How to cut back palm trees


How to Trim a Palm Tree and When Not to Prune

By

Les Engels

Les Engels

Les Engles achieved Master Gardener through the Camden County Extension of the Rutgers Master Gardeners Program. He is an arboretum curator with over 30 years of experience. He describes himself as a "tree-hugging dirt worshipper" who is a member of multiple gardening societies and foundations.

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Updated on 06/21/22

Reviewed by

Andrew Hughes

Reviewed by Andrew Hughes

Andrew Hughes is a certified arborist and member of the International Society of Arborists specializing in tree heal care. He founded and runs Urban Loggers, LLC, a company offering residential tree services in the Midwest and Connecticut.

Learn more about The Spruce's Review Board

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Project Overview

Palm trees are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to pruning, but it's still important to know when and how to trim a palm tree. Unlike many other plants, cutting back the green fronds won't help with growth. In fact, pruning healthy fronds will just minimize food production and ultimately weaken the tree.

However, occasionally you'll have to remove a healthy frond if it's too close to a structure or blocking a road or sidewalk. Otherwise, most of your pruning will be to remove brown fronds, as well as flowers and fruits. The best time to prune is in the spring, especially prior to hurricane and fire season.

When to Prune

  • To remove dead, dying, or damaged fronds

  • To eliminate flowers and fruits that can sap the tree's energy and be a hazard to those below if they drop

  • To improve visibility, such as near a roadway

  • To reduce fire hazards and other damage from fronds too close to structures

  • To get rid of unwanted seedlings

When Not to Prune

Tip

If your palm tree is small enough to prune from the ground, then you are set to start. However, if you need to climb a ladder, you should consider hiring an arborist. It's more than likely the fronds will require a chain saw to cut, and an experienced professional will be able to do this safely. You must always prune from the top down; cutting lower fronds can dislodge upper fronds and trap the pruner against the trunk.

Equipment / Tools

  • Pruning saw
  • Hand pruners
  • Clean cloth or paper towel
  • Step stool (optional)
Protective Gear
  • Gardening gloves
  • Safety glasses

Materials

  • Rubbing alcohol

The Spruce / Almar Creative

  1. Examine Your Palm Tree

    Begin by taking a good look all around your tree. Note whether any fronds are completely brown. You can leave fronds that are turning from green to yellow, as they're still providing the tree with some nourishment.

    Also, note whether any fronds have been broken and are at risk of falling. Likewise, look for fronds that are too close to structures. Finally, check for fruits and flowers, and put them on the to-prune list.

    Tip

    Some palm trees are known as self-cleaning. They include king palms and Kentia palms. Self-cleaning palms naturally drop their dead fronds, so you generally just have to wait until they drop and pick them up from the ground. However, you still might need to prune in certain situations, such as to reduce fire and wind hazards.

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  2. Plan the Prune

    Determine the tools you'll need. In most cases for DIY palm tree pruning, this will include a pruning saw and hand pruners. Prior to making your cuts, sanitize your pruning tools by wiping down the blades with rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth or paper towel.

    As the rubbing alcohol dries, determine the order in which you'll make your cuts, so nothing is ever at risk of falling on you. It's often best to work from the lower fronds upward, so you have a clearer path as you reach up for fronds. Bring out a step stool if necessary.

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  3. Make the Cuts

    Cut fronds at least 2 inches from the trunk. This will prevent damage to the trunk that can introduce pests and diseases.

    As you remove fronds, fruits and flowers will be easier to see. So be on the lookout for any that you hadn't previously noted in your tree inspection.

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

    Tip

    The rule of thumb for palms is to never remove more than one year's worth of growth at a time.

  4. Clean Up

    Responsibly dispose of your pruning waste. Fruits, flowers, and other debris left at the base of the tree might attract pests or even result in unwanted trees growing.

    If you're unsure of how to dispose of your palm fronds—especially diseased fronds—call your local public works department for information. Many areas have special instructions regarding palm waste.

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

Learn How to Trim a Palm Tree in Four Simple Steps

Welcome to another blog! Today we will teach you how to trim a palm tree. Many people think it is a simple task, but it requires a lot of time and proper tools. Don’t worry; Vasquez Tree Services is here to guide you through this process.

First, you need to understand that pruning a palm tree will not make it grow faster. In other words, if you do extensive pruning, it can hurt your trees. That is why you need to learn how to trim them correctly.

Pruning palm trees is a necessary part of every tree care checklist. In this post, we will mention some basic guidelines on how to prune palm trees.

Unlike many trees or shrubs, palms do not need to be trimmed as frequently to stimulate new growth. The golden rule is never to prune trees for aesthetic reasons, only prune when it’s strictly necessary.

You need to understand many things before trimming your trees; therefore, you need to complete this guide. We will give you some tips that will help you.

A lot of experience is required to trim palm trees. This essential guide is perfect for experienced homeowners. Our team will simplify this process into four main steps. Pay attention to every detail; you need to be careful when trimming off the fronds.

As a first tip, you need to make sure they have turned brown. Let’s not waste more time; get comfortable and enjoy this blog.

Learn how to trim a palm tree by following these four tips:

  1. Get the right trimming tools.
  2. Inspect the palm tree
  3. Wait until early spring to trim your palm trees.
  4. Climb your palm and trim the dead fronds.
  5. Make the right cut.
  6. Avoid trimming the green fronds.

Get the Right Trimming Tools

Pruning is a challenging and dangerous task, that is why taking extreme security measures is essential, especially when working at height.

The first thing you should get is cutting blades. This tool will help you clean the trunk, cut the leaves, fruits, and more. We also recommend pruning shears as it is a versatile instrument that will help you with a wide variety of tasks.

If you need to remove thicker and larger fronds from the tree, then use a hand saw or pruning saws. You need to take extra precautions so that you don’t damage the tree. We also recommend using serrated knives to cut off small fronds. This tool can also be useful for removing flower stalks from the tree.

