How to kill yucca plants

Written by joshua duvauchelle Google
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How to kill yucca plants
The yucca plant thrives in sunny environments. (Wendy Domeni/

The yucca plant is a family of desert plants found across North America and as far north as Canada. Typically grown for ornamental reasons, the yucca can become a garden nuisance due to its rapid growth and quick propagation. Chopping down the plant isn't enough, as its large root system will sprout into dozens of new plants. The only way to kill yucca plants is by ensuring total annihilation through a thorough application of concentrated herbicide.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pruning tools
  • Stump-remover herbicide
  • 454gr. concentrated Round-Up herbicide
  • Electric Drill
  • 113gr. diesel fuel
  • Gallon-sized plastic container

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  1. 1

    Cut down the yucca plant. Use a hand saw, machete or pruning shears to remove any side branches. Chop down the main trunk to a height of one foot using an axe or chainsaw if it's a thick trunk, or a hand saw if the trunk is thin enough.

  2. 2

    Paint the yucca tree trunk with tree stump remover, such as Bonide #123kg Stump Out or PBI's Cleanout Stump Spray. Cover all exposed areas on the yucca trunk. Tree stump remover can be obtained at most nurseries, garden supply stores and hardware outlets.

  3. 3

    Drill a ring of 2-inch-deep holes around the base of the yucca plant. Angle each hole downward at a 45-degree angle. Pour stump remover herbicide into the holes. The topical and internal application of stump remover will ensure the yucca plant carries the herbicide throughout its extensive root system and kills the plant in its entirety.

  4. 4

    Observe the plant. Over the course of the next few weeks, the stump remover will circulate through the yucca's system and kill it. Some live roots may remain, especially if the yucca was several years old and heavily established.

  5. 5

    Kill the shoots. If pieces of submerged roots are not killed, they will send up new shoots. Wait until the shoots are approximately 12 inches long. Mix two parts diesel fuel with eight parts concentrated Round-Up herbicide in a plastic container. Typically, 113gr. of diesel and 454gr. of Round-Up in a gallon-sized bucket is sufficient for a single shoot. Douse the yucca shoots with the solution daily until they die. The diesel helps ensure the herbicide clings to the plant and is carried into its roots.

Tips and warnings

  • Chopping down a yucca tree but not killing its root system will cause numerous new yucca shoots to appear.

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