An indoor plant needs to be pruned less regularly than an outdoor plant. Still, you should get out your pruning shears once in a while to freshen up your plant. Dead branches or yellow leaves are cut away to keep the appearance of your plant beautiful, but pruning your houseplant has more advantages! For one, you can encourage a balanced growth pattern for your plant and make sure your plant doesn't proliferate around the room. It's important to know which houseplants like pruning, when to prune them and how to do it. This way, you'll make sure your green friend doesn't experience stress after the pruning!
Which houseplants need to be pruned?
Pruning a houseplant is not a requirement to keep the plant alive. For each plant species, the reason for pruning can vary. For example, most houseplants, shrubs and trees are pruned back to keep them nicely trimmed and prevent sprawl. They bloom more beautifully if they are pruned in the right way. In the case of fruit trees, the yield is even better when they are pruned.
However, removing yellowed, brown or dead leaves and stems is a must! The energy of a houseplant is divided among all the leaves, so also the leaves that unfortunately can no longer be saved. If you prune these away, the healthy leaves get all the energy they need and deserve instead of the energy being wasted on leaves that are beyond saving anyway.
Some plants grow super fast and could use a trim every once in a while to stop them from proliferating. The Monstera Adansonii and the Schefflera Arboricola are examples of plants that are easy to prune and will grow more as a result!
Pruning Monstera Adansonii
In principle a Monstera Adansonii does not need to be pruned. However, the plant grows fast, so if you find that the plant is getting too big, then you can easily prune it back. Do this in the growing season. Then your houseplant is in its growing phase and can recover faster from its pruning. Remove the tendrils of the plant if there are few leaves on them and do not forget to remove the yellow, brown or even dead leaves and stems.
The Adansonii is also very easy to take cuttings from. So look carefully between all the pruning waste to see if there are usable pieces in it! In no time you will have another adult plant. How nice is that?
Pruning the Schefflera Arboricola
The Schefflera are houseplants that are super easy because they thrive in moderate light. They are also hardly susceptible to pests. However, they do sometimes need to be trimmed if they become too large or just bald. Would you like your Schefflera to regain its full, compact shape? Then cut off the long branches up to the trunk. This will ensure that the trunk gets more sunlight over the winter, so that new branches can sprout in the spring to make your Schefflera houseplant fuller!
When should houseplants be pruned?
Most houseplants are pruned at the beginning of the growing season. This is in late winter or early spring. Woody houseplants are an exception to this and should be kept up throughout the year to remove dead leaves and branches.
Do you have a flowering houseplant? If so, a good rule of thumb is to prune the plant just after they have finished flowering. If you prune the plant before it starts to bloom, you could accidentally remove unopened buds, and that's a shame, of course!
How should houseplants be pruned?
You can prune a houseplant to determine its size, shape and health. The best way to prune your houseplants is to make sure you make a tight cut and don't crush the stems. Therefore, make sure you use a sharp knife or pruning shears. The Edward pruning shears are the ideal scissors for cutting off twigs, dry leaves or flowers. Often, normal secateurs are too large for the smaller houseplants, so the chance exists that you accidentally cut off too much or the wrong thing, which is of course a shame! Edward is razor sharp, super small, namely about 11 cm and therefore easy to use!
So you prune a houseplant at the beginning of the growing season or when they have finished flowering. Do not prune the houseplant when there are still unopened buds on the stems. Look for leaves on the plant that are brown or discolored. They may also be drooping or dry. Use the pruning shears to cut them off just below the brown or dead part at a 45-degree angle. This will ensure that you can leave as much of the healthy leaves as possible.
If a large portion of the leaves look dead, you can cut off the entire branch. When doing this, make sure that the main stem remains intact. For faded houseplants, also cut away the dead, brown and discolored flowers. Pruning the plant and removing dead branches, leaves and flowers will stimulate the growth of the plant!
Tips for pruning houseplants
Pruning a houseplant is not difficult, but there are a few tips we would like to give you to make sure you prune the plant the right way. A plant grows from the top down, which means that new growth emerges from the bud at the end of a branch or stem. To encourage new growth, cut off these so-called "dominant" buds. Prune some branches by a quarter, others by half, and still others up to the stem. In this way, the plant itself will start to follow a random growth pattern.
When pruning, it is important that you work neatly and cleanly. Make sure your pruning shears are sterile by cleaning them with alcohol between 70% and 100%. You can do this by rubbing it clean with a cloth, spraying it or immersing it. Any cutting or trimming you do to the plant can expose it to disease!
When you are pruned out, take a good look at the buds you have cut off. These can be used to make new cuttings! Put the cuttings in a cup of water and wait for them to grow roots. Then the cutting can be planted and is ready to grow!