Make sure you clean and disinfect all the tools before you use them. Disinfect the tools by using a household cleaner like Lysol or disinfectant wipes. You can also use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

Inspect the Palm Tree and Look for Damaged Fronds

Old palm tree fronds should be at the top of your pruning list. It is easy to identify them as they turn yellow or brown quickly. The problem with dead fronds is that they attract pests that can harm the tree and the rest of your garden. That is why you need to inspect your palm trees from the roots to the top before trimming them.

When it comes to trimming a palm tree, there are a lot of things to consider. First, you need to look close to the trunk to identify if there’s damage. You can not climb the tree if you’re not sure if it has a strong structure.

You should also inspect the stems for fruits and seeds.

Wait until Early Spring to Trim Your Palm Trees

The optimal time for pruning will be during the vegetative period, spring, summer, and autumn, never in winter.

Depending on the palm tree’s species and size, you need to prune them more or less frequently. To find out your tree’s pruning frequency, you will only have to check the leaves’ state and color. Green fronds are a clear sign that the tree is healthy.  On the other hand, you will have to prune your tree when leaves start turning yellow; it is not advisable to wait until the leaves are completely dry.

Unlike other tree species, the season to prune trees is different for palm trees. We have mentioned the right season to prune trees in other posts, but palm trees are an exception. That is why we decided to create this guide.

Climb Your Palm and Trim the Dead Fronds

Palm trees are an increasingly common plant in hot climates. This plant adds beauty to any garden, but like any plant, they need some care.

You should never cut off the crown of the palm as it will never grow back, and the tree will die quickly.

In this type of pruning, it is essential to remove the plant residues generated.

Make the Right Cut

If you want to make the right cut, then you need to focus on the brown fronds.

Start by looking at the bottom of the foliage for dead or broken fronds. Once you find the dead fronds, take your pruning gears and remove them carefully since you can damage your tree otherwise. You can follow this process to prune any type of palm tree.

King palms and Chamaedoreas are self-cleaning trees; therefore, you do not need to prune them.

Avoid Trimming the Green Fronds

You must avoid pruning the green fronds since it breaks the balance of the palm tree, weakening it, delaying its development, and causing a loss of nutrients.

Eliminate the dry fronds. Moreover, avoid removing the green ones, even if they deteriorate. A badly trimmed palm will reduce its growth. Therefore, you must be careful when making the cuts.

As an extra tip, we advise you to prune the palm flowers as they take energy away from the tree, create hazards for people walking below, and attract pests.

We hope this guide helped you understand how to trim a palm tree. Now you know that you need to prepare the right tools, inspect the tree, and wait until spring to prune your palm trees. If you want to avoid all these tasks, then give us a call and let us help you prune your trees.

How to trim a palm tree at home

How to trim a palm tree without harming it

Contrary to the general opinion that pruning gives a beautiful compact shape to the crown of indoor plants and rejuvenates them, it is extremely undesirable to approach real palm trees with a cutting tool. Unless in exceptional cases caused by necessity. How to prune a palm tree so as not to destroy the plant? You should familiarize yourself with the basic rules and apply them in practice.

As for false palm trees, one has to look individually here, for example, pruning is only beneficial and is one of the most common methods of reproduction. Euphorbia palm loses a lot of juice and gets sick until the wounds heal. That is why, in relation to it, pruning is also used infrequently, only when the plant strongly exposes the stems.

How to prune a real palm tree and when to do it

Before talking about pruning a real palm tree, it is necessary to remind once again: this evergreen plant grows at the top, that is, it is there that the only point of growth is located. By cutting it, you can destroy the entire tropical tree.

Florists with experience in growing palm trees repeatedly draw the attention of beginners to the fact that it is absolutely impossible to cut a palm tree just for the sake of forming a crown. However, there are situations when you still have to pick up a sharp knife or scissors.

How to prune the leaves correctly

With age, as we age, or as a result of care or maintenance errors, the leaves of the house palm sometimes turn yellow. The decorative effect of the plant suffers, and the owner of the palm tree is immediately eager to remove the ugly yellow spot against the background of emerald feathery or fan green. It’s just not worth rushing when it comes to the natural age-related death of the leaf blade.

It has been noticed that the sooner the yellowed leaf is removed, the sooner the next one will begin to turn yellow. Therefore, it is necessary to wait until the leaf blade dies off completely, including the petiole, and only then cut it off, but in no case tear it off.

It happens that the leaves turn yellow due to oversights in care. Part of the leaf turned yellow, the problem was fixed, but what to do with a half-yellow leaf blade? You can cut it with sharp scissors, but so that at least a narrow strip of dead tissue remains near the border with healthy tissue. Otherwise, if you walk with scissors along the green part of the leaf blade, then the yellowing will continue to spread along it further to the petiole.

When it is advisable to cut the roots

Shortening the roots of a palm tree just because they are too long is also strongly discouraged. A palm tree reacts very painfully to a transplant at any age, in a mature one it especially does not tolerate any interference with its root system.

The plant is transplanted more often by transshipment into a larger vessel with the addition of fresh nutrient soil mixture or the top layer of the earthen coma is changed, removing the exhausted one and filling in a new one. After pruning the roots, the palm tree can be in a state of stress for a long time, not grow, often does not recover from this procedure, grows weak and eventually dies.

However, sanitary pruning of damaged or dead roots found during palm transplantation is necessary. It should be done with a sharp disinfected tool, the places of cuts must be sprinkled with charcoal powder. If there is some other reason for damage to the root system - pests or diseases, the plant should be treated with appropriate chemicals.

Care after pruning

If leaves that have died with age are cut off, no further adjustments to the usual plant care are necessary. In the event that pruning of a palm tree turned out to be forced, associated with errors in the maintenance and care of the plant, care should be taken first of all to eliminate care mistakes: adjust watering, get rid of pests and cure diseases if possible.

In the future, adjust the humidification mode so as to prevent overflow or overdrying of the earthen clod, as well as monitor air humidity and thermometer readings. Be sure to pay attention to other factors that can affect the condition of the crown and root system of the palm tree.

Pruning of false palms

Dracaena, yucca, cordilina are classified as false palms, for which pruning plays a significant role in crown formation and reproduction. Another false palm - pandanus perceives pruning as a real representative of the Palm, to which it has nothing to do.

