Pruning house plants

So your house plant is taking over your desk and it is time to beat it back. Or your houseplant is growing up a storm but only on one stem and you’d like the plant to be bushier.

Most house plants are easily trimmed except cactus.

Vines can be pinched off with your fingers near the end of the vine. Or be brave and cut the vine much further back. Almost every vine will then grow a few new branches where you made the cut. If you don’t cut back far enough, the plant will be scraggly near the pot, then full at the edges so be brave.

Shrub like plants; jades, rubber trees, fittonias, etc are best trimmed by cutting some of the branches back to where they branch off from the main. Take your time, rotate your plant after each cut. You can’t stick it back on afterwards so go slowly. You want to thin the plant so that all the leaves receive light. Especially those deep inside the plant. Then make the cuts you want to make the plant less scraggly. Most will branch from the bottom if you keep pinching back the newest growth on the main stems at the top.

Orchids, Mother-in-Law’s tongues, spathes and plants of that nature must be divided. Wait till you are ready to repot the plant. Remove the dirt from the roots, washing it in the kitchen sink works well unless the plant has gotten too large. Using a sharp knife divide the plant giving each section leaves and roots. Pot up each section in a different pot.