How to prune indoor palm trees


The Ultimate Palm Plant Care Guide

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Nothing screams “tropical indoor plant” quite like palm plants. There are lots of different types of palm houseplants, but don’t worry. Keeping these elegant plants thriving is easy with this detailed indoor palm plant care guide.

Palm plants are fun to collect, and pretty darn easy to care for. Plus there are lots of benefits of growing them indoors.

If you want to create an indoor jungle, then you’ll definitely need to add a few of these beauties to your collection.

So, in this indoor palm plant care guide, I’m going to show you everything you need in order to be successful.

From watering, lighting and fertilizing, to soil, pest control and pruning, you’ll find it all right here!

 

Table of Contents

Growing palm plants and trees indoors is very popular these days, and they make excellent houseplants. There are lots of benefits of having them in your home too, as well as tons of different varieties to choose from.

Benefits Of Growing Tropical Indoor Palms

Palms make excellent houseplants because they are very tolerant of neglect, but they will grow their best when given the proper indoor palm plant care.

These easy care indoor plants are perfect for most homeowners because they don’t like a lot of light, and will easily adapt to growing indoors.

Plus, palm plants help to clean the air in our homes, which is another wonderful benefit of growing tropical indoor palms.

Palm plants can live for many years when they’re cared for properly, and some palm varieties can grow into huge palm trees in containers indoors.

You can even move your palm plant outside (in a shady spot) during the summer to give it a boost if you want.

Ponytail palm plants outside for the summer

Different Types Of Palm Houseplants

Like I mentioned above, there are tons of different palm plants that make excellent houseplants.

They don’t all look exactly the same, and some palm plant varieties don’t even look like what you would imagine. So, keep that in mind while you’re out shopping for new indoor tropical plants.

Here are a few of the most common types of palms for indoors that you might find for sale online or at your local garden center.

  • Areca palm tree
  • Ponytail plant
  • Parlor palm
  • Sago palm (though it’s technically not a true palm)
  • Majesty palm tree
  • Fan palm
  • Cat palm
  • Sentry palm
  • Yucca palm
  • Butterfly palm
Different indoor palm plants for sale at the garden center

Indoor Palm Plant Care Guide

Even though there are tons of different varieties of indoor palm plants, they all require the same basic conditions to grow their best.

That’s great news, and makes indoor palm plant care so much easier!! Here are some basic tips for caring for a palm plant indoors.

Watering Palm Plants

Palm plants are tolerant of being under watered, but they will grow their best when watered on a regular basis.

Ideally, palm plants prefer it when their soil is kept evenly moist, especially during the summer months (their active growing season).

Allow the soil to dry out only slightly between waterings in the summer. During the winter, you can let the soil dry out a bit more between waterings.

Be very careful not to overwater though, this is the number one killer of palm plants. I recommend growing indoor palm plants in pots that have drainage holes in the bottom, which will help to prevent overwatering.

If you struggle with giving your plants the right amount of water, I recommend getting an inexpensive soil moisture gauge to help you get it just right.

You could also use indoor plant watering devices to help with watering palm trees in pots.

Dwarf parlor palm houseplants

Best Lighting For Palm Trees Indoors

One of the reasons palm plants are such common houseplants is that they can easily adapt to low light conditions indoors.

In fact most indoor palms prefer the shade, and will suffer if they get any direct sunlight. This is perfect, since most of us don’t have a ton of direct sunlight in our homes anyway!

Low light palm houseplants prefer bright indirect light, but will tolerate less light, especially during the winter.

They won’t survive in complete darkness though, so if there’s no natural light in the room, you’ll definitely need to add a grow light.

If you put your palm plant outside during the summer, make sure to keep it in the shade so it won’t get sunburn.

Best Potting Soil For Palm Trees

When it comes to what soil to use for palm trees and plants, most indoor palms aren’t super picky. The best soil for palm trees growing in pots is a loose, porous soil mix, such as a combo of peat moss, leaf mold, and shredded bark.

You can also buy cactus and palm soil mix specifically made for growing palm plants, otherwise they will grow just fine in a general purpose potting soil.