How to prune dracaena correctly

Young dracaena look like beautiful lush bushes, but with age, except for the bushy dracaena, a thin trunk grows, and the leaves along it gradually fall off from old age. The result is a leafless pagon with a diameter of 1.5-2 cm and a height of 1 to 1.2 m, and at the top there is a rosette of leaves. The picture is unattractive and not very decorative.
In this case, cutting the entire trunk to a level of 10–15 cm above the soil comes in handy.

The procedure is advised to be performed during an active period of growth. The plant has adapted to it - dormant buds are arranged in a spiral along the entire trunk, which give shoots immediately after pruning.

Sometimes several lateral pagons are formed from the cut hemp. Extra ones can be removed, since their excessive amount leads to the fact that the plant cannot cope with them, and the weakest shoots die off. It is better to immediately remove those that, by their presence, form a disproportionate crown of dracaena.

A cut stem fragment is used for propagation: the top is rooted separately, and the pagon is cut into cuttings 10–15 cm long each and rooted in a peat-sand mixture in a mini-greenhouse under glass or a plastic bag.
When pruning dracaena, it is important to consider several points:

  • it is done with a sterile instrument;
  • places of cuts are covered with garden pitch or molten paraffin;
  • When trimming, the blade of the knife or pruner must be at an angle of 90 degrees to stem.

Peculiarities of pruning yucca and cordilina

Unlike dracaena, yucca should be pruned when it is just coming out of dormancy, approximately at the end of February - in March. Pruning after the middle of March can lead to the death of the plant.

Florists with experience in growing this false palm say that it is not worth pruning plants whose trunk diameter has not reached 5 cm, because after the procedure it will remain so - thin and ugly. High specimens are cut, in which the cut point is not lower than 50 cm above the level of the earthy coma.

Both the cut and the cut off part of the stem lose moisture very quickly, so they are dried for a couple of hours and filled with molten paraffin. After pruning, the plant is placed in partial shade and watered infrequently (once a week) for 2 months until it recovers from stress. During this period, the buds wake up below the cut and give young shoots. There may be 4-5 or less. In any case, no more than five should remain, the rest must be removed, the sooner the better, so that the juices from the yucca are not pulled.

Pruning cordilina is similar to pruning the false palms already mentioned. The only accent is that the cut should be located in a place on the trunk where it is already ripe, not green. The rest of the rooting steps are the same as with dracaena and yucca. One note - after pruning cordilin, in addition to obtaining lateral processes, it can also give root shoots. Depending on its quantity, the grower decides whether to plant in another pot or leave root offspring near the mother plant in order to get a new attractive lush bush.

Should pandanus be pruned

In terms of pruning, pandanus is closer to true palms than false ones. It cannot be cut in the same way as dracaena or yucca. The dried tips of the leaves are in no hurry to remove, and if they have to do this, then the living tissue on the leaf blade is not affected, leaving approximately 1-2 mm of the dead area on the border with a healthy leaf.

Mature specimens develop aerial roots at the base of the stem. They also should never be cut off. If children form on the side of the trunk, they are separated only after they grow their own roots at least 5 cm long. They are not cut, gently broken off with their hands, dried for some time and rooted in a constantly wet peat-sand mixture at a temperature of at least 20 degrees heat.

Conclusion

Should pruning be applied to real palm? The flower grower will have to carefully read the consequences of the procedure before deciding to take such a step. The exception is cases associated with disease, pests or care errors. And not everyone favorably perceives the formation of the crown. For each specific plant, the issue of the need for pruning is decided individually, but in favor of the healthy state of the pet.

How to properly prune dracaena to get a beautiful plant

Dracaena grows at home up to 15 years. In this case, the evergreen grows with the top, and the lower part of the stem is exposed. The leaves, having worked out the prescribed period of a little more than a year, gradually dry out, leaving a scar on the stem. How to cut dracaena to get side shoots? The plant allows you to create new forms by shortening the shoots.

Principles for the formation of a dracaena bush

A flower shop usually sells dracaena with ready-made branches. At the very beginning, when growing a young plant, a bush is formed from it in greenhouse conditions. It may consist of two or three branches. Is it possible to trim the dracaena in the future? You can form each branch separately on your own, getting a picturesque palm tree. All operations are carried out only on a healthy plant.

Timing of pruning

Dracaena stem is a structure in which dormant buds are arranged in a spiral along the entire length. This is what allows you to get seedlings, the beginnings of new branches on a cut made in any part of the trunk.

Scheduled pruning of dracaena is done during the active period of growth, when the best sap flow. There are times when the formation of a bush is needed urgently. For example, part of the stem broke off. Then the shortening should be carried out according to the rules, below the break point. Any pruning can only be effective on a healthy plant.

How to properly prune dracaena at home

When shortening the central stem, several points should be taken into account:

  • the top with green leaves should be in the zone of comfortable lighting, so the height of the trunk is calculated for the future growth of branches and leaves;
  • for the emergence of new shoots, it will be necessary to provide the necessary conditions for the germination of new shoots from dormant buds;
  • all operations for the design of the correct cut, its sealing are carried out under sterile conditions.

A plant that has 30 cm from the soil to the attachment point of the upper leaves can be used for pruning.

Any part of a leafy or bare trunk is cut off. A remote site can be rooted by getting another copy of the dracaena. Cutting the dracaena for branching as an operation is carried out with a sharp knife without squeezing the tissues.

Once the top of the plant has been cut, it can be used to root the top, or cut into 7-10 cm shank, each capable of producing a new plant. The requirement to cut only with a sharp knife and clean cuts is mandatory.

If the stem is leafy at the cut point, the leaves must be removed by 10-15 cm, exposing the trunk. Close the cut with garden pitch or molten paraffin so that the inner layer does not evaporate moisture and does not dry out. On the cut, the beginnings of new branches should form. They can be from two to five. But not all buds will grow. The number of new formations depends on the conditions in which germination takes place.

