca’s Flower Stalk

You can cut the yucca’s flower stalk. The flower stalks can grow several feet high. And after a yucca has bloomed and fruited, the stalks look dead and pretty shabby. They can be cut at the base.

To cut the yucca’s flower stalk, you will need shears or clippers. Go to the bottom of the plant, and cut about two to three inches above where the stalk is part of the main plant. Make sure you don’t injure the main plant. Your yucca will look great and remain healthy to bloom again.

Should You Take Dead Leaves Off a Yucca

The dead leaves of a yucca will eventually fall off. If you can avoid it, you shouldn’t remove them. The rostrata should not have the leaves taken off.

But if the messiness of the dead leaves bothers you, you can remove them. When removing the leaves, try not to take off the base of the leaf. Cut it close but not all the way. This will protect the trunk from:

  • Disease
  • Insects
  • Other elements

Another method is to pull individual leaves from the trunk. Do this by pulling downward in a gentle manner. But if you use this method, you risk exposing the trunk to danger.

Cutting Brown Tips Off Leaves

Fluoride toxicity in a yucca can create brown splotches and ultimately brown tips. This won’t hurt the yucca, but it doesn’t look too nice.

You can remove the brown tips. Just take a pair of scissors and cut the tips at an angle. You want to cut at an angle for aesthetic reasons. Be careful to avoid the sharp ends of the yucca. They have quite the bite.

To avoid fluoride toxicity, don’t water with tap water. Instead, you should use distilled water.

Do Yuccas Grow Back

Yuccas are notorious for growing back. That’s why many gardeners and homeowners find them so difficult to kill if not wanted. Even in a pot, don’t give up on a yucca if cold weather seems to kill it. They usually grow back.

One exception, in a pot, is overwatering. This will cause root rot. And the fungus the overwatering generates will kill the yucca.


A yucca plant lives after flowering. The flowering rosette and stem die, but the rest of the yucca lives on. A healthy yucca will flower once a year. There is one type of yucca that is the exception to this. The whipplei flowers and then begins the dying process.

Cutting back the flower’s stock after it is finished blooming is permissible and easy to do.

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