How to Prune Your Indoor Plants
Unlike many outdoor plants, your indoor houseplants don't require to be pruned frequently, but at some point, they will need some cleanup to look perfect. Cutting off their dead foliage, leaves, or branches encourages overall growth, therefore making them more attractive and inviting. Where some of your houseplants bring an appealing look to your living room, others might have spindly growth which will require immediate trimming. Whether it's to keep them looking clean, preparing for a move... whatever the reason is, it's imperative to understand how and when to prune your indoor plants to avoid unnecessary stress for other plants around.
Before moving ahead to the pruning instructions, read on to know when you should start pruning your houseplants!
Ideal time to prune houseplants
Typically, you should prune your houseplants at the start of their growing season. Most houseplant varieties prefer late winter or early spring seasons to be pruned. However, woody indoor houseplants don't follow this season-wise pruning as it requires pruning all year-round to get rid of dead branches and leaves. If you have flowering houseplants, you can prune them after they have completed their flowering process.
Six easy steps to prune your indoor plants efficiently
Monitor your plant’s shape
Besides taking care of your houseplant, you should also observe its overall shape and structure. Take note if your plant has any spindly growth, seems dense on one side, or has dying flowers on it. Be sure to check specific areas of likely new development called latent buds. Generally, buds are present at a point where the leaf connects the plant stem.
Know your plant tools
If you have houseplants with thick branches like an indoor tree, pruning shears will be suitable for them. However, kitchen scissors work best for slender ones giving them a clean cut.
Cut off the dead parts
When the leaves and stems of your houseplants are dead, you need to clip or pinch them off. You can also pull out the potted plant's stem specifically at the root and wait for some time to allow the soil to dry before the next watering.
Cut off spent flowers
People who are dealing with flowering houseplants can detach every spent flower simply by pinching it off. Alternatively, you can clip these flowers back, possibly near to the main stem.
Make new cuts for fresh growth
You can encourage freshly new growth of your houseplants by making a few careful cuts. If you are dealing with smaller stems, try to cut a bit before its leaf node. For larger stems, make the cut near the main branch. However, you should ideally not remove a part of your plant more than 25 per cent.
Remember that not all houseplants like pruning
Before pruning your houseplants, you should know if they can tolerate it or not. Both Palms and Norfolk Island Pines possess a dominant terminal bud but these don't form latent buds. Therefore, if you remove the terminal bud from these plants, your plant will die and so you should never prune such plants. Likewise, orchids also can't withstand pruning. However, if you see some dead flower spikes on your orchid plant, you can remove them when they come outside their leaves. After a few months, you can hopefully expect new leaves growing on your plants.