Simultaneous development of all new shoots is achieved due to uniform illumination. Dracaena must be rotated during germination and in subsequent care.

Germination conditions:

  • treatment of the stem with water with the addition of a growth stimulator, for example, Epin;
  • creating a damp moss cushion around the open cut of the cambium, the waxed part should be open;
  • a plastic bag is tightly fixed on top, creating a constant humidity of 75% inside;
  • in the light at a temperature of 22-25 degrees, the plant is aged for a month.

It is important at this time not to open the cutting site, not to remove the bag, not to change the germination conditions. At the same time, the rest of the leaves require watering, the stem also needs to be moistened. Watering is carried out only by the bottom method, draining the remnants of water that has not been absorbed into the earthen clod. It is important that germination is carried out in the light.

As soon as the plant buds at the cut site, it is ready to continue development without additional shelter.

Not necessarily new branches will develop from all hatched buds. Some will not have enough food, and they will wither. But you can cut the plant so many times, updating it and giving it a new shape.

If the plant has a bare stem, then it is completely placed in the bag after abundant watering. The package is not removed before the appearance of seedlings, so as not to disturb the microclimate. The plant is watered through the pallet.

When forming a bordered dracaena, seedlings can go anywhere along the stem. Then the palm tree will become multi-tiered.

Is it necessary to prune dracaena at home

A plant looks well-groomed if it is regularly trimmed and shaped. Therefore, pruning is one of the mandatory operations for the care of dracaena. It happens that the plant develops deformed shoots, they should be removed. Then, instead of them, the plant will start up new shoots, more foliage is obtained, the plant takes on new forms.

Any areas with pests and diseases should be removed immediately to prevent infestation of the entire plant. This operation is called sanitary pruning.

Video about the result of cutting dracaena

How to trim dracaena at home

Tropical guest dracaena appeared in Russian apartments many years ago. Due to the wide variety of species, everyone can choose the most suitable one for themselves. The plant comes with narrow, medium and wide leaves, with plain foliage and patterns, with a thick and thin trunk. In order for the palm tree to have an elegant and graceful appearance, you need to follow the rules of care and carry out timely formative pruning. The goal of the grower is to make the dracaena beautiful with the help of a “haircut” to get side shoots.

Dracaena is an evergreen shrub belonging to the genus Agave. Each variety has its own characteristics for care and pruning. The most popular species:

Photo Description
Fragrant The largest species for apartment maintenance. The plant has hanging, curved leaves of variegated color. Grows up to 5 meters in height. Therefore, it is better to grow in rooms with high ceilings. Plant care is complex and requires certain skills
Reflex Branched bush, small size. During growth, the plant forms several stems that emerge directly from the root system. The leaf plate is elongated and curved, painted in bright olive color with yellow stripes. This variety does not need shaping pruning
Surculose Medium-sized plant with dark green spotted leaves. This species requires regular pruning to give a beautiful look. New shoots are periodically formed, and without pruning, the crown of the tree loses its attractive appearance
Deremskaya Large tree with a strong lignified trunk. Dark olive, broad leaves with pronounced lemon or white stripes
Goldena Attractive, but rather difficult to care for, which is loved by many growers. Broad round leaves transversely painted in white-olive stripes

All varieties of dracaena have one thing in common: extremely rare branching with rapid growth in height. In order for the plant to look aesthetically pleasing, it must be cut regularly. Pruning is carried out in the following cases:

  1. 1. To give a decorative look and to rejuvenate. Since the lower leaves fall off when growing in height, the trunk becomes bare, curved, and the plant takes on an unsightly appearance.
  2. 2. To form a lush crown. Sleeping buds are arranged in a spiral on the trunk of a tree. After removing the top, the buds begin to wake up and side shoots appear from them, which will eventually increase the mass of leaves. Due to the appearance of a large number of shoots, a lush crown is formed.
  3. 3. For creating bonsai.
  4. 4. As a health improvement. If the trunk is broken, sick, or the tree has grown to the ceiling, then cut off the top and root it in the water.
  5. 5. To obtain new copies.

Pruning is carried out during the growing season - in spring and summer. Since during active growth, the plant secretes a special substance for the appearance of new cells and the rapid healing of the wound.

Do not prune in hot, dry weather.

In winter, when the temperature is low and there is a lack of sunlight, the dracaena will not tolerate the pruning procedure, the wound will heal for a long time, and the tree may get sick. The only exceptions are emergency cases (breakage or decay of the top). For this, the plant is given due attention: they put additional lighting, irrigate with warm water, and fertilize with complex mineral fertilizers.

Before updating the dracaena, you need to familiarize yourself with the simple rules:

  • the plant must be healthy;
  • pruning is done with a sharp, sterile instrument;
  • the cut is sprinkled with charcoal or covered with brilliant green;
  • is treated with growth promoter;
  • the temperature in the room should not be higher than +25 degrees, and the air humidity should be about 75%.

Why you need to cut the dracaena, video:

Cut off the top for further rooting and getting a new copy. You can remove not only the top, but a part of the trunk 10-15 cm in size. This will allow sleeping buds to wake up and side shoots to grow.

The leaves of the tree are not removed, as they accumulate substances for the growth of new cells and tissues.

The tree will have an attractive appearance if it has many side shoots and a thickened trunk. Since the thickening of the trunk is reluctant, it is necessary to create favorable conditions for it:

  • bright daylight;
  • temperature +25 degrees;
  • watering as the soil dries out;
  • regular feeding.

To succeed, you need to control the combination of these conditions:

  1. 1. The lighter, the warmer and more humid.
  2. 2. When there is insufficient light, reduce the temperature and reduce watering.

After 5 years, after the stem has grown to a height of 10-15 cm and reaches a diameter of 5 cm, cut the trunk. With proper care, new shoots will begin to form below the cut, which will begin to grow upward. The barrel will thicken a little. In the future, pruning depends on the imagination of the grower.

You can shorten new shoots, at the same or different levels, on all branches or selectively. Such a shortening will allow the tree to grow and acquire a thickened trunk. Cropping creates an original cascaded version.

