What Can Kill a Yucca

Yucca plants are found worldwide, and they are one of the more popular houseplants. Yucca plants are hardy, adapt to different climates, and survive months without water. With all of their great qualities, it is important to know what kind of conditions will kill a yucca plant.

Yucca can be killed with herbicides, some kinds of vinegar, and high dosages of Epsom salt. Other ways to kill a yucca include overwatering, lack of light, temperature, stress, and fertilizer issues. There are others, but these are the most common.

When taking care of a yucca plant, some problems can arise that will kill it if not caught early enough for you to react correctly. But unfortunately, there are times you may not want a yucca in your yard. This guide will go over some common circumstances that will kill a yucca.

Does Vinegar Kill a Yucca?

Vinegar is corrosive and provides an acidic environment for plants. While some thrive in the added acidity, others find it detrimental. Adding more than 1 tsp of vinegar to the water will cause the leaves of your yucca to turn brown at the tips and weaken before dying entirely.

Yucca can be destroyed by vinegar since it is acidic, but the acid kills the leaves rather than the roots, and leaves may swiftly return. Apple cider vinegar, white distilled vinegar, and brown distilled vinegar are highly acidic and will kill a yucca if used directly on the plant.

There are many reasons you may need to remove a Yucca plant from your lawn. Because the yucca’s root system can be very invasive to sidewalks and other structures, even the foundation of your home, it may be necessary to either transplant or altogether remove the plant.

The use of vinegar will damage the foliage of the yucca, and the roots of the plant will be destroyed within a few days. Vinegar works as a natural herbicide since it contains acetic acid poisonous to plants and can kill any vegetation that comes into contact with it.

To kill yucca with vinegar: 

  • Pour vinegar into a spray bottle.
  • Spray directly onto foliage of yucca plant, saturating leaves with vinegar.
  • Do not rinse off vinegar after spraying since this will allow it to penetrate through pores in the leaves, driving it deep into the plant’s system, where it will do the most damage.

Be careful not to do this around existing plants you intend to keep because the vinegar will kill anything it comes into contact with. As mentioned before, vinegar will likely not kill the root system of the yucca, so you may need to use other methods like herbicides or complete removal of the root system.

Does Salt Kill a Yucca?

Epsom salt is great for some plants as an additive because magnesium sulfide helps most plants absorb nutrients from the soil better. If you have been adding Epsom salt as an additive and your plant is turning brown, it may be too much of a good thing.

Epsom salt will kill yuccas if applied directly onto the plant. This is because Epsom salt has a high concentration of Magnesium Sulfate, which is an unbalanced version of what a yucca plant needs to remain healthy.

Contact with salt doesn’t kill the yucca plant directly, but it absorbs the water from the soil and then kills the roots. Salt will not kill a yucca outright but will cause its leaves to turn dry and brown. Dieback is a term used to describe an illness or environmental damage that causes a plant’s leaves or roots to die from the extremities (tip) inward.

Any new growth will show signs of dieback until you’re left with a small stump that can no longer support itself upright. You’ll notice dieback on a Yucca when using Epsom salt to kill it. However, the most effective method is to remove all of the yucca’s foliage before using salt.

To prevent Yucca foliage from growing back and effectively kill the root system without using herbicides or removing it by hand:

  • Remove the leaves and the plant down to the ground.
  • Drill multiple holes into the top of the stump with gaps in between.
  • Pour the salt over it. Add water to moisten it, but not too much.
  • Place a tarp over the stump, and it should be dead in a few months.

This method will successfully kill yucca without using chemicals or herbicides and will prevent any part of the plant from growing back once the root system has been affected.

Will Herbicide Kill a Yucca?

Herbicides are commonly used to protect lawns from weeds. During the process of killing the targeted weed, these chemicals may also kill surrounding vegetation. For example, Glyphosate is generally used to kill grasses invading an area where they are not wanted. Still, it can have severe consequences for other nearby plant life if it gets onto anything besides the grass you want dead.

Herbicides containing the active ingredient glyphosate will kill yuccas if sprayed directly onto them. However, this herbicide will take more than one application to kill this type of plant. Additionally, any herbicide containing triclopyr will be effective at killing yucca.

Glyphosate and triclopyr are non-selective herbicides that kill anything green, so they could kill your yucca if you were to spray it directly on top of your plant or around its base at ground level. This means that you need to be very careful when applying herbicide to ensure it doesn’t come into contact with any part of the yucca plant.

Glyphosate and triclopyr are also systemic herbicides, meaning that once applied to a growing plant or around its base at ground level, the chemical will translocate throughout the entire plant. This means it won’t just stay near the surface where you sprayed it; instead, it travels through the root system.

Does Remedy Kill Yuccas?

Remedy is a brand name for a systemic herbicide manufactured by Dow Agro-Science. According to the label, Remedy should be applied directly to the foliage of a target plant and will kill it within three days.

Remedy Ultra Herbicide is labeled to kill yucca. Remedy contains triclopyr and butoxyethyl ester, which are ingredients that control and kill most herbaceous and woody plants like yucca.

Herbaceous plants sprayed with triclopyr may show injury symptoms within 24 hours and usually die in a few days.

Remedy can be used to kill yucca because it’s a systemic herbicide. A systemic herbicide is absorbed by the plant and moves through the vascular system to all parts of the plant, where it will eventually cause its death.

Poor Conditions and Poor Care Will Kill Yucca

Sunlight is an essential part of the yucca’s growing conditions, which will lead to its death if it does not have enough exposure to the sun.

Overwatering is one of the main ways to kill a yucca. Overwatering can do severe damage by causing root rot or fungal infections in both young and mature plants. This is because yuccas live in arid soil with very few nutrients., so they cannot absorb water effectively.

The amount of sunlight your yucca plant receives will also affect its ability to flourish. If it is not living in a place where it receives at least six hours of sun per day, you must consider moving the plant. In addition to direct sunlight, indirect sunlight will also help dry out the soil and prepare it for watering.


Multiple substances can kill a yucca, and the most common are herbicides like Remedy Ultra, high doses of Epsom salt, and some kinds of vinegar. Additionally, you’ll find that improper care, such as overwatering and poor lighting, will also kill your yucca plants.

Recent Posts