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How to Trim Dead Plant Leaves? [Easy & Safe Steps]

Are you fed up cleaning or grooming the mushy leaves of houseplants? If the leaves are irrecoverable after pests and diseases, you are left with nothing but trimming them!

To trim the dead plant leaves, take sharp sterilized scissors, place them at an angle of 45 degrees to the leaf node, and cut off the leaf. Similarly, you can cut off the dead leaf along with the stalk for plants. 

Once your plant leaves turn yellow or brown completely, there’s no turning back. My principle is that dead leaves always equate to the need for trimming. Let’s learn more about it!

Why Should you Trim Dead Leaves off Plants?

The primary need for trimming dead leaves is to direct plants’ energy for healthier growth. Why direct a plant’s energy into a dying leaf that will die anyway? 

Trimming helps save the nutrients required by dead leaves, which can rather be directed for new healthy growth. 

Another reason to cut off dead leaves is to prevent the spread of diseases and pests. No one wants a pest or disease-infected leaf to transmit the infection to other parts of the plant. 

Similarly, dead leaves by yellowing or browning coloration can hide the plant’s beauty. Thus, you can chop the dead leaves and jazz up your space with the vibrant and healthy-looking plant.  

After pruning and giving enough fertilizers and sunlight, you can make houseplants, including Philodendron and Rubber Plant.  

If the leaves are not diseased or pests infested, trimming dead leaves is not mandatory. You can always let the dying leaves fall off naturally, but as the process takes up your plant’s energy, I don’t recommend it. 

If you possess several plants, learn about pruning a Ponytail Palm and Raspberries.

How do you Trim Dead Leaves?

Always prune your plants during the spring or summer when plants receive enough sunlight and grow actively.

Before that, collect the tools, including gardening shears, gardening gloves, isopropyl alcohol and cleaning cloth or cotton balls. 

Steps to Trim Dead Plant Leaves

  • Sterilize the Tools: Dip the cotton ball in the isopropyl alcohol and rub the shearing tools for a while. Also, put on your gardening gloves to protect your skin.
  • Make your Cuts: If a tiny portion of the leaf is damaged, chop that part off. To trim off an entire leaf, place your scissor at the leaf node, the point from where the leaf emerges, and cut it. In the case of plants like Monstera, you can cut off the leaf along with its stalk.  
Avoid trimming more than 1/3rd portion of the plant. 
  • Dispose of the Cut Leaves: Finally, collect the dead leaves in a bag and immediately dispose of them in the garbage bin. 

From Editorial Team


Dead leaves leach the plant’s energy and disturb its nutrition flow, so it is always best to trim dead leaves off your plant. 

However, always check if your scissors are sterilized and sharp before chopping off the plant to prevent any injury to your plant.