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This plant was given to us about 10 years ago, and over the years it has gradually reached about 9' in height. Unfortunately I don't know what it is, maybe identifying it is the first step.

(I looked through some lists of "palms" and houseplants (1, 2) but didn't recognize it. Probably "palm" is completely wrong...)

For most of that time all the leaves were at the top, but in the last few years the lower bunch of leaves sprouted for some reason as well. Maybe this is fortuitous...

We're thinking of cutting it back just above that lower leaf bunch - but I'm unsure if that would be harmful to the plant. Or if not necessarily harmful, how to do it safely?

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This plant is Yucca elephantipes also known as Yucca gigantea. Outdoors in it's native range in Mexico and Central America it can grow up to 40' tall. It benefits from high light and easy on the watering. These plants will bud out from old wood as yours has. Just cut it back an inch or so above the bud with a sharp instrument. Move to higher light, water a little less until you see new growth then resume your normal watering practices.

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  • Very helpful, thanks. Appreciate the tips about light & watering too. It has been "happy" in its current spot but maybe would do much better somewhere with more light. It gets some indirect light now... but not very strong. Jun 6 at 11:22

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