Should I Trim or Prune My Plant? - Modern Garden

Should I Trim or Prune My Plant?

2 min read

hanging pothos

Although a houseplant doesn’t require as much pruning as an outdoor plant, it can sometimes be helpful to give them a little trim. Removing any damaged or dead leaves and stems encourages your plant to better focus on growth, while leaving you with a plant that is fuller and more balanced in shape.

When Should You Prune Your Plant?

woman holding potted plant 

Ideally, you should prune your plant right at the start of the growing season, which is usually late winter or early spring - basically, when the days start to get longer again.

However, if you have a flowering plant, you would be better off pruning immediately after your plant has finished flowering, otherwise you run the risk of trimming away future buds. Flowering plants can also benefit from being deadheaded during the flowering season. All this means is snipping away dead flowers, which promotes the growth of new blooms.

How to Prune Your Plant

 pruning rose

To begin with, make sure that you have clean shears or scissors for pruning, as anything blunt could tear at your plant instead of neatly cutting it, leaving it vulnerable to disease.

If you’re pruning for shape, view the plant from all angles before deciding where it needs to be cut. The main aim here is to maintain symmetry and balance. The Braided Money Tree is an example of a houseplant that does require some shaping from time to time.

If you’re pruning stems or vines that have grown too long, which can sometimes happen with a Pothos plant, make your cut just above a leaf node, as this is where new future growth will come from.

Less is more when it comes to pruning, as cutting away an important part of the plant could affect its future shape. If you aren’t sure whether you should cut a part of your plant away, leave it for now and wait until you are certain your plant needs it.

Trimming for Health

 plant on table

While pruning should only be done at certain times of the year, it’s important to regularly trim off any dead leaves or stems on your plant. If you notice brown tips on a leaf, you might be able to selectively cut these off, allowing the rest of the leaf to heal. However, a fully brown and crisp leaf will need to be completely removed.

If you do happen to notice quite a bit of damage on your plant, then this is a sign that you need to review the care that you’re providing to it. Chances are that you aren’t quite meeting your plant’s requirements when it comes to light, water or soil, so take some time to look into this a bit further.

Not all houseplants will need pruning, and you should be able to tell pretty easily whether or not yours would benefit from a haircut. Snipping away at your precious plant can feel intimidating at first, but this really is a great way to encourage growth and maximum health.


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