Asked on May 13, 2013

Get the Yucca Out of My Yard

Small Talk Mama
by Small Talk Mama
I'm trying to get rid of some yucca plants that came with our home we purchased last year. As I was digging, I discovered HUGE tubers attached to these lovely guys, which made me think these spiky specimens might be tougher than I first thought. Any advice on how to get rid of them for good?
Digging up the Yucca
This partial tuber is as big as my head.
  50 answers
  • Nancy Hand Nancy Hand on May 13, 2013
    Keep digging until you get them all. It looks like your doing a great job!! :)
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on May 13, 2013
    Thanks, Nancy, but there are so many!!! If I don't get every last one, will they come back?
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 13, 2013
    Yucca are desert plants...those big fat tuber like roots are what gives them the ability to survive harsh conditions... your effort seems right on track. Your may have removed enough to keep them from coming back. Just in case they come now know how to do this.
  • Gena Olson Gena Olson on May 13, 2013
    I dug some out 2 years ago, thought I did a thorough job, then found more little ones this year. Just keep digging them up as you see them!
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on May 13, 2013
    Thanks for the great information. I'll definitely try the vinegar and salt idea after I finish digging up as much as I can. Will that solution also work on tree roots?
  • Carolyn Carolyn on May 13, 2013
    If you want help getting rid of them list them on in your area. I did that over the weekend and all my extra plants and such are gone and they did the digging.
  • Nancy Hand Nancy Hand on May 13, 2013
    Spraying vinegar will kill what ever you spray it on. I wouldn't use the salt tho! Salt will kill and keep killing until its gets washed out which might take sometime. Your doing a great job digging it up. :)
  • JoAnn Cline JoAnn Cline on May 14, 2013
    Been there done that, I sympathize.
  • Mary Harcus Mary Harcus on May 14, 2013
    giving a yucca plant to someone is one way they will never forget you , the yucca comes back and they think of you good thoughts I an sure , love that plant
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 14, 2013
    They are tougher than you thought and they'll keep coming back from any amount of the tuber that is left. Eventually you'll win, but it will be a long process. If you want to intervene with an herbicide, you should use one containing the active ingredient Triclopyr, like Remedy. According to the University of Nebraska, Remedy, applied with diesel fuel or vegetable oil and sprayed directly into the center of the yucca, had an effective rate of 100 percent if applied during the growing season:
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on May 14, 2013
    thanks for all the great advice
  • Susie Susie on May 14, 2013
    Yuccas are fabulous plants but if you don't want them I would encourage you to dig as much as you can, pull out the new shoots as they appear (you will eventually win - just like with bamboo) and in spite of what Douglas suggests I hope you won't resort to pouring petroleum based products on the earth to poison it.
  • Donna Shipley Donna Shipley on May 14, 2013
    Thanks for this posting... I planted Yuccas in yard... raised most of them from seed. Now I will get much more aggressive about making sure they are in the RIGHT place!
  • Linda E Linda E on May 14, 2013
    See if the local health food store has to say. I see the roots there all the time !
  • Stephen J. Usher Stephen J. Usher on May 14, 2013
    Geez, here I thought that I was the only person to have this problem. I have dug and dug till I thought I was near China, but the suckers keep coming back and back...... Now I am feel guilty for trying to "kill" them.
  • Cathe Ashcraft Cathe Ashcraft on May 14, 2013
    sorry, but I'll have to say the same thing, we had some in our yard and it took a few years before we got all the new shoots to keep popping up... Keep digging and chopping
  • Just do not eat it raw or leave it near where kids are playing! It is very poisonous raw: high levels of Prussic acid cause cyanide poisoning when ingested.
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on May 14, 2013
    Thankfully my yucca are incased with a concrete barrier but I really wanted something with a bit more color in that spot. Perhaps I'll plan something that might look good with yucca. . . Just in case I miss a few tubers. The bamboo comment was funny, because I said the same thing to my husband. But I guess that gives me hope, because my mom licked her bamboo problem a few years ago.
  • Claudia Claudia on May 15, 2013
    We dug our yucca out, poured concrete over it for a new sidewalk and garage...the shoots popped up on the other side of the concrete.
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on May 15, 2013
    yikes! seriously??? I guess I still have lots of digging to do
  • Susette M Susette M on May 15, 2013
    actually those tubers when young are very tasty if cooked like baked potato casserole with a breaded topping,,,,its kinda stringy tho,,,
  • Suzy McClary Suzy McClary on May 15, 2013
    Try the water, salt, vinegar mixture. I use equal amounts of each. Salt& vinegar both kill plants
  • Chris D Chris D on May 15, 2013
    I was told by a landscape friend to take a paper cup fill it with concentrated round up use a brush and brush the leaves of the plants you want to kill being careful not to let any of it touch the soil. seems easier than digging to China.
  • Mikell Paulson Mikell Paulson on May 15, 2013
    Must dig every little tuber out! Just one small piece will grow . I also have the darn things come back. This time I will dig and make sure they are all gone!
  • Penster47 Penster47 on May 15, 2013
    Hmmmm, and I have been trying to get one to grow!!! Different strokes for different folks I guess.
  • Katherine Rusler-Davis Katherine Rusler-Davis on May 15, 2013
    If you know someone who is in to making home made soaps or other remedies, give them the chance to get them out for you. They are great to use for soap and shampoo.
  • Mary Ellen G Mary Ellen G on May 16, 2013
    Oh I wish I could get some of the yucca root! It makes the best shampoo!!
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on May 16, 2013
    shampoo? Who knew.
  • S S on May 17, 2013
    Beautiful grass!!! They are like weeds. Like your first commenter, I pulled them all up from the front yard, because they were so ugly! In our case they were receiving full sun and they grew in a shade of sickly, yellow green. Well they popped up under the pile of deconstruction debris on the other side of the wall. In other words they are growing about ten feet away in the backyard now! But this time they are green in a nearly perfect semi-circle, because they were under debris and a shade tree. Bizarre! So, I put our fountain in the middle of them and left it. They are staying green due to the shade and water. The species I have only blossoms once a year with a pretty orange flower.
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on May 17, 2013
    LORD I wished I lived closer! I'd rip out all I could and use them in my SOAP!!!!!! I have mine planted at my old farm, so I go drive about an hour and dig, dig, dig! I eat the young ones as well, yummy!
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on May 18, 2013
    You would all be welcome to mine! I have been digging them out of my flower bed for 15 years now! No matter what I do they return! I've completely tilled up the whole bed and still cannot get all of the tubers! I gave some to my mom and she has bushes that are AWESOME in her yard, they are 6 feet tall and about 6 feet across...when they bloom the white flowers are amazing. However..she owns an acre of land...I own .17 acres of land and my house takes up half of that and if I let these things grow then I would have nothing else!
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on May 18, 2013
    @Tanya Peterson Felsheim Yep they are invasive little devils, which is why I can't have any here at my new OLD TINY Cottage (that I hope we live to see to reno completion!). LOL!!!! Hubs would kill me for sure!
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on May 18, 2013
    So I'm thinking that some peonies and coneflower might be nice companions for the yucca if they ever come back. If I can't beat them, join them. . . and those plants should all be relatively safe from all our little deer teeth ( of course, that's another post entirely). I love all the suggestions!
  • Melissa Melissa on May 18, 2013
    My brother has them in his pasture. He poured them full of gas once and set them on fire, but a whole bunch of little ones came up around the dead one. I think they are evil.
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on May 19, 2013
    @Small Talk Mama well I went and took a picture of my moms yucca's they are ugly until they get cleaned up which we will do this week but when they are full bloom they are gorgeous the rest of the time they just look like a huge beautiful green plant I have some photos from last year in full bloom will try to post when I find them! Oh and its the darker green the lighter green is day lilies (well some call this particular variety ditch lilies!)
  • D Burton D Burton on May 20, 2013
    Epsom salt should decay the tubers you showed. If possible drill some holes and pour the epsom salt over. This takes some time, but you should see some results after a month.
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on May 20, 2013
    I heard epson salt was good for the soil? maybe not to yucca's? I know that salt itself sterilizes the soil for about 3 years...
  • Chris D Chris D on May 20, 2013
    You can actually use epsom salts in the water to water plants. And bathe in it and guess it's a good laxative.. Go figure.
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on May 20, 2013
    Epson salts is magnesium isn't it? ever heard of milk of magnesia? hahaha @Chris D My doc says I should be taking Magnesium Malate for my muscle pain (won't mention the name of the disorder cuz some people do not think it exists...I figure who cares what it is called...I just care that it doesn't hurt anymore!) and I buy it but forget to use you remind of its other wonderful qualities..hmmm
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on May 20, 2013
    @Tanya Peterson Felsheim Yeppers, Epsom Salts is Magnesium! Good for so many many things. Internally? Just be careful if you suffer from kidney/renal problems. ;)
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jun 23, 2013 I'm trying to show how beautiful these yuccas can be when they are in full about a week they will be in full bloom and just be spectacular but who knows if I will catch them at the right time! So here is some pictures I took today to give an idea...another thing I wanted to reiterate....when my mom didn't have these the local deer population ran rampant through her garden and flower bushes. Now with this its almost like a barrier and though we still see full families of deer they leave the rest of her plants alone now!
  • Cro190407 Cro190407 on Jun 25, 2013
    Yucca is one of the most sort after vegtables in Puerto Rico. They were the potatoes of the native indians "Tainos and Caciques". They are great peeled and boiled with salt and butter and/or fryed in oil with garlic and olive oil. Either way, if you buy it even here in Fl. it is very expensive. Mybe you should sell it, I would buy some to try to plant it and harvest it! Carmen at
    • Linda Spychalski Linda Spychalski on Dec 02, 2016

