Yuccas are evergreen perennial shrubs that feature pointy, sharp leaves. Several varieties of yucca grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 through 11, depending on the type. Yuccas can grow up to 10 feet tall and outgrow a space or cause injuries when planted near a sidewalk or walkway. An environmentally friendly mixture of household salt and water kills yucca for easy removal and doesn't harm children or pets as herbicides can. Salt is a natural desiccant that dries out plants and removes moisture to kill them. It dehydrates plant cells so the plant cannot survive.
Things You'll Need
Put 3 cups of table salt into a pot. Add 6 cups of water and place the pot on the stove.
Turn the stove burner on high and bring the salt mixture to a boil. Mix the solution with a spoon until the salt melts. Turn off the stove and remove the pot.
Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes and pour it into a garden sprayer. Place the lid on the garden sprayer and turn it clockwise to close it. Pump the handle on top of the sprayer up and down to pressurize the salt and water mixture.
Put on work gloves to protect your hands from yucca's pointy leaves. Cut off each leaf about 4 inches from the tip.
Prune off any blooms that are open or spent to reduce the spread through wind, water and wildlife. Gather the cut pieces and dispose of them. This process exposes the living tissue of the plant for better absorption of the salt mixture.
Cover nearby desirable plants and grass with plastic sheeting to protect them from salt spray.
Sprinkle salt around the base of the yucca plant next to the main trunk.
Spray yucca with the mixture in the garden sprayer starting at the top of the plant. Thoroughly soak the plant on the cut portions and underneath the leaves until the solution drips off.
Remove the plastic sheeting from nearby vegetation.
Reapply the salt solution weekly until the yucca dies. Dig up the dead yucca and dispose of it.
Wearing gloves when treating plants with salt water protects small abrasions or cuts that will burn if the solution touches them. Killing unwanted vegetation with salt can ruin the area for future plantings because salt leaches into the soil.
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Yucca
- Fine Gardening: Yucca Filamentosa “Color Guard” (Adam’s Needle)
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: How to Take the Luck Out of Controlling Yucca
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Physics: Q&A: Killing Weeds with Salt
- This Garden is Illegal: The 7 Deadly Homemade Weed Killers
- The Dollar Stretcher: Removing Weeds and Grasses
- University of Oregon: The Significance of Salt
- Purdue University Extension: Salt Damage in Landscape Plants
- University of Illinois Extension: Salt Damage to Plant Material
- The Garden Counselor Lawn Care: Home Made Weed Killer A Good Idea…Sometimes