If you’re one of those people who tends to forget to water your plants (ehem, not that I would know anything about that), then you can mix some peat moss and/or vermiculite into the general purpose potting soil to help retain moisture.

Keep in mind that palm plants don’t like to be repotted, and can be grown in the same pot for several years. So, it’s best to wait to repot your palm plant until it’s pot-bound.

Healthy palm plant leaf

How To Fertilize Palm Trees Indoors

Indoor palm plants don’t really need to be fertilized, but of course the plants will benefit from being fed as a part of your regular indoor palm plant care routine.

However, they are very sensitive to chemical houseplant fertilizer, and using synthetic fertilizers can do more harm than good.

It’s best to stick with using an organic plant fertilizer to feed your indoor palm plants.

The good news is that there are lots of options for organic palm tree fertilizer on the market that are specifically made for indoor house palms, which makes feeding them super easy!

My favorite brands of indoor palm fertilizer are Jobe’s, Espoma, and Dr. Earth. Whatever type of fertilizer you decide to use, it’s important to know when to fertilize palm trees.

Be sure to only fertilize your palm plants during their active growing period (spring and summer). Don’t fertilize indoor palm plants during the fall and winter, or the plants may suffer.

Indoor palm trees in containers

Battling Bugs On Indoor Palm Trees

Spider mites are the most common pest that can attack indoor palm plants. Keeping the humidity level high in the air around the plant will help to fend off spider mites, and will also benefit the plant.

Houseplant scale and mealy bugs can also be a problem, but are much less common.

If you find that your palm plant has bugs, begin treatment immediately. Don’t use chemical pesticides on houseplant pests though, they aren’t very effective (plus they’re harmful to us and our pets!).

I recommend using organic neem oil, which is a natural pesticide. I also like to use a mixture of 1 tsp mild liquid soap per 1 liter of water to help control bugs.

Insecticidal soap or horticultural oil also work great. Learn more about how to get rid of houseplant bugs here.

Pruning Palm Plants

Indoor palm plants can be pruned to keep them looking nice, and to maintain their shape. Pruning off any old yellow, brown or spotted leaves on a regular basis is a good habit to get into, and will keep you palm plant looking its best.

It’s common for the lower leaves of palms to turn yellow or brown with age. If your plant is really full, you can prune off the old, small leaves around the bottom by simply cutting the fronds back to the stem of the plant.

You don’t need to remove the whole frond if it just has brown tips, but otherwise looks healthy. Brown tips of palm leaves can be pruned off any time to keep the plant looking nice.

Since palm leaves are so thin, use a sharp pair of pruners like bonsai pruning shears or micro-tip pruners for trimming palm plants.

If there are any super long stems, and you don’t like how they look, you can remove those too, but it’s not necessary. Be careful not to remove too many healthy fronds though, or it could harm the plant.

Common Indoor Palm Plant Care Problems

One of the most common problems that indoor palm plants have is brown leaves and tips. Why do the tips of palm leaves turn brown? Here are a few common causes…

  1. Lack of water
  2. Overuse of chemical fertilizers
  3. Spider mites

Keep in mind that if you just brought the plant home from the garden center, it will take some time for the chemical fertilizers to wash out of the soil.

But it doesn’t hurt to check to make sure you’re watering it enough, and that it’s not infested with spider mites.

If you’ve had the plant for a while and don’t use chemical fertilizer, then take a close look to see if the plant has spider mites. If the plant is clean, then check the soil and make sure it’s not too dry.

To keep your indoor palm plants looking nice, simply trim off the brown tips.

Why Is My Indoor Palm Dying?

There are several things that can cause indoor palm plants to die. The most common one is overwatering, but it could also be a lack of humidity, or inadequate lighting.

The soil should dry slightly between waterings, and never be completely bone dry or soggy. Find a place where they can get indirect sunlight, and increase the humidity level around the plant if it has brown tips.

Brown tips on an indoor palm plant

If you don’t have a houseplant palm yet, or you’re looking to add more to your collection, you can buy indoor palm trees and plants online, or find them at your local garden center.

Indoor palm trees and plants are very low maintenance, and will thrive for years when you give them the proper care. If you ask me, palms might just be the perfect houseplant.