Dracaena at home grows for a very long time. During growth, the lower leaves fall off, while exposing the trunk. To keep the tree looking attractive, it is pruned regularly. A few days before the procedure, preparation is carried out. It will help the plant safely endure pruning and recover quickly.

Building culture step by step:

Photo Method
The plant is watered abundantly so that by the time of pruning the clod of earth does not have time to dry out
Spray the ground part with Epin. Thanks to the procedure, the plant will begin to produce substances that will help to quickly grow side shoots and cope with the shock state
The pot is moved to a sunny place and the trunk is inspected. The cut must be clean
The instrument for the procedure is taken sharp and sterile. Sharpness affects the cleanliness of the cut, it should turn out smooth and without nicks. If the pruning is done inaccurately, then the apical petiole will have poor root formation
Determine the place of the cut and look from the side how the future tree will look like
The cut is made in one motion. Treat with an antifungal agent, Topsin-M, charcoal, garden pitch or paraffin wax
Treat with Topsin-M antifungal, charcoal, garden pitch or paraffin wax
Spray the trunk with water at room temperature

Dracaena after pruning, video:

All cut parts can be easily rooted and grow new specimens. To do this, the cut of the cutting is treated with Kornevin and the planting material is placed in a nutrient substrate or water. If rooting occurs in the soil, then the pot is covered with a plastic cap until new foliage appears.

The cutting must be aired and sprayed regularly. The optimum temperature for rooting is + 18-25 degrees.

The plant is placed in a warm room where the air temperature does not fall below +20 degrees. If pruning is carried out in winter, additional artificial lighting is installed above the crop. The flower is protected from drafts, temperature changes can quickly destroy it.

3-4 days after pruning, the plant is fed with nitrogenous fertilizers to awaken the buds. Top dressing is carried out after abundant watering. To do this, you can use ammonium nitrate (1 tsp per 3 liters of water).

Fertilizer is applied once every 14 days for 3 months until the side shoots grow to 6 cm in length. Watering is carried out as the soil dries out with warm settled water. Since the palm tree prefers high humidity, the trunk is sprayed every 7 days. For uniform fouling of the crown, the pot with the plant is periodically turned towards the light.

If the rules of care are not observed, the plant does not grow its root system well. To determine the degree of rooting, it is necessary to occasionally feel the trunk and branches. Reduced elasticity indicates problems with the roots. To determine the cause, the flower is removed from the pot and the rhizome is carefully examined. If the cut has darkened, and the new roots have rotted, then you need to make a new cut, treat it with a root stimulator and transplant it into a new substrate. Shed the earth with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.

  1. 1. Cut with a blunt instrument, resulting in a serrated cut. This can lead to rotting of the trunk and death of the plant.
  2. 2. Non-compliance with the temperature and humidity conditions.
  3. 3. Overfilling and underfilling. When waterlogged, the access of oxygen to the root system is weakened; when underfilling, the culture does not have enough strength to grow side shoots.

Dracaena is a beautiful, evergreen house plant. With proper care and timely pruning, indoor palm will show itself in all its glory and decorate any corner of the house.

How to prune Dracaena at home and grow many tops

Dracaena, known as false palm or dragon tree, is a popular home and office plant. With proper handling, it grows up to 1.5 or even 2 meters in height and can live up to 15 years.

Photo gallery

It is easy to care for, the only aspect that can cause difficulties in growing it is pruning, which must be done regularly.

Why is dracaena cut?

There are three main reasons for pruning dracaena:

  • sanitary-prophylactic, in which all damaged leaves and shoots are cut off to stop the spread of the disease;
  • decorative, in which the crown is formed;
  • if the dracaena has grown to the ceiling.

Decorative pruning is also used to obtain lateral shoots and rejuvenate the dracaena, giving the plant a well-groomed appearance and the necessary splendor. In addition, pruning is used as one of the propagation methods for dracaena, the cuttings of which take root quite quickly and successfully.

How to prune dracaena at home?

First of all, you need to understand what height of the tree you want to get in the end. The second important factor is lighting, because future shoots will develop precisely due to the light falling on them.

The cut should be at such a level that new shoots and foliage receive sufficient sunlight.

Pruning can be done with a scalpel or a sharp sterile knife; scissors or pruners are not recommended as they pinch the stem and may cause unwanted damage.

You will also need a garden pitcher or a more familiar paraffin candle, sphagnum moss, a water spray and a plastic bag.

Which types of dracaena should be trimmed?

At home, as a rule, the following types and varieties of dracaena are grown:

  1. Reflexa or Dracaena Bent. It has long pointed leaves with striped coloration from dark green to yellow and beige. It has a thick stem that grows at home up to a meter in height.
  2. Surculosa or Dracaena shoot. The leaves are bright green in color, rounded with a pointed end and an unusual spotted color. The trunk often branches, new shoots quickly grow, turning the dracaena into a voluminous fluffy bush.
  3. Fragrans or Fragrant Dracaena. The leaves are long, glossy up to half a meter in length, have a characteristic dark green color with light stripes. Able to bloom at home, which is the reason for its name.
  4. Marginata or Madagascar dragon tree. It is this species that is most often found and associated with the palm tree, due to the characteristic shape of the trunk and crown. The leaves are thin and long, various shades of green from light green to very dark, with a light or reddish border around the edge.

All types of dracaena grown at home need pruning, only its frequency differs.

Timing of pruning

As with all procedures that injure the plant, pruning should be carried out during the period of active growth, only in this way it is possible to ensure that everything goes well and the dracaena quickly recovers. This period can be considered the time from the end of winter to the beginning of summer. The best months are April and May.

Do not prune immediately after transplanting as the plant may not be able to withstand the double stress. It is best to wait at least a month. During this time, the dracaena will successfully take root in a new pot and will undergo the operation much easier.

Pruning is not recommended during the autumn-winter period, as low temperatures and lack of light can lead to the fact that it will take more than one month for new buds to appear, in the worst case, the plant may even die.

To increase the Dracaena's chances of survival, it is necessary to provide her with the most comfortable conditions possible and maintain them for the entire period that it takes for the emergence of new shoots.