      Yes, we peel and cut them like potatoes boil them,,and then deep fry them til brown ,,put some salt on them and have them with a glass of ice tea or a beer,,,they are yummy!

  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jun 25, 2013
    Well Every year I could sell hundreds of small yucca plants that HERE grow sooooo fast! Ilive in southern Oregon where do you live?
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on Jul 02, 2013
    I'm in Missouri, but never thought of selling these big guys. . . Probably because I never thought anyone would purposefully plant them -- ha ha. All joking aside, I know yuccas serve many purposes and beauty is in the eye of he beholder, but I just don't like plants more stubborn than I.
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jul 03, 2013
    Oh I didnt' say anyone would BUY them...just that enough come up that I could sell hehe.
  • Lyn Therese Lyn Therese on Nov 25, 2015
    There are chemicals you can buy that kill off brush areas and tree trunks......Ask at your local nursery or garden outlet store. They sell it so they would know which one to use. Good luck.
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on Nov 17, 2016
    It just donned on me that I should follow up on my yucca question for all you great folks who offered advice. It seems we licked the yucca and I have the most beautiful knock-out roses in their stead. Thanks for all the ideas and laughs. You can see my roses at
  • Patty Sams Patty Sams on Jun 27, 2019

    I have a yucca in my front yard that I find ugly and disgusting

    , I want it out. I cannot use an herbicide because it is plant near our well head. The herbicide would weep into the soil and get into our well water. HELP! Thanks!