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How To Properly Prune Your Houseplants - Ed's Plant Shop

How To Properly Prune Your Houseplants

There comes a time in every new plant-parents' growth when they must askthemselves ‘Should I prune this plant?’ As difficult as it can be for some of us to pick up those clippers and start cutting, it’s an integral part of keeping your plant healthy, happy and looking its best! With time and practice (and this article ;) ) you’ll find yourself getting more confident in exactly when/where to make those cuts!

How To Prune A Plant

Identify the problem

Browning or yellowing of leaves is a natural part of any plant's life cycle, but before you clip them it’s important to know exactly why they might be changing color in the first place. Leaves consistently and steadily turning yellow and dropping from the bottom up might mean your plant is under watered. Leaves that turn brown rapidly and feel soft/squishy to the touch might be overwatered (or experiencing root rot!). Spots could mean some sort of sickness or pests. We’ve found that every plant is different so it’s important to spend time studying yours so you can read the signs it gives you!

broken leaf ready to be pruned
dying leaf ready to be pruned
damaged leaf ready to be pruned

Make a Plan

While it can be fun and therapeutic to prune without a plan, we recommend new plant parents decide where they’re going to cut before they do it. Since the leaves you’ll be cutting won’t have much green left in them, they won’t be able to photosynthesize and therefore won’t be good for propagating. This means you’ll want to do your best to leave the nodes on the plant as these can become new growth points later!  


Start Cutting!

Make sure your clippers, pruning shears or scissors are sharp and sanitized (we use rubbing alcohol for ours) and get excited about making your first cut! Remember where you decided that would be earlier, place your clippers as close to the stem/soil as you can and… snip! 

With time you’ll find out if you’re an aggressive pruner, cutting as soon as you see yellowing on a leaf, or more laid-back, allowing the plant to go through more of it’s natural processes. We’ve heard some people say they wait until at least 50% of the leaf has turned before they cut and this seems to be a good rule of thumb. Try out a few different methods and let us know your results! We’re always happy to hear from you either through our contact page here or on any of our social media platforms which you can find below.

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