Step-by-step instruction for crown shaping

Faced with the need to trim the dracaena, in order to achieve a result and not destroy the plant, it is important to follow the algorithm of actions:

  1. Determine the height of the cut and mark this place.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut off the top along the mark line. In no case should you break off the shoots.
  3. With a piece of cotton, remove the juice that has come out at the cut point, then pour the top of the stem with garden pitch or paraffin. It is not recommended to use wax for this purpose, since its melting point is much higher than that of paraffin. It will only harm the plant.
  4. If there are leaves on the trunk, they must be removed from the entire area 10-15 cm below the cut.
  5. Spray generously with water and wrap the area of ​​the trunk below the cut with wet sphagnum moss, leaving the cut itself exposed.
  6. Put a transparent plastic bag or film over the top to maintain the required temperature and humidity.

Over the next month, new shoots will appear on the trunk, until then it is recommended to remove the plastic bag no more than once every 5 days to air and spray the plant.

Watering during this period must be done by bottom or immersion. To avoid waterlogging, non-absorbed liquid residues are drained from the pan, otherwise this can lead to decay of the measles system and death of the flower.

How to properly prune dracaena for branching

Such pruning is carried out either on a young dracaena with one trunk, or in cases where the trunks have grown too long, become bare and have lost their external attractiveness.

Is it possible to prune indoor palm

Unfortunately, not all plants that have grown to the ceiling can be done. Some of them will have to be donated, given away, sold or shared with a neighbor from above, unless of course he goes for it. When the plant grows to the ceiling, it is natural that something needs to be done. And, of course, you will come up with the idea to shorten it, cut it to the desired height. But not all plants can be shortened. Some plants, especially those living in the humid tropics such as palm trees, cannot be pruned. In them, the growth of the stem occurs due to the same apical bud all their lives. By cutting off the vital "point of growth", we will doom the plant to death. But those plants that each growing season of growth can use new lateral buds can and should be cut. These are all those plants that are easily propagated by cuttings. Let's take a closer look at what and how to shorten.

So, we remember that palm trees cannot be cut off the top, they are shown only sanitary pruning. The most common palm trees in our homes are: Robelin date, Canarian date, chrysolidcarpus, howea, hamedorea, chamerops, coconut palm, livistona, rapis. By the way, you can limit the growth of some palm trees, for example, chamedorea, by transplanting the plant into the same pot, replacing only the soil.

Dracaena, yucca, dieffenbachia, ficus, hibiscus abutilon, coffee tree and sheffleras can grow up to the ceiling just as easily. All these plants can be shortened, following the general and particular rules for pruning indoor plants. We are specifically interested in formative pruning to curb plant growth. And the best time to carry it out is spring, the time of the beginning of active plant growth.

Dracaena and Yucca are cut about the same. Trimming the top of the dracaena to get side shoots is easy. With a sharp tool, you need to cut the trunk of the dracaena at the right level. An even cut is immediately sealed either with garden pitch or paraffin. The trunk below the cut is bare from leaves by at least 10 cm. The upper part of the bare trunk is carefully wrapped in wet sphagnum moss (the cut remains open), and wrapped in a transparent plastic bag. The plant is placed in a bright place for about a month. The bag needs to be removed periodically to moisten the moss and inspect the trunk for new shoots. As soon as the shoots appear, the moss and the bag are removed and the plant develops without outside help. Thus, you will reduce the height of the plant and get a more compact bushy flowerpot. Cut cuttings can be used for rooting and further replanting, thus creating layering.

Very often you can see in the premises of offices and buildings a dull and spreading Chinese rose, in which almost all branches are bare and one or two flowers are lost somewhere. Hibiscus easily tolerates all types of pruning, but shaping is even obligatory for him. The same applies to abutilon or indoor maple. Moreover, hibiscus blooms on young shoots no older than three years. If you regularly cut off all bending and shorten the main branches in the spring, the more compact and denser your plant will be, and the number of flowers will delight you with its abundance. Hibiscus can also be pruned immediately after flowering.

Rubber Ficus without pruning will only grow upward until it hits the ceiling. It is necessary to cut the top of the ficus at the desired level. You will stop its upward growth and force it to decide to side branch. The result can be a pretty bush. Working with a sterile instrument, it will not be necessary to process the cut at all. It is enough to blot it with a damp cloth or sterile bandage. The secretion of milk will soon end, and if it gets on your hands, rinse it thoroughly with water. Other species Ficus (Benjamin Ficus, Ali Ficus, Microcarpa Ficus) have a good tendency to branch, but if the apical bud dominates over the axillary buds, they need to be cut off or pinched off the tops in a timely manner.

Tolerates pruning dieffenbachia . Its sections must be sprinkled with crushed coal to prevent rotting of the stems and fungal infections. All care work with dieffenbachia should be carried out with protective gloves and protect your eyes from getting poisonous plant juice into them.

If they are creepers with flexible stems, such as monstera, philodendrons and others, which have grown attached to a vertical support, then they can be detached from the support and redirected in other directions. You can also cut them to the desired height, and try to root the cut parts.

Timing of pruning

The stem of the dracaena is a structure in which dormant buds are arranged in a spiral along the entire length. This is what allows you to get seedlings, the beginnings of new branches on a cut made in any part of the trunk.


Planned pruning of dracaena is done during the active period of growth, when the best sap flow. There are times when the formation of a bush is needed urgently. For example, part of the stem broke off. Then the shortening should be carried out according to the rules, below the break point. Any pruning can only be effective on a healthy plant.

How to properly prune dracaena at home


When shortening the central stem, several points should be taken into account:
  • the top with green leaves should be in a zone of comfortable lighting, so the height of the trunk is calculated for the future growth of branches and leaves;
  • for the emergence of new shoots, it will be necessary to provide the necessary conditions for the germination of new shoots from dormant buds;
  • all operations for the design of the correct cut, its sealing are carried out under sterile conditions.

A plant that is 30 cm from the soil to the attachment point of the upper leaves can be used for pruning.

