How to Split a Yucca Plant

Written by meg butler
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How to Split a Yucca Plant
Each yucca stem can be split away and planted elsewhere. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Yucca plants get the majority of their growing energy from the large modified roots or tubers growing below the soil. These nutritious plant parts allow the yucca to propagate and spread even under less-than-ideal conditions. If a patch of your garden has become overrun with this prolific plant, the tubers also make it easy to dig and split the plant. A yucca with two or more stems in its clump may be divided into two or more individual plants. The divisions may be planted elsewhere, given as a gift, discarded or even eaten.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Shovel
  • Lopping shears
  • Hose

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  1. 1

    Dig around the plant in a circle slightly wider in circumference than the yucca's foliage or as wide as you can dig without disturbing neighbouring plants. Dig in closer to the plant with your fingers and expose as much of the outer tubers as possible.

  2. 2

    Lift the yucca plant out of its hole and lay it on its side.

  3. 3

    Brush or hose the soil off the yucca's roots to get a good look at its tubers.

  4. 4

    Split the yucca plant into sections. The offshoots, or tuber clumps attached to a stem, are where you make the division. Simply prune away the connection attaching the root clump sections with a pair of lopping shears. Then pull the plant away and lay it on its side. Avoid cutting the tubers themselves.

  5. 5

    Allow the yucca sections to dry for three to four hours. This will seal the pruning cut and prevent the development of disease.

  6. 6

    Re-plant each yucca section and water well.

Tips and warnings

  • Yuccas are hardy and can be divided any time of the year; however, the plants bounce back most readily when divided in late autumn or early winter.

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