Philodendron Plowmanii In Dark Green Color Pot On the Table

How To Prune Your Philodendron? [Expert Tips]

To prune your Philodendron, simply use clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors to trim away overgrown or dead stems and leaves, making cuts just above a leaf node. This encourages new growth and maintains the plant’s health and appearance.

As a dedicated plant parent, ensuring your philodendron thrives is your top priority. Proper trimming plays a vital role in maintaining its health and appearance. Overgrown stems can restrict new growth and lead to a sad, droopy appearance, while neglecting dead or damaged leaves can invite pests and diseases that may spread throughout the plant.

Understanding Your Philodendron

Philodendrons are an incredibly diverse group of plants that belong to the Araceae family. There are over 400 different species with varying growth habits, leaf shape and size, texture, coloration and even blooming habits.

Some common types include heart-leafed (Philodendron hederaceum), split-leafed (Philodendron bipinnatifidum), velvet-leafed (Philodendron scandens) among others. It’s essential that you understand what type of philodendron you have before attempting any pruning techniques.

Different species have different growth patterns that require specific trimming techniques. Heart-leafed philodendrons, for example, are trailing vines that can grow up to 10 feet long if left untrimmed.

Split-leafed philodendrons tend to grow more upright with new leaves emerging from the center of the plant. By knowing your philodendron’s specific needs, you can avoid accidentally harming it when you trim it.

Besides, by learning more about your philodendron and its unique features, you’ll be better equipped to take care of it in general. So now that we’ve discussed why proper trimming is essential and what makes a philodendron unique let’s dive into how to tell when your plant needs a trim.

Signs That Your Philodendron Needs Trimming

Girl Posing with Philodendron Jose Buono Plant at Garden
Instagram @wens_jungle

If you’re unsure whether or not your plant needs some pruning love, there are several signs to look out for: Yellowing Leaves: If your philodendron has yellow leaves at the bottom of the stem, then those leaves are old and dying naturally. However, if they’re yellowing higher up on the stem or in an uneven pattern across the plant – then it could be signifying under or over-watering, a nutrient deficiency or pests/disease infestation.

Overgrowth: If you see long stems reaching out in every direction with no new leaves emerging from them – then it’s time for some pruning! Overgrown stems cause entanglement and compete with newer growth for nutrients.

Dead Leaves: Any dead leaves should be removed immediately as they’ll start attracting pests like spider mites causing permanent damage on healthy foliage if not dealt with promptly. Now that we know what signs point towards trimming needs let’s talk about what tools we need to get started!

Different Types Of Philodendrons

Philodendrons are a diverse group of plants, with over 400 species and countless hybrids. As such, it’s important to understand which type of philodendron you have before attempting to trim it.

Some varieties, like the heart-leaf philodendron, are easy to care for and won’t require much trimming. Others, like the tree philodendron or the split-leaf philodendron, can grow quite large and require regular pruning.

One popular variety is the Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant. This plant has unique leaves with natural holes that create an interesting visual effect.

However, these holes can also make it difficult to determine which parts of the leaf should be trimmed. On the other hand, the Xanadu philodendron has smaller leaves and a more compact growth habit that makes it easier to manage.

How Understanding Your Specific Type Of Philodendron Is Crucial For Effective Trimming

Different types of philodendrons have different growth habits and care requirements. For example, some varieties prefer bright indirect light while others thrive in lower light conditions. In order to effectively trim your philodendron, you need to know what its ideal growing conditions are so that you can avoid causing any damage during pruning.

Additionally, understanding your specific type of philodendron will help you determine which parts of the plant need trimming. Some varieties may have thick stems that require regular cutting in order to prevent overgrowth while others may only need occasional removal of dead or damaged leaves.

Overall, knowing your specific type of philodendron is crucial for effective trimming because it allows you to tailor your pruning methods based on its unique needs and characteristics. By taking the time to research your plant and understand its ideal growing conditions, you’ll be able to trim it in a way that promotes healthy growth and overall plant health.

