It’s Time to Prune Your Houseplants: Here’s How the Experts Do It

It’s Time to Prune Your Houseplants: Here’s How the Experts Do It

By Samantha Daly
Bloomscape’s resident “Plant Mom,” AKA horticulturalist Joyce Mast, gives us the scoop on how to prep your plant buddies for their dormant season.

After a long  summer of sun and growth, it might be time to check in on your houseplants. We talked to direct-to-consumer plant shop Bloomscape to get their expertise on keeping your blooms in tip-top shape as they settle down for the colder months.

Gather Your Supplies

You’ll need a pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears.

Remove Any Dead or Dying Leaves

Toss any fallen leaves from the soil (they can attract pests and create an environment for mold), and locate all yellowing or brown crispy leaves. Cut the leaves that are brown or yellow at the base, which is either near the stem or at the soil. For brown or yellowing tips, remove just the affected edge or spots.

Trim Healthy Leaves to Encourage New Growth

Look for a leaf node, and cut about ¼-inch above that scar at an angle (you can keep these cuttings to propagate later).

Check the Length of Trailing Plants

For trailing plants, you’ll want to cut about four to six inches back on each vine.

Trim Dead Growth to Keep Your Plant Vibrant

When removing dead growth, cut as close to the base of the brown or yellow stem as possible. For brown or yellowing leaf tips, remove just the affected edge or spots.

More Plant Mom Tips:

  • Use houseplant snips if possible; they’re easy to manipulate into little nooks and crannies, and are sharper and more accurate than outdoor pruners.
  • Wipe the blades of your scissors/shears with rubbing alcohol between each snip.
  • Be careful not to remove more than 20% of the entire plant while pruning; you may need to prune in stages to avoid removing too many leaves at once.

Looking to expand your houseplant collection? Here’s what you need to start your indoor jungle.

Bloomscape Pothos Collection
Fun and lively collection of three trailing pothos plants. Pothos Collection is a fun, easy collection consisting of three unique varieties of pothos. Each is unique in their leaf coloring and variegation, all pairing well together.
Bloomscape Micro Tomato
Delicious and fun to grow tomato plant. A Tomato plant is a garden staple. It is an easy to grow plant that will reward you with lots to harvest given a little care.
Bloomscape Tough Stuff Collection
Three easy and adaptable plants, including a Sansevieria, ZZ Plant, and Hoya variety. Whether you’re starting your plant family or adding to it, these hand-selected easy plants are perfect for less-than-ideal conditions.
Bloomscape Bamboo Palm
Lush and dramatic, with dark green fronds. The Bamboo Palm is found in the forests of Mexico and Central America where it lives in the shade of larger trees. This means it has adapted to lower light conditions found in most homes.
Bloomscape Kimberly Queen Fern
Graceful, soft, and timeless.

We love the products we feature and hope you do, too. If you buy something through a link on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Related Reading:

The Beginner’s Guide to Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors

The Beginner’s Guide to Propagating Houseplants


Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.