How To Trim an Overgrown Plant

Usually, it is the plants that refuse to thrive that give us grief. However, plants that grow unchecked pose their own problems. They are often unruly, weakened (strange as that may sound), and usually in danger of toppling over. For truly healthy plants, those that have a tendency to grow wild should be trimmed back so that the plant’s energy goes towards supporting fewer but stronger branches/shoots instead of a myriad of smaller, weaker ones. I had just such a plant and it was time to give it a makeover.

Overgrown plant

To trim back a plant, arm yourself with a pair of sharp kitchen or garden shears and a container for the cast-offs. Look the plant over to decide which branches need to go and be careful not to take too much so the plant has enough foliage left to synthesize sun’s energy while it recovers. Once you’ve decide which parts need to go, make a clean cut where branches meet and leave the stronger ones behind. Branches with lots of joining points are more likely to produce new growth in the future.

Fresh cuts on a plant while trimming it back

When you are finished, give the plant plenty of water.

Freshly trimmed plant

If you want to save any of the stronger cuttings, you can put them in water for a couple of weeks to help them sprout roots and produce new plants you can add to your collection or give away to a new home.

Fresh plant cutting in water to grow roots

And that’s all there is to it!

It’s quite amazing how much extra foliage an overgrown plant can carry. The one I trimmed down produced a whole bucket of cast-offs. Talk about lifting some weight off its back! It is doing very well now and has started sprouting new growth once again.

A bucket full of trimmings from an overgrown plant

Fresh growth on a trimmed plant



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