Signs That Your Philodendron Needs Trimming

Lemon Lime Philodendron on top of Shelve inside Home

Telltale Signs Of Trouble

Are you noticing your philodendron looking a bit shabby lately? Do the leaves look pale, yellow or brown? Are the stems getting too long and lanky?

These are all common signs that your philodendron needs trimming. When left unchecked, these issues can contribute to poor plant health and growth.

As such, it’s critical to address these signs promptly before they escalate into bigger problems. Let’s take a closer look at some of the telltale signs that signal it’s time for some good old-fashioned pruning.

Yellowing Leaves

One of the most visible signs that your philodendron needs trimming is yellowing leaves. This discoloration can happen for several reasons—root rot, overwatering or lack of nutrients—but it can also be due to dead or dying foliage that needs removal.

Contrary to what some people believe, yellowing leaves aren’t always a sign of death; rather, they’re an indication that something is amiss with your plant. By trimming off the affected leaves and identifying the root cause of discoloration, you’ll help your philodendron regain its vigor and vibrancy in no time.


Another sign that your philodendron is in need of trimming is overgrowth. If you’re noticing long stems or vines sprawling all over the place—especially if they’re blocking light from reaching other parts of the plant—it’s time for some pruning action. While we love our plants big and bold, too much growth isn’t always a good thing.

Not only does it make it hard for other parts of the plant to thrive but also makes it difficult for you to maintain its shape and size. Plus, removing excess growth promotes strong, healthy foliage and helps to prevent diseases and pests.

Dead Or Damaged Leaves

Dead or damaged leaves can also signal that it’s time for some trimming. Whether caused by weather damage, pests, or disease, these leaves are no longer serving a purpose in your plant’s life cycle and need to be removed promptly.

Not only do dead leaves look unsightly, but they can also attract unwanted critters and harbor fungal spores that can cause more harm than good. By removing these leaves promptly, you’ll help your plant conserve energy by focusing its resources on new growth.

Why Prompt Action Is Necessary

While it may be tempting to let things slide and wait until the last minute to tackle trimming tasks, prompt action is critical for maintaining optimal plant health. Waiting too long to address yellowing leaves, overgrowth or dead foliage can result in weak stems, stunted growth and even death if left unaddressed for too long.

In addition to promoting optimal plant health, regular trimming also helps to keep our plants looking neat and tidy. So don’t wait until your philodendron looks like a wild jungle before taking action—give it the love and attention it deserves by keeping an eye out for telltale signs of trouble and addressing them promptly.

Tools Needed For Trimming

Get Your Philodendron Ready With High-Quality Tools

When it comes to trimming your philodendron, you want to make sure you have the right tools for the job. The last thing you want is to damage your beloved plant or have to re-do a trimming session because your tools weren’t up to par. It’s essential that you invest in high-quality tools that will last, so here are some tips on what you need and how to choose wisely.

The Pruning Shears: Your Best Friend In Trimming

The most important tool for trimming your philodendron is a good pair of pruning shears. These come in different shapes and sizes, but the most common types are bypass pruners and anvil pruners. Bypass pruners work like scissors, with two sharp blades that make a clean cut.

Anvil pruners have only one sharp blade and a flat surface against which the branch is pressed, making them better for thicker stems. When choosing pruning shears, look for ones made of high-quality materials like stainless steel or carbon steel.

The handles should fit comfortably in your hand and be well-balanced so that they don’t cause fatigue during extended use. Make sure the blades are sharp enough to make clean cuts without crushing or tearing the plant tissue.

Gloves: Protect Your Hands From Sharp Edges

Trimming can sometimes be messy work, especially if you’re dealing with thorny branches or sticky sap. That’s why investing in a good pair of gloves is essential for protecting your hands from cuts, scratches, and other injuries. Look for gloves made of durable materials like leather or synthetic fabrics that can withstand wear and tear.

When choosing gloves, make sure they fit snugly but comfortably so that they don’t slip off or interfere with your dexterity. Avoid gloves that are too bulky or thick, as they can make it difficult to handle the pruning shears or feel the plant’s texture.

Disinfectant Spray: Keep Your Tools And Plants Safe

One of the most overlooked tools in trimming is a good disinfectant spray. This is especially important if you trim multiple plants or suspect that your philodendron might be infected with pests or diseases.