If you struggle with keeping your houseplants alive, especially during the dry winter months, then you need my Winter Houseplant Care eBook. It will teach you all you need to know in order to grow beautiful and healthy indoor plants no matter what the season. Download your copy today!

More Indoor Plant Care Guides

  • Tropical Houseplant Care Guide: How To Grow Tropical Plants Indoors
  • Rabbit’s Foot Fern: How To Grow & Care For “Davallia fejeensis”
  • How To Care For Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
  • How To Take Care Of A Money Tree Plant (Pachira aquatica)
  • How To Care For Rubber Plants: The Ultimate Guide
  • How To Care For Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant (Ficus lyrata)

Do you grow palm plants in your home? Share your indoor palm plant care tips and advice in the comments below.

How to Trim a Palm Tree Plant

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Indoor palm plants have more than just an ornamental job to fulfill. Combine a few pots together and you have yourself a veritable tropical jungle that purifies the air in your home. Because nothing says the tropics like the graceful and dignified palms. In any collection, the trusty potted palms are the backbone that ties the little jungle together.

Images by lmnoporcupine, Reddit

If you have been following the other plants we cover here, you must have noticed that we usually present plants that are easy to grow and won’t challenge you with their care and high-maintenance. Indoor palms are no exception. They practically take care of themselves and all they ask of you is the occasional watering and cleaning details.

Advantages of Indoor Palm Trees

So what makes palm trees such wonderful houseplants? Well, for one thing, they are well-behaved plants. By that I mean they don’t make a fuss if you forget to water them or give them plant food. They don’t wither and change color and go into a phase or what gardeners like to call “plant sulk”.

Even though we’re talking about palm trees that grow in the tropics, these plants are quick to adapt to life indoors. They thrive in the shade and as long as you keep the house temperature stable, they don’t complain. You won’t see drooping fronds or fallen leaves in a passive-aggressive protestation the way other houseplants do.

Another benefit is the way the palm plants clean and purify the air in your household. They remove toxins from the air and help you breathe cleaner and fresher air even without using air fresheners. According to a study by NASA, houseplants like palm trees remove air pollutants at a high rate.

Palm trees are known for their longevity. They last for long years with proper care and feeding. When your palm outgrows its indoor surroundings, you can move out to the garden and watch it grow and give you shade.

Varieties of Palm Houseplants

Palm trees come in all shapes and sizes. This is not hyperbole. The exact number is 2,600 species. Some palm trees don’t even look like they belong to that family. Put together, they appear to be different plants. But they are in fact palm trees. Here are some of the best varieties to grow indoors.

  • Cateracterum palm: their best feature is their arching fronds which sway around like they were dancing to the slightest breeze from a distant fan. They’re native to Mexico.
  • Yucca palm: a little demanding in their care and maintenance and require rich soil and top-quality fertilizers.
  • Ponytail palm: a succulent plant that has nothing to do with the palm family or even trees in general. As the name implies, expect a plant from the Agave family with a bushy top.
  • Butterfly palm: Ignore the name since this is a cane-like plant. You group a few canes in one pot to enjoy lush frond foliage that is the focal point in your living room.
  • Majesty palm tree: a tall tree that needs space, rich soil, plenty of sunlight, and water to grow. Not suitable for most homes, but if you have a large house, you can adopt one.
  • Sentry palm: use this one in your home or office. It’s a little pricey but easy to care for.
  • Areca palm tree: the feathery and arching fronds make this a favorite in bright households. It needs lots of light to thrive but on the downside, it is a short-lived plant.
  • Fan palm: some varieties of this palm are cold-hardy and tolerate temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  
  • Parlor palm: when parlors were all the rage, this palm was a fixture in every home. They need constant repotting and can grow to 6 feet tall.

How to Grow Indoor Palm Trees

Since we’re talking about thousands of species under the common Arecaceae family, we will not get into specific details that do not pertain to all species. So let’s focus on the common factors to consider that apply to most of the common household palms.

Soil

Palms grow in just about any soil or soil mixture you drop in the pot. This is an endearing quality that has helped this plant find its way into many households. Mix your soil with peat moss, shredded bark, and leaf mold to give it a loose and porous texture. A generous portion of mulch and vermiculite mixed well in the pot helps with water retention in case you forget to water it. Most indoor palms survive in the same pot and same soil for years. So you won’t need to repot the plant that often if at all.

