How To Prune A Philodendron?

Pruning is an essential part of plant maintenance – it gets rid of old leaves, helps you shade the plant the way you want it, plus it can make it more healthy overall. If you are unsure how to prune a Philodendron then read on – we’ve got everything you need to know right here!

How To Prune A Philodendron

how to prune a philodendron

Pruning your Philodendron will actually help it to grow well, healthy and strong – even if it feels a bit cruel to be snipping leaves off!

  1. Wait until your plant definitely needs a trim before you get the secateurs out. If you do it too soon, you can end up stunting the growth or damaging the plant.
  2. Make sure your shears or secateurs are sharp, and clean. This means that you can make good cuts, and you don’t risk transferring disease from one plant to another.
  3. Start by removing the oldest, leggiest shoots of your Philodendron – the ones that have yellowing leaves or are completely leafless.
  4. Cut the stems where the base meets the main trunk of the plant, and if you can’t see a join then cut it off at soil level.
  5. Always try to cut just above a node, so that the plant will come back with strong, healthy growth.
  6. As long as your Philodendron is healthy, you can put the trimmings in the compost, but if it had pests or disease then its best to dispose of them in the bin, or by burning them.

Where Do You Cut A Philodendron Plant?

So, it’s pruning time! Your Philodendron is taking over and you need your living room back – but how do you go about it?

  1. Always use a pair of sharp, clean secateurs. If your plant is extra big and has thick branches it might be wise to wear gardening gloves.
  2. Make cuts at just where the base of the stem meets the main stem of the plant. If you can’t see this, then cut the stem at soil level.
  3. If you are planning to take the stems as cuttings, then always ensure you remove as many nodes as you can.
  4. If you are pruning for space and plant health, leave a few nodes below where you cut, so the leaves can grow back.
  5. If your Philodendron is a vine type with thin stems, you can just pinch these off with your fingers instead.
  6. It’s best to prune your Philodendron early in the growing season, before it has really got itself going again.

How Do You Prune A Philodendron Bushy?

It may seem counter intuitive to cut a plant down to make it bushier – but this is exactly what good pruning will do!

  • Cut the stems that are growing from the top and trailing downwards. This will encourage the plant to grow more from the top.
  • Always cut just above the lead node, so that you don’t leave any bare stems with no chance of any regrowth.
  • Trim off any yellow or brown leaves, as these are no longer serving the plant, and removing them will encourage more growth.
  • Remove long, leggy growth. We’re after gorgeous, bursting green foliage, right? Long trailing stems that aren’t really doing much are taking nutrients from the plant.
  • Prune at the beginning of the growing season. If you time it just right, your plant will be getting ready to grow bushy anyway, but you can decide where that growth goes!

This video is very helpful in showing you how to prune your Philodendron or Pothos to make it bushy:

Can You Cut Back A Philodendron?

You absolutely can, and there is a lot to say that you absolutely should! Pruning, despite seeming a bit brutal, is actually very beneficial for plants.

Pruning your Philodendron back hard may be a little heart wrenching – but it will bounce back, we promise!

You shouldn’t have to do too much more than a little gentle pruning once in a while, but if your Philodendron has got out of control or infested, then you might have to do something.

You can cut back your Philodendron if it has started to take over your living space, and you will find that it doesn’t take too long to return.

A good prune every now and then can also help you check over the health of your plant, and see if it has the right soil, a big enough pot, and no diseases or bugs.

Cutting back a Philodendron can also help you identify older, damaged leaves and stems, and remove them so the plant can concentrate on new growth.

You can also, as we know, propagate Philodendron very easily, so this is a great time to make new plants out of old!

Why Is My Philodendron Leggy?

Why Is My Philodendron Leggy

In the right conditions, Philodendron should be bushy and healthy. If you notice it starting to look a little leggy, we have some ideas for you:

  • Give it more light. Philodendrons don’t like to be in direct sunlight, but they do need the sun to grow, so consider moving it.
  • Prune it. Removing the long traily stems will help your Philodendron put its energies in the leaves you actually want it to grow!
  • Add some nutrients. Although they are not heavy feeders, Philodendron do like a good, balanced fertilizer every couple of weeks in the growing season.
  • Mist it. These plants do enjoy a bit of humidity, so getting the spray bottle out once in a while will help them no end.

Now that you are armed with some great tips on how to prune your Philodendron, you are ready to get the shears out!

Just remember that pruning is really good for plants, and it can stimulate new growth, so you are actually doing your Philodendron a favor by giving it a haircut.

2 thoughts on “How To Prune A Philodendron?”

    • There is no hard and fast answer to this, as all plants grow at different rates depending on their conditions. The best time to prune is when you notice that your Philodendron is getting out of control, or you want to shape it better, or the leaves are stagnating and not growing well.


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