Any part of a leafy or bare trunk is cut off. A remote site can be rooted by getting another copy of the dracaena. Cutting the dracaena for branching as an operation is carried out with a sharp knife without squeezing the tissues.

Once the top of the plant has been cut off, it can be used to root the top, or cut into 7-10 cm shank, each capable of producing a new plant. The requirement to cut only with a sharp knife and clean cuts is mandatory.

If the stem is leafy at the cut point, the leaves must be removed by 10-15 cm, exposing the trunk. Close the cut with garden pitch or molten paraffin so that the inner layer does not evaporate moisture and does not dry out. On the cut, the beginnings of new branches should form. They can be from two to five. But not all buds will grow. The number of new formations depends on the conditions in which germination takes place.

Simultaneous development of all new shoots is achieved due to uniform illumination. Dracaena must be rotated during germination and in subsequent care.

Germination conditions:

  • treatment of the stem with water with the addition of a growth stimulator, for example, Epin;
  • creating a damp moss cushion around the exposed cambium section, the waxed part should be open;
  • a plastic bag is tightly fixed on top, creating a constant humidity of 75% inside;
  • in the light at a temperature of 22-25 degrees the plant is aged for a month.

It is important at this time not to open the cutting site, not to remove the bag, not to change the germination conditions. At the same time, the rest of the leaves require watering, the stem also needs to be moistened. Watering is carried out only by the bottom method, draining the remnants of water that has not been absorbed into the earthen clod. It is important that germination is carried out in the light.

As soon as the plant buds at the cut site, it is ready to continue development without additional cover.


Not necessarily new branches will develop from all hatched buds. Some will not have enough food, and they will wither. But you can cut the plant so many times, updating it and giving it a new shape.

If the plant has a bare stem, then it is completely placed in the bag after abundant watering. The package is not removed before the appearance of seedlings, so as not to disturb the microclimate. The plant is watered through the pallet.

When forming a bordered dracaena, seedlings can go anywhere along the stem. Then the palm tree will become multi-tiered.

How to prune a real palm tree and when to do it

Before talking about pruning a real palm tree, it is necessary to remind once again: this evergreen plant grows at the top, that is, it is there that the only point of growth is located. By cutting it, you can destroy the entire tropical tree.

Flower growers with experience in growing palm trees repeatedly focus the attention of beginners on the fact that it is absolutely impossible to cut a palm tree just for the sake of forming a crown. However, there are situations when you still have to pick up a sharp knife or scissors.

Selection of tools and protective equipment

If pruning is really necessary, the right tool must be selected. There are many suitable options, the best of which is selected based on the size of the branches and the tree as a whole.

So you can use:

  1. Knife with serrated edge. It is ideal for pruning branches that are less than 2.5 cm in diameter. It can also be used to remove flower stalks.
  2. Large secateurs or scissors. Thanks to them, it is easy to remove large branches with a diameter of more than 2.5 cm.
  3. Hand saw. It will allow you to easily get rid of thick and large branches.
  4. Chainsaw. It is the last possible option, thanks to which you can get rid of the thickest and largest branches.

If you plan to prune a large palm that grows in the garden, you may need equipment to reach the top of the plant. Depending on the height of the flower, you can use a ladder or a stool, a ladder or even an aerial platform.

Don't forget to protect yourself. In particular, goggles and gardening gloves should be used. Keep in mind that there are sharp spikes along the edges of palm leaves, so hand cuts are not uncommon. And if the chosen tool is a saw or pruner, then there is a high probability of particles of debris getting into the eyes.

If necessary, experts can be consulted. They will tell you how to properly trim to achieve the best results.

How to cut the leaves correctly

With age, as a result of aging or as a result of care or maintenance errors, the leaves of the house palm sometimes turn yellow. The decorative effect of the plant suffers, and the owner of the palm tree is immediately eager to remove the ugly yellow spot against the background of emerald feathery or fan green. It’s just not worth rushing when it comes to the natural age-related death of the leaf blade.

It has been noticed that the sooner the yellowed leaf is removed, the sooner the next one will begin to turn yellow. Therefore, it is necessary to wait until the leaf blade dies off completely, including the petiole, and only then cut it off, but in no case tear it off.

It happens that the leaves turn yellow due to mismanagement. Part of the leaf turned yellow, the problem was fixed, but what to do with a half-yellow leaf blade? You can cut it with sharp scissors, but so that at least a narrow strip of dead tissue remains near the border with healthy tissue. Otherwise, if you walk with scissors along the green part of the leaf blade, then the yellowing will continue to spread along it further to the petiole.

Soil

Palm tree grows well in rich, light soils, and is most often prepared for the following composition : 2 parts of humus, 1 part of garden soil, 1 part of sand, it is desirable to use river sand, but despite the good water conductivity of this type of soil, be sure to place drainage from broken red brick on the bottom of the pot, and make sure there is a hole in the bottom of the pot, an excess of stagnant water will lead to rotting of the roots and the inevitable death of the plant.

Palm tree does not tolerate close proximity , you should not plant other plants on its territory, it will grow poorly, start to get sick and wither away, find a special place for it, it deserves it.

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When it is advisable to cut the roots

Shortening the roots of a palm tree just because they are too long is also strongly discouraged. A palm tree reacts very painfully to a transplant at any age, in a mature one it especially does not tolerate any interference with its root system.

The plant is transplanted more often by transshipment into a larger vessel with the addition of fresh nutrient soil mixture or the top layer of the earthen coma is changed, removing the exhausted one and filling in a new one. After pruning the roots, the palm tree can be in a state of stress for a long time, not grow, often does not recover from this procedure, grows weak and eventually dies.

However, sanitary pruning of damaged or dead roots found during palm transplantation is necessary. It should be done with a sharp disinfected tool, the places of cuts must be sprinkled with charcoal powder. If there is some other reason for damage to the root system - pests or diseases, the plant should be treated with appropriate chemicals.

