Plant Care

How to Trim Your Plants

To promote growth and deter mold and pests such as fungus gnats, it is sometimes necessary to trim and remove dead or dying leaves from your plant. This helps the plant send energy to the healthiest leaves, as yellow and brown crispy leaves will not turn green again.

Follow this step-by-step guide from the Grow-How Team to learn how to properly trim and clean your plants.

Step 1

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

How To Trim Your Plants: Supplies

Step 2

Locate all yellowing or brown crispy leaves. Gently remove any fallen leaves from the soil, as they can attract pests and create an environment for mold to thrive.

How to Trim Your Plants - Locate Damaged Leaves

Step 3

If bacteria or leaf spot disease is suspected, wipe the blades of your sharp scissors or pruning shears with rubbing alcohol between each snip. If you are just removing brown crispy leaves due to aging, lack of moisture, or sunburn spots; moisten the blades with water before cutting–this will help prevent damage to healthy tissue.

How to Trim Your Plants - Wipe Shears

Step 4

Cut the leaves that are entirely brown or yellow at the base—near the stem or at the soil. Be sure not to tug the leaves, as this can damage healthy parts of the plant.

How to Trim Your Plants: Trim Brown Ends

Step 5

For brown or yellowing leaf tips, remove just the affected edge or spots.

Grow-How Pro Tip:

Be careful not to remove more than 25% of the leaves and stems while pruning. You may need to prune in stages to avoid removing too many leaves at once.

Now that your plant is looking fresh after its haircut, give it a good drink if the soil is dry and it will be thriving again in no time!

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