Are yucca trees deep-rooted? Can I plant yucca close to the house? Will a yucca grow back from a stump? How to kill yucca stump? 

Are yucca trees deep-rooted? Can I plant yucca close to the house? Will a yucca grow back from a stump? How to kill yucca stump? 

Yucca trees are known for their rugged beauty and adaptability, making them an incredibly popular choice for garden landscapes in Australia. That being said, some elements of the Yucca can make them rather bothersome, which we will cover shortly. 

In this article, we’re going to talk about Yuccas in greater depth, including some general maintenance and tree care tips, their root depth, how suitable they are to plant close to your home, and how to go about removing a Yucca stump once you are finished with them. 

Here’s everything you need to know…

What are Yuccas: Trees, Cacti, or Plants?

First things first, what are Yuccas? Are they classed as a tree, cacti, or plant? 

  • Yuccas are a genus of plants that belong to the family Asparagaceae.
  • While Yuccas are frequently referred to as “Yucca Trees” (we’re guilty of it in this blog’s title); they are actually not considered to be trees or cacti specifically, but rather a type of plant known for their distinctive rosette-shaped leaves and tall, flowering stalks.
  • Yuccas are native to arid regions of North and Central America and are known for their ability to withstand harsh conditions.
Green plant in garden

Are Yucca Trees Deep Rooted?

Next, let’s explore the Yuccas root system. Just how low do they go?!

  • Yucca trees are generally known for having very deep and extensive root systems.
  • The depth of yucca tree roots can vary depending on the species and environmental conditions.
  • In some cases, yucca roots can extend several feet deep into the soil.

Can I Plant Yucca Close to the House?

With their deep and extensive root system in mind, how close should you plant Yuccas to your house? Here are some important considerations: 

  • Planting yucca trees near houses requires careful consideration due to their mature size and extensive root system.
  • Yucca trees can grow quite large, with some species reaching heights of 10 feet or more.
  • When planted too close to a house, yucca trees can potentially cause structural damage to foundations or underground utilities as their roots expand.
  • It is generally recommended to plant yucca trees at least 5 to 10 feet away from structures (including swimming pools) to avoid potential issues in the future.

How to Properly Care for Your Yuccas:

Yuccas are relatively low-maintenance plants, but they still require some care to thrive. If you love the look of the yucca and would like some on your property, here are some handy tips to keep them thriving: 

  1. Sunlight: Yuccas prefer plenty of sunlight, so be sure to choose a location where they can receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  2. Soil: Yuccas thrive in well-draining soil. They are adaptable and can tolerate a variety of soil types, including sandy or rocky soils. Ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot!
  3. Watering: Yuccas are drought-tolerant plants and are susceptible to root rot if overwatered. Water your yuccas deeply but infrequently, thus allowing the soil to dry out between feeds. In general, yuccas require less water during the winter months.
  4. Fertilisation: Yuccas are not heavy feeders but can benefit from a light application of balanced fertiliser during the growing season if you so wish. Use a slow-release fertiliser or apply a diluted liquid fertiliser monthly. 
  5. Pruning: Yuccas generally require minimal pruning. However, you can remove dead or damaged leaves by cutting them back to the base. Just be cautious of the sharp leaf tips when pruning as they’ve been known to bite! 
  6. Pests and Diseases: Yuccas are relatively pest and disease-resistant. However, they can occasionally be affected by common plant pests like aphids or scale insects – so keep an eye out. Should you spot anything, make sure you treat infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  7. Winter Protection: In colder climates, yuccas may require winter protection. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to insulate the roots and protect them from freezing temperatures.
  8. Propagation: Yuccas can be propagated through division or by collecting and planting seeds. The division is best done in spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing.

By following these simple care guidelines, you can ensure that your yuccas remain completely healthy and vibrant, thus adding a touch of unique beauty to your home’s landscape.

If you don’t feel confident in this yourself, contact your local arborists and tree surgeons and they will gladly take care of all the hard work for you. 

Will a Yucca Grow Back from a Stump?

If you aren’t interested in cultivating your yuccas and would much rather chop them down and be done with it, you may be wondering if they grow back from their stumps. 

  • Yucca trees can regrow from stumps, provided the stump is not entirely removed.
  • Yucca stumps have the ability to produce new shoots and sprouts, thus allowing the plant to successfully regenerate itself (pretty cool, huh?)
  • However, regrowth from a yucca stump can take time, and it may not always occur depending on the specific circumstances.

When it comes to stump and root-system removal, we highly recommend contacting your local arborists and tree surgeons. The best arborists will have specialised stump removal equipment to ensure a safe and efficient removal process with no risk of your yuccas growing back. 

Sharp leaves of a palm cactus seen from below.

How to Kill a Yucca Stump?

If you want to eliminate a yucca stump completely by yourself, there are several methods you can try:

  • Digging: The most effective way to remove a yucca stump is by digging it out entirely, including the root system. It’s hard work but it can be done! 
  • Chemical Treatment: Herbicides containing glyphosate or triclopyr can be applied to the stump to kill the remaining root system.
  • Smothering: Covering the stump with a thick layer of mulch or a tarp can deprive it of light and nutrients, eventually causing it to die.


Ultimately, yucca trees are impressive plants that can make a wonderful addition to the average Australian home garden. Just be sure to remember that they have a deep root system that requires careful consideration when planting near houses! 

And of course, if you do decide you want to get rid of your yuccas for good, make sure you clear away the stump and root system properly. We’d recommend calling in the pros for this to ensure a safe and efficient removal process. 

In any case, we hope you enjoyed this article and now have a better understanding of how to care for the yucca plants on your property. 

Thanks for reading!

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