Disinfectant sprays help prevent cross-contamination and keep your tools and plants safe from harmful bacteria and fungi. Look for disinfectant sprays that are specifically designed for gardening tools and safe to use on plants.

Some common ingredients in disinfectant sprays include bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or alcohol. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and allow enough time for the spray to dry before using your tools again.

Preparing Your Plant

Man Keeping Philodendron Emerald Duke Plant On His Lap at Home Garden Area
Instagram @lejardinph

If you want to make trimming your philodendron a breeze, then you need to prepare your plant properly beforehand. Preparing the plant involves watering it thoroughly so that it is well hydrated and easier to work with.

This will also help prevent any damage to the leaves or stems when trimming. Watering your philodendron before trimming is not only easier for you but also beneficial for the plant.

When a plant is lacking in water, it can become stressed and more susceptible to damage during pruning. By watering the plant beforehand, you are ensuring that it is relaxed and hydrated, increasing its chances of coming out of the process healthy and strong.

To make sure your philodendron is adequately hydrated, give it a thorough watering about 24 hours before you plan on trimming. This will allow time for the water to be absorbed into the soil, making sure every part of the plant is well-hydrated.

Identifying What Needs To Be Trimmed

Before starting any trimming process on your philodendron, identifying what needs to be trimmed is crucial. You don’t want to cut off anything that shouldn’t be cut off or leave anything behind that should have been removed.

Some signs that indicate what needs trimming include damaged leaves or stems, overgrowth, yellowing leaves or abnormalities in leaf growth patterns. It’s important not just to remove anything that looks off but instead take a closer look at each section of your philodendron before beginning.

When looking at each section of your philodendron take note of which leaves are dying back naturally versus which ones have damaged sections caused by pests or other means. Similarly, examine stem growth patterns carefully; if one area appears thicker than others due to excessive growth simply chop this segment down until it matches up with its neighbors.

Cutting The Leaves And Stems

Philodendron Selloum In 8" Decorated Black Pot at Home Living Area
Instagram @igorjosif

Once you have identified what needs to be trimmed, you can start cutting the leaves and stems. Cutting is a delicate process that requires patience and precision.

If you go at it carelessly, you could end up damaging the rest of the plant. When trimming your philodendron, always use sharp pruning shears as dull ones can cause jagged cuts that lead to more damage.

Before cutting any sections off your plant, carefully analyze which sections need trimming and how much needs to be removed. When making a cut, make sure that it is made just above a node so that new growth can continue.

Ensure that each cut is clean and straight to avoid any damage to the plant. Remember that cutting too much or too little could affect the overall health of your philodendron, therefore take things slow and steady.

Disinfecting Tools After Use

After completing the trimming process, don’t forget about disinfecting your tools. Properly cleaning and sanitizing pruning tools help prevent diseases or pests from spreading from one plant to another. To disinfect your tools after use:

1. Clean off any debris from the blades with a brush or cloth.

2. Soak in rubbing alcohol for at least 30 seconds.

3. Rinse with water.

4. Dry thoroughly before storing them away.

Aftercare Tips

Plant Loving Girl with her Favorite Plant Philodendron Painted Lady with Moss Support Stick at Home
Instagram @_wildfern

The Importance Of Aftercare

Trimming your philodendron is just the first step in taking care of your plant. Proper aftercare ensures that your philodendron stays healthy and vibrant for years to come.

After trimming, it’s essential to give your plant some time to recover from the pruning process. Your philodendron needs extra love and care during this time, so follow these tips for the best results.

Watering Your Philodendron

One of the most important things you can do after trimming your philodendron is to water it properly. Make sure you water it thoroughly, but not too much as overwatering can harm the plant as well.

