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What Will Kill a Yucca Plant? (The Best Options to Consider)

What Will Kill a Yucca Plant? (The Best Options to Consider)

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If you’re wondering what will kill a yucca plant, this post is for you!

Under certain circumstances, such as overgrowth, you may find yourself needing to remove the yucca plant from your garden. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to get rid of a yucca plant, with some being more effective than others.

This post covers the many ways you can kill a yucca plant, including household chemicals such as bleach, vinegar, and salt, as well as specific herbicides like Tordon and Roundup.

What Is a Yucca Plant?

Yucca Plant

The yucca plant is a type of fleshy plant native to desert and tropical climates around the world. It grows in rosettes and has long green leaves that can scale up to 3 feet in ideal environments.

Yucca plants come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. You’d probably be surprised to know that some are small enough to fit indoor gardening pots!

Their versatility is one of the factors that make them popular among gardeners looking for plants that require little maintenance.

Will Bleach Kill Yucca Roots?

Bleach Can Kill Yucca Plants

Bleach is an effective solution that can kill a yucca plant when applied through the plant’s roots. It’s strong enough to damage plant tissues, but it can also contaminate groundwater. On top of that, it can pose a risk to both humans and animals.

Bleach can also damage surrounding plants if misused, and the effects can be severe, causing long-term damage to the soil. This will prevent other plants from growing properly.

So, while bleach can help you kill a yucca plant, it’s not the most optimal solution.

Will Vinegar Kill Yucca Plants?

Vinegar Can Kill Yucca Plants

Vinegar is a class of acetic acid that can kill all or parts of a yucca plant when applied directly to it. The acetic acid in the vinegar breaks down the plant’s cell membranes, causing it to collapse and die.

The strength of the vinegar affects the degree of damage it does to the yucca plant. If you apply a weak solution such as water with a little vinegar, it will cause no harm.

On the other hand, a high concentration of vinegar can seriously damage any plant. Use caution when applying vinegar to your yucca plant, especially if it’s close to other plants that you want to preserve.

Your best option is to use 1 cup of vinegar per 1 gallon of water. Spray until the plant is covered entirely and wait 24-48 hours before assessing the damage.

Will Tordon Kill Yucca Plants?

The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.

Tordon is used as a broad-spectrum plant-killing herbicide. So, while it can effectively get rid of yucca plants it’s not an ideal choice as it may kill other plants along with it.

In addition to damaging plants, it can pollute groundwater and harm aquatic life.

There are a few things to understand regarding Tordon and yucca plants:

  • The type of Tordon you buy is important. You should read the label carefully before using any product that contains Triclopyr as an active ingredient.
  • If you plan to use Tordon in your garden, you must apply it very carefully to avoid getting the product on the leaves, stems, or roots of nearby plants.
  • Wear protective gear like gloves and safety goggles when using Tordon.
  • Follow all instructions for storing and using Tordon properly.

Will Roundup Kill Yucca Plants?

Roundup is harmless toward yucca plants because the herbicides are nowhere near the plant’s roots when applied. The yucca’s underground root system will remain unaffected by Roundup.

However, using Roundup can damage the beneficial organisms that live in the soil, which help nourish and protect the yucca plant, as well as other surrounding plants.

In the long run, it can seriously impair the soil and cause your yucca, as well as other plants, to die.

Will Salt Kill Yucca Plants?

Salt Can Be Harmful To Yucca Plants

Salt is so aggressive on plants that can seriously damage or even kill the yucca plant. This includes all types of salt, from regular salt to sea salt and rock salt.

Salt works by absorbing the moisture in the soil until it’s gone. It also draws water out of the plant’s stems and leaves, which can cause stress and sudden death for the yucca plant.

What’s more, soils containing large amounts of salt can alter pH levels and are unsuitable for growing plants.

Generally speaking, if you have plant-related problems due to salty soil, you should take steps to reduce the amount of salt in the soil.

After removing all the salt, add organic matter such as compost and peat moss into the soil to improve drainage and nutrient retention.

Other Ways to Kill a Yucca Plant

In addition to the above-listed methods, there are a few other ways you can get rid of a yucca plant if it’s causing too much of a hassle in your garden.

Non-Selective Herbicides

If you’re on the lookout for something more substantial than vinegar or bleach, you might want to consider non-selective herbicides that contain Glyphosate.

The best way to use Glyphosate is by cutting down the yucca plant and applying it to the stump. It will be absorbed by the plant and will kill the roots.


Pesticides are another viable option but should be used with caution. You should know that only organic pesticides should be used whenever possible.

Chemicals found in traditional pesticides can remain in the soil for years after being applied and can harm animals and other plants.

Remove the Roots

One of the surest ways to kill a yucca plant is to dig up the roots and remove them entirely from the soil.

These plants are highly resistant to conventional insecticide elements such as herbicides and fungicides. So, digging up the roots is the only way to kill them reliably.


Plants need sunlight for photosynthesis. Blocking sunlight or covering the yucca will eventually cause it to suffocate and die.

If you cover the plant with a thick material like a tarp or plastic cover, sunlight won’t be able to reach the plant and it will die.


Girdling is a term that involves removing a strip of bark around the entire perimeter of the yucca plant’s trunk. Doing so disturbs the flow of nutrients and water between the roots and the yucca, resulting in its death.

Final Thoughts

When grown for ornamental purposes, yucca plants can add a lot of aesthetic value. That being said, this plant’s robust rooting system and rapid growth can become troublesome.

Luckily, there are several ways to get rid of a yucca plant. You can use products that are found in most households, like bleach, vinegar, and salt, or you can opt for a herbicide as a last resort.

Be sure to read the instructions on any herbicide or pesticide product that you’re considering so that you don’t end up damaging your soil in an attempt to get rid of a yucca plant.

Also, you should always wear protective equipment when applying any chemical to ensure your safety, whether it’s bleach or a powerful herbicide.

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