Yucca elephantipes, a desert plant that grows well both indoors and out, responds well to both drastic pruning and simple trimming. You will need garden gloves, pruning shears and a pruning saw for trimming.Continue Reading
Cutting back dead leaves is not necessary for the plant's health, but it adds to its aesthetic appeal. Gently pull on them, and if they do not come loose on their own, cut them off near the trunk. When you notice leaf spots or insects, cut off the damaged leaves, dispose of them far from live vegetation and disinfect your gardening tools.
When flower heads are spent or become unsightly, cut the stalks close to the main body of the plant. New sprouts periodically appear from the base of the main plant or the flowering stalks. Trim selectively if you want to streamline the plant, or leave them alone if you want the plant to develop additional trunks or branches.
Heavy pruning is best done before the growing season in spring. To control the plant's size, cut off up to half of the top leafy section of the trunk. This does not harm the plant, and it will soon produce new foliage. If desired, after removing the remaining leaves, plant the top section to produce a new plant.