Watering Can for Indoor Plants – 35oz
  • 【Premium 304 Stainless Steel Material】- Our watering can is made of premium 304 stainless steel The welds around the bottom of the spout and around the two points where the handle connects to the body are attached well and is powder coated, which is leakproof, rust-resistant, scratch resistant and long lasting without fading. The indoor plant watering can seems simple, but it is not, it’s not just a gardening tool, but a simple and modern decoration, and well matching various home decor styles.
  • 【Long Gooseneck Spout Design & More Precise Watering】- Watering can features an extra-long spout, making it easy to reach all of plants without knocking any of them over, watering can directs water precisely any dry areas or where it is needed and better controls the water flow. Easily aim where you water – spills are a worry of the past! This design makes watering a breeze without bending or leaning too much, making it easier and more convenient to use.
  • 【Semi-opening Spill-proof Design & Comfortable Wooden Handle 】- Watering can for indoor plant with wide semi-opening on the top, can inject water quickly from the faucet. This stainless steel watering can built-in spill guard design on the top, you can watering your plants quickly without worrying about spilling. This watering can has a thick, natural wood handle that is easy to hold and won’t slip out of your grip. Make watering your houseplants easy and enjoyable!
  • 【Perfect Size & 35 Oz Capacity 】Our small watering can features lightweight and well balanced with hold 35 oz amount of water. Reduce the inconvenience of repeated watering. Size of watering pot is 5.4 in height, 4.2 in length, spout length 7 in. It is the perfect size for small indoor plants and outdoor plants (houseplants). The small watering can can be easily lifted when it is full of water, and it can be easily operated even by kids, allowing them to experience the joy of planting.
  • 【Decorative & Functional 】- Our watering can is not limited to just indoor plants, it can be used for outdoor gardening. The small watering cans are available in 3 colors, black, white and green. Just perfect for watering small house plants, hanging plants, tabletop bonsai, potted plants, small cactus. The modern, simple design fits any decor and looks great on display. With a exquisite and light watering can body and real wooden handle, this watering pot serves as a decoration as well!

The aim is to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. Watering too much or too little can lead to root rot or dehydration issues, which will affect the growth and health of your plant.

Exposing Your Philodendron To Light And Airflow

After cutting away parts of your plant, make sure you place it in a spot with good light exposure and airflow. This will help speed up its recovery time by promoting healthy new growth and preventing any potential bacterial or fungal infections caused by excess moisture retention.

Fertilizing Your Philodendron

Fertilizing your philodendron after trimming helps provide nutrients that promote healthy growth and development. We recommend using a balanced fertilizer with nitrogen-rich nutrients such as fish emulsion or compost tea.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Should Philodendron Be Pruned Effectively?

The best way to trim a philodendron is to start by identifying any dead or damaged leaves or stems. Using clean, sharp pruning shears, make a clean cut just above the node or joint where the leaf or stem meets the main stem. This encourages new growth and helps maintain the overall health and appearance of the plant.

At What Location Should I Make Cuts On A Philodendron Plant?

When pruning a philodendron, it is recommended to make cuts just above the nodes or joints where the leaves or stems meet the main stem. This allows the plant to redirect its energy towards new growth and promotes a fuller and healthier appearance.

What Are The Steps To Prune A Large Philodendron Plant?

To prune a large philodendron, begin by assessing the plant and identifying any overcrowded or tangled branches. Use clean and sharp pruning shears or loppers to selectively remove these branches, cutting just above the nodes or joints. Additionally, you can trim any dead or damaged leaves or stems. Remember to step back periodically to evaluate the plant’s shape and symmetry while pruning to achieve the desired result.

When Is The Ideal Time To Trim My Philodendron Plant?

The ideal time to trim a philodendron is during its active growth period, which is typically in the spring or summer months. During this time, the plant has higher chances of recovering quickly from pruning and producing new growth. However, it’s important to note that light pruning or removal of dead or damaged foliage can be done throughout the year as needed to maintain the plant’s health and appearance.

After reading this, check out our other articles on:


Trimming a philodendron may seem like a daunting task, but following these steps ensures that you maintain a healthy and vibrant plant. Make sure you understand what type of philodendron you have before starting the process, identify signs that indicate when it needs trimming, and use appropriate tools. Ensure proper aftercare by watering, exposing it to light and airflow, and fertilizing it.

The philodendron is a beautiful plant that adds life to any space. With the right care, your philodendron can thrive for years to come!

Scroll to Top