Philodendrons, usually grown indoors as houseplants in mild climates, are cut for appearance and for propagation. To trim a philodendron, you only need sterilized scissors, pruning shears or a knife.
- Trim the plant for appearance
Philodendrons do not need to be pruned to thrive, but they look better with occasional trimmings. Cut off stems or leaves that have become yellow with damage or age. Pull the stem away from the plant and cut it where it connects with the trunk. Cut yellowed leaves just above the joint of a healthy leaf. Whenever you cut a philodendron, always water it afterwards to lessen the shock to the plant.
- Manage the size of the plant
Philodendrons can grow quite large, and some of the longer stems tend to look misshapen if not trimmed. To shape the philodendron and make it fit the room size, cut off the longest stems that have become heavy with leaves at the joints where they meet the main stem of the plant. When trimming younger plants, always leave a few leaves to enable them to absorb nutrients from the sun.
- Propagate the philodendron
When taking cuttings for replanting, choose stems that have several leaves. Cut them right above a healthy leaf or near the joint at the main stem. The stems for propagation should be 3 to 6 inches long.