How to Prune Houseplants Ideas

How to Prune Houseplants Ideas for Beginners

While you don't have to worry about regularly pruning indoor plants (like you do for outdoor varieties), at some point, you'll need to get out your shears for some indoor cleanup. Maybe you wish to chop away dead leaves or branches to stay the plant respectable.

How to Prune Houseplants Ideas

Or maybe you need to encourage a more balanced growth pattern. Some runaway plants may be eating up your living room whereas others could look thin and in want of trim to grow fuller. Whatever the reason, taking correct pruning measures can assure you do not go wild with the scissors and make undue stress for your sill companions.

When to Prune Houseplants

Houseplants should typically be pruned at the beginning of the growing season, which is late winter or early spring for many varieties, depending on your climate. A good rule of thumb for flowering species is to prune them just after they have finished flowering.

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If you are doing this right before they bloom, you will be removing sealed buds that might otherwise turn out to be showy flowers. Woody indoor plants ar associate degree exception to the present seasonal rule, however, requiring year-round pruning that involves the removal of dead leaves and branches.

Project Metrics

  • Working Time: 10 to 15 minutes per plant
  • Total Time: Many weeks, if propagating new plants from clippings
  • Material Cost: Under 20 dollars

What You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Gardening gloves (optional)


  • Clay pots (optional)
  • Potting soil (optional)


1. Observe the Plant
Take a step back from the plant and look at its structure and shape. Notice if it's growing spindly, looks fuller on one side then the other, or if it contains any diseased growth. Check for areas of potential new growth, known as "latent buds." Buds typically occur where the leaf joins the plant stem.

2. Determine Your Tools
If the plant's branches are thick, like those of an indoor tree, use pruning shears. If they are slender, kitchen scissors may give you a cleaner cut.

3. Remove Dead Matter
Clip or pinch off dead leaves and stems. If stems have decayed at the basis, pull them out and confirm to dry out the soil before the plant's next watering.

4. Deadhead the Plant
If you're working with a flowering houseplant, remove all spent flowers by pinching them off or clipping them back as close to the main stem as possible.

5. Make Your Cuts
Make judicious cuts to encourage new growth. Cut just before a leaf node. Or, once restraining larger stems, cut as close to the main stem as possible. Do not take away quite twenty-five % of the plant.

Houseplant Pruning Tips

Proper pruning needs an associate degree understanding of the plant's growth patterns. Plants grow from the tip down, meaning that new growth emerges from the dominant bud at the end of a branch or leaf. Although the plant has potential dominant growth cells throughout, the new growth will come from this final bud.

To prune a plant and encourage bushy new growth, snip off the dominant buds on select items. While doing so, stagger the cuts to encourage varied growth. Trim some branches back one-quarter of their length; others to one-half; and still, others can be cut all the way back to their base. This way, when the plant leaves out again, the growth originates from the stems outward in a random pattern that fills out the plant.

Deadheading may be a totally different quite pruning that removes spent blossoms and blooms. As a plant blooms, it puts energy into its flowers at the expense of recent growth. Even as the flower is dying, it still consumes energy from the plant. To prolong the blooming amount and encourage healthy, large flowers, deadheading is necessary.

When pruning, cleanliness is important. Any cut created to a plant's tissue exposes it to attainable microorganism infection. Keep your pruning instrument sharp and clean and clean between every use with a gentle bleach and water resolution.

Most houseplant clippings can be saved, rooted in a cup of water, and then planted to form new houseplants. Succulent clippings can even be propagated by planting them directly in a pot of soil and keeping it moist. After a few weeks, you'll have new baby plants you can keep for yourself or gift to friends.

Working With Vines

Pruning vines is extremely just like pruning general houseplants, however, it involves more work.
Indoor vines ought to be inspired to grow on support with any wandering stems unbroken treed.

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With vines, you may have to do a hard pruning in the summer or spring to cut them back to a manageable form.
Many vines are notoriously rampant growers once they are healthy.

Plants That Shouldn't Be Pruned

Some plants rarely need pruning and others should never be pruned at all. Palms and Norfolk Island pines both form a terminal dominant bud, but do not possess latent buds. Removing the dominant bud can kill the plant, so it's best to let these species be.

Similarly, many types of orchids can not be cropped on the far side removing dead flower spikes.
Do this at the purpose wherever the spike comes out of the leaves, and hopefully, you will see blooms once more once many months.

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