How to Prune Philodendron Plants?

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Being tropical plants, Philodendrons enjoy mild to warm temperatures and perform best as houseplants. They are easy to care for and they grow really fast, so at some point you will need to prune them.

Even though they don’t require a lot of pruning, it is recommended to cut back your Philodendron plant periodically or it will become way too large for its surroundings.

By trimming it, you can get rid of dead leaves, also you will be able to cut healthy branches to propagate a brand-new plant.

In this article I am going to answer some fundamental questions about pruning a Philodendron plant.

You’ll also find out about other tips and tricks, how, when and why you should trim your plant!

Why Should You Trim a Philodendron?

Philodendron plants are very rewarding houseplants as they grow fast and enjoy warm, sunny environments.

However, when it comes to cutting back Philodendron plants, there can be different reasons that make plant owners grab the pruning shears.

Here are some examples of why you should consider trimming your Philodendron:

  • If you want to encourage new growth, don’t be afraid to cut back damaged stems or leaves. In a couple of weeks, it will reward you with brand new healthy stems.
  • One of the most common reasons why people cut back their plants is that they simply outgrow their room or surroundings.
  • By pruning your plant, you can get rid of yellow, damaged or old leaves and stems, giving your plant a healthier look.
  • You can propagate the plant by cutting healthy stems and repotting them.

 How do You Trim a Philodendron Plant?

Depending on why you want to trim your philodendron, here are three different ways you can trim this plant.

Let’s take a look at each:

– Cut old / yellow stems and leaves

Cutting back leaves and stems that are yellow from being old or damaged is an essential thing you will need to do occasionally. You can use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut away the leaves. Here are the steps you will need to follow:

  • Grab the damaged stem gently and try to pull it away from the rest of the plant.
  • After you ensure that you won’t do any harm to healthy stems or leaves, cut the chosen stem at the base, where it meets the plant’s trunk.
  • In some cases, you might notice some leaves have turned yellow, so you won’t need to cut away the whole stem. Cut the leaf above the joint.
  • Once you are done, don’t forget to water your plant, this will reduce the stress your plant went through during the pruning process.

– Prune your Philodendron to help it fit its surroundings

Another common reason people feel the need to cut back their Philodendron plants is that they outgrow their room. Similarly to the previous method mentioned above, you can use pruning shears, a sharp knife or scissors.

Take a look at the steps of pruning your plant for contain its size:

  • Aim for the longest stems that are the oldest and most probably they will turn yellow soon.
  • After you identify them, cut the stems at the joint where they connect to the main plant.
  • Oldest stems tend to descend below the soil. In this case cut them at the soil line.
  • The last step is watering your plant thoroughly right after pruning.

– Prune your Philodendron to propagate it

As I have mentioned at the beginning of this article, you can also prune your Philodendron plant to propagate it.

Here are the steps on how to do this successfully:

  • To propagate your plant, choose long, healthy stems. Make sure that the stem has at least three large leaves.
  • Cut the stems right above a healthy leaf. You can also try to cut it back directly at the joint.
  • Your final propagating stem should be 3 to 6 inches long.
  • After you cut the propagating stem, water your main plant immediately.
  • Prepare a pot and place the stem 8 inches deep in the potting soil.
  • Water the soil until it is moist.
  • Place the pot in bright sunlight and don’t forget to keep the soil moist. New leaves will appear after 2 weeks.

When Should You Trim a Philodendron?

While Philodendron plants can be pruned safely all year round, the best time to schedule pruning is during spring or fall.

If your purpose is to remove yellow or damaged leaves and stems, you can give your plant a light trim anytime of the year.

Before starting the pruning process, make sure that you sterilize your tools properly with regular rubbing alcohol to remove any mud or debris.

This way you can prevent disease-causing bacteria getting to the fresh cuts and affecting badly the health of your Philodendron plant.

Should You Cut Off Dying Philodendron Leaves?

The answer is yes. Once a Philodendron leaf gets damaged, there is no going back, so you will need to cut it back. Whenever you notice a discolored, defoliated or diseased or damaged lead, don’t hesitate to snip it off.

This will give your plant a refreshed and healthy look. Also, pruning will help your plant grow new stems and leaves before you even notice.

Can You Replant Philodendron Leaf Cuttings?

To this particular question, the answer is no. Philodendron plants can be propagated by stems. However, the propagating stem needs to contain at least three healthy large leaves, none of the Philodendron leaves should ever be buried in the potting soil.

Wrapping Up

To wrap things up, there are some significant reasons why Philodendron plants occasionally require pruning.

Whether it’s propagating, growth encouragement, maintenance or size control your purpose is, pruning your Philodendron will not only give your plant a refreshed look, but it will also help to get the best out of your plant.

Follow the above-mentioned tips and steps regarding the methods and schedule of pruning and enjoy the beautiful look of your freshly pruned or propagated Philodendron plants.

Updated: August 31, 2020

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