Possible problems with pruning

  • After pruning, in some cases the buds do not wake up. It is necessary to re-cut, making cuts a few centimeters lower than the previous ones.
  • The cut point in one or more areas (central trunk and side shoots) starts to rot. Immediately you need to re-pruning, removing all rotten parts.
  • Some kidneys are stunted. You can activate their development by spraying the emerging shoots with urea (an aqueous solution of urea - 1 g / l) or make an aqueous solution of a growth regulator by adding microfertilizer (2 drops of epin + 2 drops of cytovit per 250 ml of water). Zircon is more suitable for stimulating flowering. After the procedure, gently blot with a napkin so that the solution does not stagnate in the axils of the shoots and does not cause burns to the plant.

It is not difficult to grow a palm-like plant at home - dracaena is undemanding in care. The owner needs attention and timely watering, proper lighting and timely pruning. .

  • Author: Oksana Mazur
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A teacher by education. My hobby is growing flowers. I try to experiment in the selection of garden and indoor plants (irises, saintpaulias). I share my experience with the viewers of my You Tube channel. Rate the article:

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Care after pruning

If leaves that have died with age are cut off, no further adjustments to the usual plant care are necessary. In the event that pruning of a palm tree turned out to be forced, associated with errors in the maintenance and care of the plant, care should be taken first of all to eliminate care mistakes: adjust watering, get rid of pests and cure diseases if possible.

In the future, adjust the humidification mode so as to prevent overflow or overdrying of the earthen clod, as well as monitor air humidity and thermometer readings. Be sure to pay attention to other factors that can affect the condition of the crown and root system of the palm tree.

Description

At home, exotic plants are often grown, including palm trees. The most popular varieties are date, dracaena, yucca and some others (about 2000 varieties are known in total, which differ in the shape of the trunk, height and shape of the leaves). The most demanded room options. These flowers are grown in ordinary pots on windowsills. Caring for them is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance. It is important to observe the nuances, in particular, to properly prune the plant, removing dried or damaged leaves, tops or inflorescences.

Some beginner gardeners believe that if the palm tree is constantly pruned, the plant will actively grow and bloom. This is not true. The palm tree grows best if it is not pruned at all.

How to prune dracaena correctly

Young dracaena look like beautiful lush bushes, but with age, with the exception of the bushy dracaena, a thin trunk grows, and the leaves along it gradually fall off from old age. The result is a leafless pagon with a diameter of 1.5-2 cm and a height of 1 to 1.2 m, and at the top there is a rosette of leaves. The picture is unattractive and not very decorative. In this case, by the way, it is necessary to trim the entire trunk to a level of 10–15 cm above the soil.

The procedure is advised to be performed during an active period of growth. The plant has adapted to it - dormant buds are arranged in a spiral along the entire trunk, which give shoots immediately after pruning.

Sometimes several lateral pagons are formed from the cut hemp. Extra ones can be removed, since their excessive amount leads to the fact that the plant cannot cope with them, and the weakest shoots die off. It is better to immediately remove those that, by their presence, form a disproportionate crown of dracaena.

A cut stem fragment is used for propagation: the top is rooted separately, and the pagon is cut into cuttings 10–15 cm long each and rooted in a peat-sand mixture in a mini-greenhouse under glass or a plastic bag. When pruning dracaena, it is important to consider several points:

  • carry it out with a sterile instrument;
  • cover the cuts with garden pitch or melted paraffin;
  • When cutting, the blade of the knife or secateurs must be at an angle of 90 degrees to stem.

Further care

If you prune the dracaena in violation of the technology, the fleshy stem of the ornamental plant begins to dry, but it is equally important to provide the indoor culture with proper care after the formation of the aerial part. After pruning, a tropical plant for good growth and full development must be provided with sufficient lighting, spraying and high-quality irrigation measures.

Quite often, after pruning, dracaena forms several buds at once, but eventually some die, while others stop growing and developing. Despite the fact that indoor false palm grows quite slowly, providing proper conditions and competent care, an amateur grower can achieve a plant height of one and a half meters or more. To activate growth processes, not only the presence of sunlight and warm moist air is required, but also regular fertilizing with complex fertilizers.

Peculiarities of pruning yucca and cordilina

Unlike dracaena, yucca should be pruned when it just emerges from dormancy, around the end of February - in March. Pruning after the middle of March can lead to the death of the plant.

Flower growers with experience in growing this false palm say that it is not worth pruning plants whose trunk diameter has not reached 5 cm, because after the procedure it will remain so - thin and ugly. High specimens are cut, in which the cut point is not lower than 50 cm above the level of the earthy coma.

Both the cut and the cut off part of the stem lose moisture very quickly, so they are dried for a couple of hours and filled with molten paraffin. After pruning, the plant is placed in partial shade and watered infrequently (once a week) for 2 months until it recovers from stress. During this period, the buds wake up below the cut and give young shoots. There may be 4-5 or less. In any case, no more than five should remain, the rest must be removed, the sooner the better, so that the juices from the yucca are not pulled.

Pruning cordilina is similar to pruning the false palms already mentioned. The only accent is that the cut should be located in a place on the trunk where it is already ripe, not green. The rest of the rooting steps are the same as with dracaena and yucca. One note - after pruning cordilin, in addition to obtaining lateral processes, it can also give root shoots. Depending on its quantity, the grower decides whether to plant in another pot or leave root offspring near the mother plant in order to get a new attractive lush bush.

Dracaena: results of pruning (video)

An additional stimulation of the growth of lateral shoots by spraying with a solution of urea, diluted at the rate of one gram of the drug per liter of warm and settled water, also gives a good result. Nitrogen-containing fertilizers are very well absorbed by indoor plants through foliage. Horn shavings or bone meal can be added to the soil of the flower pot during planting. With proper care in the conditions of indoor floriculture, regardless of the type, dracaena eventually grows into a very decorative and large specimen of room culture.

Should pandanus be pruned?

In terms of pruning, pandanus is closer to true palms than to false ones. It cannot be cut in the same way as dracaena or yucca. The dried tips of the leaves are in no hurry to remove, and if they have to do this, then the living tissue on the leaf blade is not affected, leaving approximately 1-2 mm of the dead area on the border with a healthy leaf.


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