Everything You Need to Know About Pruning Anthuriums at Home

If you have a damaged or unbalanced Anthurium plant (aka the flamingo flower, laceleaf, or tailflower) in your indoor garden, pruning may solve your problems. Although not one of the most essential tasks in anthurium plant care, pruning can help redirect your plant’s energy towards new growth and improve aesthetics simultaneously. In this article, we’ll cover the right way to prune your Anthurium plants at home with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions.


Pruning Anthurium Plants 

Anthurium plants require regular pruning to remove any yellow, brown, or diseased leaves as well as spent flowers. This will improve growth and make the plant less susceptible to pest and disease problems. Shaping can also be done once a year in spring, removing no more than one-third of the plant at one time.


The Importance of Pruning

The Importance of Pruning

Pruning is an essential task for all houseplants. Some need more pruning than others, but all houseplants will benefit from pruning at some point.

The most important reason to prune is to eliminate damaged or fading leaves and flowers to make way for more growth. When yellowed leaves or spent flowers are left on the plant, they draw energy away that could be used on putting out new leaves and flowers.

This weak growth is also more susceptible to common anthurium pest and disease damage, so removal is vital to your plant’s health. If any pests or diseases do manage to sneak through, pruning can also be a helpful tool in control and management, stopping the spread before these problems take over your entire plant.

Pruning also helps maintain the shape of your plant. Some leaves can become unruly, growing in the wrong direction or making the plant appear lopsided. Trimming these improves the aesthetics of the plant and also promotes new growth and flowering at the same time.

Anthurium Growth Expectations

Anthurium size will largely depend on the variety you are growing as well as the growing conditions. The symbolic Anthurium can reach up to three feet tall or even larger when given the space to grow, but dwarf varieties will generally stick to around one foot in height.

Indoors, where environmental conditions are not ideal, and the plant is confined to a pot, these plants grow relatively slowly. They may grow to their full potential in a large pot and with the right conditions, adding several inches to their height every season. However, most remain compact as houseplants.

What’s the Best Time of Year to Prune Anthurium?

Pruning time will largely depend on the purpose of pruning. If you are pruning to rid the plant of yellowed, brown, or diseased leaves, this is best done sooner rather than later. Any time of the year is suitable, as long as you are not removing too much of the plant at one time.

Early spring is best if you are pruning to shape the plant or promote new growth (also the best time to repot or propagate an anthurium plant). This will ensure the quickest recovery time and take advantage of the season’s growth boost.

Avoid pruning in winter when growth is slowed. The plant will take longer to bounce back and may be more vulnerable to growth problems at this time.

What Are the Essential Tools for Pruning Anthurium Plants?

What Are the Essential Tools for Pruning Anthurium Plants?

All you need to prune your Anthurium is a pair of pruning shears or even regular scissors. These should be recently sharpened to make as clean a cut as possible, allowing the plant to heal quicker.

It’s also advised to clean your tools before you start pruning, especially if you have recently dealt with diseased plants. Harmful bacteria can hide out on your tools, spreading to any plants they are used on. Wash with soap and water or disinfect with a 5% bleach solution before use on any plants.

The sap produced by anthurium plants can also be irritating to the skin. If you have sensitive skin, wear gardening gloves while pruning to protect your hands.

How, When, and Where should you prune Anthurium Plants?

How, When, and Where should you prune Anthurium Plants?

The most common reason to prune Anthuriums is to remove damaged leaves and spent flowers. This should be done throughout the year as soon as problems appear. Follow these steps to keep the plant tidy and conserve energy:

  • Identify any yellow or brown leaves, as well as leaves with large areas of damage that could make them vulnerable to pests and diseases.
  • Trim the leaves off as far back as possible, avoiding any damage to the center of the plant or any surrounding leaves. Excessively dried-out leaves may simply pull off the plant without any required trimming.
  • Remove any spent flowers down to the base of the stem, making way for new blooms to appear. 
  • If you spot any diseased leaves, trim those off immediately and toss them in the bin. Check the undersides of leaves for any spread. Clean and disinfect your shears afterward to stop the problem from spreading to the rest of your houseplants.

How do you Shape Anthurium Plants?

How do you Shape Anthurium Plants?

When pruning to shape Anthuriums, always start in early spring for quick recovery time. Don’t remove more than one-quarter of the plant at one time to prevent shock. Follow these steps to shape your plant:

  • Identify any leaves that extend past the natural shape of the plant. Trim them off at the base to create more balance.
  • Avoid cutting any new leaves, or those towards the top of the plant, as this will impact growth most. If you need to trim any leaves, opt to get rid of older ones first.
  • Once the plant is balanced and in the desired shape, return it to its previous spot. Rotate the pot once a week to give all areas equal sunlight, preventing unbalanced growth in the future.

Caring for your Post-Pruned Anthurium

Caring for your Post-Pruned Anthurium

It’s normal to notice some wilting, drooping, or slightly yellowing soon after pruning. It will take a few weeks for the plant to recover and return to pre-pruning growth. Keep the anthurium soil base moist through regular waterings and ensure the plant has sufficient sunlight and is located in a warm spot in your home.

Don’t change any factors of your routine drastically during this time. This will only further the shock, extending the recovery time of the plant. After a few weeks, you can apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer if required to give your plant an extra growth boost.


Anthurium Pruning FAQs:

How often should I prune my anthurium?

How often you prune will depend on the performance of the plant. Regular pruning to remove damaged leaves or spent flowers is recommended, but pruning to alter the shape of the plant and encourage new growth should only be done once a year.

Can I cut off the excess leaves of an anthurium?

You can cut off any leaves that don’t fit with the plant’s shape, as long as you don’t remove more than one-quarter to one-third of the plant at one time. Remove older leaves first where possible to limit the impact on new growth.

Should I cut the brown leaves off my anthurium plant?

Brown leaves will usually fall off your Anthurium naturally as they do in the wild. However, these leaves don’t look great and can also provide a home for pests to settle in. It’s best to remove them as soon as you spot them to improve aesthetics and practice good garden hygiene.

How do you make anthurium leaves bigger?

Providing the proper care will help your Anthurium grow its full potential, including in leaf size. Light is the most essential factor to consider, along with plenty of water and the right nutrients. Pruning damaged foliage can also direct energy toward healthy growth, increasing leaf size.


Anthurium Pruning – The Final Word

While Anthurium pruning isn’t always 100% necessary, it can significantly improve the health and overall appearance of the plant. Less is always more – only remove what is necessary to prevent shock and help your plant become stronger.

If you’re looking for your next Anthurium plant to add to your collection, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering Anthuriums nationwide.


Author

Madison is a writer and editor with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. She writes and photographs for various online and print publications in the gardening sphere and is the author of the book The Next-Generation Gardener.

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