Skip to Content

Should You Remove Dead Leaves from Yucca Plant?

Sharing is caring!

Yucca plants have beautiful and delicate foliage that make them ideal to use as an ornamental piece.

Having dead leaves on your yucca plant can throw off that aspect and not be gentle to the eyes which is why you should be fully informed before proceeding to remove the dead leaves without hurting the plant.

Should you remove dead leaves from the yucca plant?

Usually, all the dead leaves fall away from the yucca plant on their own and it is the most comfortable way for them. However, you can still remove them but you will have to do so very carefully in the proper way or there is a risk of stressing out your plant or worse bacteria invasion. 

All the dead leaves that your yucca plant has will slowly start to dry over time. Once it turns brown and dries up, it is naturally inclined to shrivel up, get weak and fall away on its own.

There is no need for you to physically extract or prune them and not doing so will not affect the overall health of the plant. Yucca plants are quite low maintenance so you will not need to prune them for them to thrive. 

You are also free to prune away the dead leaves if it seems unsightly but you have to do so very carefully and follow proper protocols. If you remove it roughly, there might be the risk of exposing certain openings where the base of leaves used to be present.

When that happens you are risking your plant getting exposed to bacteria, viruses, and pests that can harm the health of your plant. Those areas when exposed to bright sunlight can also end up stressing out your plant. 

How to remove dead leaves from a yucca plant?

There are certain ways in which you should carefully remove dead leaves from your yucca plant to avoid exposing them to diseases or stressing them out. There are different types of yuccas and each of them requires different methods when it comes to removing the dead leaves.

Large Yucca Trees:

Some varieties of the yucca that can grow as large as normal trees. They have spiky leaves and very thick branches. These are untamed and originate from the desert region which explains their wild and untidy look.

They are not delicate plants and can survive extremities therefore you can just easily chop off any dead leaves or branches without hurting them or causing any stress.

However, do ensure to not chop off any foundation of the fronds attached to the tree as leaving it exposed can invite bacteria or pests. 

Ornamental Yucca Trees:

These decorative yucca trees are used as houseplants for their beautiful foliage. These foliages are much more delicate so you have to be more careful with them. Usually, the leaves that grow at the base of the plant tend to turn brown and perish.

These usually then start to dry and after a certain period fall off on their own. However, you can speed up that process by tugging it away gently. This can leave an area exposed to diseases and pests and even harsh sunlight which can stress out your plant.

Therefore, you can also opt for using a small and sharp pair of scissors to cut the leaf off half an inch above the base so that the trunk is not exposed. 

Bushy Yucca Trees:

These yucca trees are small in height and grow like bushes near the ground. The dead leaves that come from this plant are towards the inside of the plant.

Since their leaves are quite pointy, ensure to wear thick gloves and use a bigger pair of scissors to cut the dead leaves half an inch above the bottom so that no part of the plant is exposed.

Ensure to not cut or tug into any other parts of the plant except for the dead leaves as it can end up stressing the plant out. 

Should I cut off the brown tips of my yucca plant?

It is not very unusual for your yucca plant to have brown tips. It simply means that you are not giving your plant enough water.

It is best to just supply your plant with more water instead of snipping off the brown edges as it can end up hurting your plant and expose it to bacteria, pests, and temperature changes. 

Can I cut all the leaves off my yucca?

No, you should not cut all the leaves and especially healthy leaves off your yucca plant. Only trim out the dead leaves.

Cutting off any other leaves or healthy leaves can end up causing stress to your plant as it needs the energy produced from photosynthesis done by the chlorophyll in the leaves to help your plant grow. 

Will my yucca leaves grow back?

If you cut off the leaves from your yucca it ends up stressing out the plant and it cannot produce enough energy to grow.

As a result, their growth remains dormant for a very long time and some delicate yucca plants might not end up regrowing their leaves. This is why you should not ever cut off all the leaves of your yucca. 

Can you trim/prune a yucca plant?

Yes, you can trim and prune a yucca plant to make it look nicer in appearance. However, it is better to just trim off dead leaves instead of new healthy leaves, especially ones on smaller and delicate yucca plants.

This is because doing so can end up shocking your plant and it will not end up producing enough energy to grow properly. 

How to trim/prune a yucca plant?

There are certain steps you must carefully follow when trimming your yucca plant to avoid any damage. 

Prepping your plant:

Always try to trim or prune your plant before growing season so that it can utilize its energy to the max capacity to grow properly. Wear thick gloves to avoid hurting yourself in the process.

Start from the bottom:

Use a sharp pair of scissors depending on how big your plant is and start trimming the dead or damaged leaves from the bottom.

Always ensure to leave half to an inch of the base out as cutting it too close to the trunk can damage your plant. If your yucca is a big tree then you can take the help of a saw to chop off a part of the leafy trunk. 


Aftering trimming or pruning your plant you must give it an adequate amount of sunlight as well as fertilizer. It’ll help your plant thrive and recuperate better and grow to its full potential during the growing season.

When to trim yucca plants?

The best time to trim yucca plants is right before their growing season or during the start of spring.

This is because it keeps the growth of the tree in check, allows it to recover better during the growing season, and uses up all its energy and nutrients into growing better healthy leaves as well as flowers. 

Why are my yucca leaves drying?

There are some common causes as to why your yucca leaves might be drying or starting to get damaged.

Direct sunlight or zero sunlight:

If you keep your plant in an area where direct sun rays are reaching them then it can hurt the foliage of the leaves. As a result, the leaves may start to perish if they cannot produce sufficient energy.

On the contrary, keeping your plant in a shaded region can also hurt your plant as sunlight is required for your plant to produce energy and take up nutrients. Not getting enough light for prolonged periods can cause the leaves to start drying. 

Excess water:

Yucca plants are very sensitive to overwatering. It causes the plant to stress out and as a result, has stunted growth.

It can also attract bacteria and pests or cause the roots of the plants to rot. Drying leaves can be a huge sign that you are overwatering your plant. 

Temperature change:

Sudden temperature changes such as keeping your plant near an air conditioner or a heater can harm your plant. The stark change causes your plants to stress out and be unhappy which can be evident through drying leaves.

How do you revive a drying yucca plant?

The best way to revive a yucca plant is by providing the ideal conditions that the plant can thrive in. 

Lots of indirect sunlight:

Yucca plants love the sun as it gives them enough energy as well as nutrients to trigger more growth.

Just ensure that the sunlight is filtered as harsh rays can damage their leaves further. Trim off any dead leaves so that your plant can recover better and use its energy to grow new and healthy leaves.

Minimal watering:

If your soil is too wet then focus on only watering your yucca when the top layer of the soil is dry. If their soil is constantly wet then it can result in unhappy and dead leaves. 

Fertiliser and Temperature:

Provide your plant with fertilizer during the growing season at least twice so that it can soak up all the nutrients needed for it to revive itself again.

Also, ensure to keep it away from any kind of harsh temperature changes and moderate levels of humidity as it can end up hurting your plant. 

Final Thoughts:

Removing dead leaves from your yucca plant is not an issue as long as you are doing it carefully. Also, take proper care of your plant for a while after trimming off the leaves with lots of sunlight and fertilizer so that it can focus its energy on reviving itself and growing new leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do Deer Eat Yucca Plants? Are Yucca Plants Deer-Resistant?

Are Yucca Good for Birds?

Can Rabbits Eat Yucca Leaves?

Can Yucca Plants Grow in Pots?

Can Yucca Live & Grow in Water? How Much Water Do They Need?

Sharing is caring!