General gardening topics

How to divide Yucca plants

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Yucca plants produce sword-like leaves with tall blooming spikes and they are native to desert climates but they have become quite popular for landscaping in gardens around the UK.

If you have a yucca plant outside and it’s grown too large for its space there is a great way that you can cut it back while still maintaining the architectural effect for which they are well known and getting the added benefit or also propagating new plants as well.

Propagating by removing new rhizomes from the main stem

Most yuccas are drought resistant and they’re fairly simple to maintain. They grow by sending rhizomes out of the main stock. From these rhizomes, you can get new, baby plants which is why it’s spread so effectively.

One way to propagate your Yucca is to simply cut the rhizomes that have a baby plant on them away from the main root. Dividing yuccas to control the spread of their growth uses the exact same principle. All you do is thin out the plants by dividing the new rhizomes. If you don’t do this the plant will start to crowd itself and have too many clumps that are too close together.

Dividing your Yucca 

If you see that your yucca is too big for its space and too crowded, you might be able to divide it without actually digging the plant out of the ground. Those rhizomes with the smaller baby plants might be visible at the base of the plant. The ribosomes look like twisted underground branches but you don’t have to be incredibly gentle with them. You can use a strong knife or a shovel to break off the rhizomes from the main plant. They can be a little difficult to break apart so you should use a lot of force. Rest assured it’s very unlikely that you will damage the plant.

Propagating from division

If you are going to divide your Yucca for propagation make sure you do it at the end of autumn or the beginning of winter when the plant is in its dormant stage. If you are propagating with the divisions be a little bit more careful when separating them and try to make a single, sharp cut all the way through.

Before planting these new rhizomes with baby plants, put them somewhere cool so that they can dry off for a few days. Once you are ready to plant them elsewhere in your garden, put them in sandy, well-draining soil and bury the rhizome up to the base of the foliage. Once it is in its new home, water it well for at least three months until such time as it is established.

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