Skip to Content

That Yucca Looks Harmless, But Its Roots Mean Business – Don’t Underestimate Them

That Yucca Looks Harmless, But Its Roots Mean Business – Don’t Underestimate Them

Share this post:

Disclaimer: Some links found on this page might be affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I might earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Many have voiced their concern that the yucca plant is growing aggressively, to the extent that it’s damaging the pot and other plants nearby.

So, are yucca plants invasive? The fast answer is yes. Yucca plants have an invasive root system despite being slow growers.

If you want to learn more about yucca plants and their root system, keep reading!

Do Yucca Plants Have Invasive Roots?

According to Washington State University, yucca plants have invasive roots. As such, many people consider this genus aggressive because it can be challenging to control as it grows.

Yucca plants have massive root structures that can grow as deep as 20 feet. On top of that, they can become pretty thick, which can cause significant damage to their pot or other plants nearby.

Aside from their massive tap roots, they also have extensive rhizomes. It allows them to regenerate even after losing the upper portion of the shrub.

Do Yucca Plants Infest Gardens?

Yes, yucca plants can infest all kinds of areas. May it be rangeland, pastures, or a garden; you name it, they can invade it!

The thing is, yucca plants can reproduce quickly. From May through July, they produce black seeds encapsulated in a pod.

In the wild, the seeds eventually get scattered on the ground and only start germinating once they get enough water from the rain. Alternatively, they produce side shoots or small clones.

During the summer months, the parent yucca plant will produce side shoots. Once they get removed, they’ll be able to grow independently.

How to Get Rid of Yucca Plants

Considering that yucca plants are invasive, you might wonder how you can get rid of them.

Don’t bother using mowers or high-powered equipment if you plan to eliminate these invasive shrubs. Since they have tap roots and rhizomes that help them regenerate, your efforts will only go to waste.

The same phenomenon will happen if you utilize basic techniques, like pulling them individually by hand or setting them on fire. In fact, even if you try to burn the plants, they can still regrow.

As such, you really have to eliminate the roots to get rid of them completely. So, you should follow these methods instead:

1 – Herbicide Method

Spraying herbicide on your yucca plants is one of the easiest ways to eliminate them. If you want to do this, follow these simple steps:

Gather Necessary Supplies

The first step is to gather all the supplies you’ll need to remove yucca plants.

You should prepare pruning shears, a small axe, and a midsize shovel. On top of that, you’ll also need protective gear like gloves, goggles, and long-sleeved clothes.

Lastly, you need to prepare an herbicide.

Cut the Yucca Plants

After preparing the tools and wearing the appropriate gear, start cutting down the yucca plants.

Use your axe to cut large branches and pruning shears to snip smaller ones. Trim as low to the ground as possible, leaving only the stump.

Create Your Herbicide Mixture

To ensure the yucca plants will ultimately die, create your weed killer using store-bought herbicide mixed and diesel fuel or vegetable oil.

The diesel fuel and vegetable oil will guarantee that the herbicide will cover the plants entirely.

Combine the herbicide and diesel fuel or vegetable oil in a mixing container with a 1:2 ratio. Shake the concoction vigorously until thoroughly mixed.

Spray the Herbicide

If the yucca plants are dry, spray the stump continuously for a few seconds. You should avoid spraying nearby plants because the mixture will likely kill them.

The yucca plants should die after a few days. In case they don’t, re-spray the stumps using the same mixture.

2 – Dig the Yucca Plants

Alternatively, you can dig the yucca plants if you want to ensure that you’ll be able to eliminate the roots. Similar to the previous method, wear protective gear when doing this.

Using a shovel, dig up the plant to get the most of the roots out. The general rule of thumb is to dig a hole that’s at least three or four feet deep.

Final Thoughts

Now, are yucca plants invasive? Yes, and they’re more challenging to eliminate when left growing for a long time.

However, you can remove them by spraying the stumps with herbicide. On the other hand, you can dig the plants straight from the ground!

Just remember to wear the proper gear and use the appropriate tools to get rid of them efficiently!

Share this post: