How to Trim House Plants


House plants are often tropical or sub tropical plants specially adapted to growth inside the home. They have basic requirements: a modicum of light, lots of water, fertilizer and good potting soil. On occasion--and with certain varieties--regular trimming is required. Trimming trains the plant to grow and improves the appearance of the plant. A properly trained house plant is compact with dense foliage. Frequent trimming will achieve this.

Step 1

Locate branches that are long or overgrown and find the new growth at the end of the branch.

Step 2

Gently grasp the branch by the stem near a leaf joint, and gently pinch and twist the growth until it comes off. Pinching at a leaf node promotes side growth.

Step 3

Prune away dead or diseased branches from the plant, cutting back the branch at a leaf node using a pair of sharp, clean pruning shears. Cut at a slight angle to keep the cut clean. Wipe the pruning shears with alcohol before each cut to prevent spreading disease.

Step 4

Remove dead flower buds from a house plant, cutting it at the node to encourage new flower growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Alcohol wipes


  • North Dakota State University Extension: Pruning Indoor Plants
  • Texas A & M: House Plants
Keywords: trim house plants, pruning house plants, house plant care

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.