Light

Light is not one of the requirements of growing an indoor palm plant. Not all homes are well lit and flooded with sunlight all year round. Palm trees understand that and they make do with whatever light they can get. Even dim light still won’t make a dent in their growth or slow the dancing of their cheery fronds. One thing for sure, don’t expose them to direct sunlight since that will have an adverse effect on them. 

Water

For some species of indoor palm trees, water is a must. I’m talking about regular watering like twice a week. But these are usually the flashy species known for their height and bushy fronds. Most other species that have modest heights don’t require regular irrigation and can do with dry soil if they have too. However, if you want your plant to grow its bright fronds and look happy, then maintain a moist soil during the summer months. Don’t overwater the palms since waterlogged roots rot and die.

Fertilizer

Just like water, soil, and light, palms consider fertilizers a luxury. It’s not needed for the plant to grow. Keep in mind that indoor palms rarely if ever flower. Their fronds remain arched and lively once they mature. So there’s not much of a growing season for the plants to require extra nutrition. You can still add a slow-release fertilizer to encourage the tree to grow a bushier top if that’s what you’re going for.

Palm Tree Care

We saw how it is easy to grow palm trees. You practically put them in a pot, water them every now and then and let them enjoy their sedentary and sage existence. Their care couldn’t be easier either. 

Pests

Pests are uninvited intruders trying to crash your palm party. Most often you’ll find spider mites, mealy bugs, and houseplant scale making a nest in the fronds of the palm. You can use a natural pesticide organic neem oil to take care of the bugs. Chemical pesticides don’t do a good job and they pose a risk to the household and the pets.

Pruning

Once in a while with a good organic fertilizer, your palm tree develops a bushy top that grows out of shape. Think of a bad-hair day. No matter what you do, the fronds won’t fall in line. You would also notice some yellow fronds and others that are dead or dying.

This calls for pruning action.

Start with the low-hanging leaves. They’re the first to go brown with age. If that still leaves the palm looking too shaggy for your liking, remove some of the low fronds at the base where they meet the trunk.

Brown tips are another common problem. They don’t mean the whole frond is bad. You can just trim the brown tips off leaving the healthy frond to grow.

Propagating

You can propagate palm trees in various ways. Division, air layering, and cuttings are common ways of propagating these household plants. Some species can be grown from seeds which is the preferred way. In this case, the tree produces dates, and seeds can be obtained from the palm dates. You can mail order the seeds and plant them in the pot.

Other species such as ponytail palms and sago palms grow pups. These are offshoots that evolve into fronds. However, if you remove these pups at the stem and plant them in a pot they will grow roots. 

Troubleshooting Common Indoor Palm Tree Issues

Some common problems you might encounter when growing and caring for your indoor palm tree include:

  • Overuse of fertilizers. This is especially true of chemical fertilizers which result in a spurt of growth. It’s better to use organic fertilizers and slow-release supplements to feed the plant for a long time.
  • Spider mites. They are the bane of indoor palms. Get rid of them using natural pesticides as soon as you see them. They multiply quickly and might affect other plants in the house.
  • Lack of water. Since palm trees don’t require regular irrigation, it’s easy to forget to water them for a long time. If you can’t remember the last time you watered it, check the soil. If it’s too dry, water the plant.

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 tool;
  • 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 specimen. 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 houseplant. 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.

Which giant plants can and can't be pruned

Unfortunately, not all plants that have grown to the ceiling can be dealt with. 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.

Alejandro Bayer Tamayo / Flickr.com

Dracaena, yucca, dieffenbachia, ficus, hibiscus abutilon, coffee tree and shefflera can just as easily grow to the ceiling. 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.

*L / Flickr.com

Very often you can see a dull and spreading Chinese rose in the premises of offices and buildings, 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.

Kengo Biddles / Flickr.com

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.

Maja Dumat / Flickr.com

If these are vines with flexible stems such as monstera, philodendrons and others that have grown attached to a vertical support, then they can be detached from the support and redirected in other directions.


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