How To Make Houseplants Grow Fast (Complete Guide)

It would be nice to be able to wave a magic wand over your houseplants to transform their small form into a version straight out of a magazine. But, as life would have it, that takes time, patience, and TLC. There are the essentials as well as a little extra you’ll need to provide to help your houseplants achieve faster, fuller growth.

To make houseplants grow fast, you should:

  1. Provide adequate light
  2. Create warmer and more humid environments
  3. Use nutritious water
  4. Use nutrient-rich Soil
  5. Add organic compost and other amendments
  6. Prune to promote fuller and healthier growth

The process of accelerating the growth of your lovely indoor plants is not complicated. This guide will cover what you should provide to help your houseplants successfully achieve fast and healthy growth. 

Key Takeaways

  • Storage of Bagged Mulch: Keep unused bagged mulch in its original bag, ideally stored indoors on racks where it’s cool, dry, and airy. Outdoors, stack them on a wooden pallet and cover with plastic sheets for protection.
  • Storing Bulk Mulch: Spread bulk mulch in an even layer on a plastic tarp and cover with another tarp to protect it from moisture, pests, and heat. Regularly check for spoilage or pests.
  • Longevity: Properly stored mulch, whether bagged or bulk, retains quality and usability, extending its lifespan for garden use. While it will still be usable after a few years in storage, the quality can decline over time.
  • Preventing Nitrogen Deficiency: For organic mulches like wood chips, apply a thin layer (1-2 inches) to avoid nitrogen depletion in the soil. Fertilize directly into the root zone for better absorption.
  • Choosing Mulch Types: Consider factors like moisture retention, weed suppression, aesthetic value, and soil enrichment when selecting from various organic and inorganic mulches.

1. Provide Adequate Light

When provided with more sunlight, houseplants respond with faster growth and blooming. This is why the blooming season is generally when the nights are shortest and leave more time for the sun to shine. Plants use sunlight to create chemical energy (glucose) and release it when and where it’s needed.

Plant leaves are responsible for many roles in plant survival. When there’s less sunlight and more darkness, the leaves are able to sense the change and relay the information to the rest of the plant. This process is called photoperiodism. It provides information plants need for the changes of entering or exiting dormancy or when to prepare for the blooming season. 

Plants bloom with new growth during spring and summer, and that’s also the case for houseplants. As the weather begins to warm up, more sunlight is available to aid the springtime growth spurt and blooming. Fast growth typically happens once your houseplants break dormancy at the end of winter. 

Minimal or no growth will occur with insufficient sunlight available.

The Importance of Sunlight and Light Intensity for Houseplants

Sunlight is crucial to plant survival. It provides the energy needed to complete photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants use the energy from sunlight to turn the macronutrients it absorbs into food. The plant uses these nutrients to carry out different functions like breathing, growth, and cell division.

Knowing your individual houseplants’ sunlight and growing requirements will help you better understand where they will best thrive in your home. 

The Amount of Sunlight

Your plants need a certain number of hours of light energy to continue to grow, flower, and thrive overall. As a rule of thumb, 8 to 12 hours is typically sufficient for most houseplants to enjoy, but offering up to 16 hours will help them flourish—especially flowering plants. Flowering houseplants prefer longer hours of sunlight to produce enough energy for growth and blooms.

Check the location of your plants to ensure they’re getting the amount of sunlight they need. If your houseplants are placed in areas that lack sufficient sunlight, they will begin to conserve energy, and the growth process will slow down. They will thrive by being placed in an area that provides ideal sunlight conditions.

Even if you have a houseplant that can survive in low light conditions, such as a snake plant, brighter light will promote faster growth. It will receive more sunlight to create energy for growth and development.

This doesn’t mean that you should put every single plant under the midday sun. Some plants don’t take well on direct sunlight—usually tropical plants that evolved to thrive under tree canopies. In these cases, you can still give them a push by moving them closer to a window while keeping them under indirect sunlight.

Light Intensity

The intensity of the light your houseplants are receiving is essential as well. The sun’s rays tend to be stronger during the end of spring and most of the summer. The photosynthetic rate increases with light intensity, creating faster plant growth as long as other growing essentials are available.

The best way to control the amount of light and light intensity is by using a good quality grow light with a timer to automatically provide 14 to 16 hours of light energy.

Most houseplants can also be placed outside during summer to receive the full amount and intensity of natural sunlight.

If you would like to explore your options for giving indoor plants enough light to grow, check out my article: How To Give Indoor Plants Enough Light To Grow

The Importance of Rotation for Even Light Exposure

Unless you’re using a grow light mounted above your houseplants to provide optimal growing conditions, you’ll need to rotate them to ensure all areas of your plants are receiving sunlight love. 

Rotating your plants is essential to plant care. It provides light exposure to all parts of the plant while promoting even growth. Growth symmetry is crucial because it prevents stress on the roots and plant development. Stressed plants will not appear healthy and radiant, just as you lack radiance when you’re sick.

Rotating your houseplants prevents them from growing awkwardly as they lean toward the light source. Stems kept in the shade tend to grow longer in an attempt to reach for the light, investing energy in stem elongation instead of leaf development. This makes the plant look leggy.

Houseplants are stuck in the pot you put them in and have limited resources besides what you provide them. Unlike houseplants, plants that are grown outdoors have a more even exposure to the sunlight as the sun moves throughout the sky.

When your houseplants only have access to sunlight through a window, it will not reach all of their areas unless you step in and rotate them.

Light exposure and intensity are crucial in how often your houseplants need rotating. If they aren’t receiving enough sunlight attention, you’ll begin to see your plant becoming stressed.

These are some of the symptoms you’ll notice: 

  • Awkward growth will appear as the plant begins to lean or bend towards the limited amount of sunlight it can get.
  • Parts of the plant not evenly exposed to sunlight will begin to lose leaves.
  • No leaf growth is on the side with little or no sun exposure. 

Because each plant has different, the light and growing requirements will differ. But you can assess your houseplants each time you water them to see if they require rotation. Your houseplants should be turned a quarter to a half turn each time to ensure sunlight encourages healthy growth across all their leaves. 

For houseplants that don’t require frequent watering, you can check the appearance of the leaves between waterings. If the leaves on the shadier part are drooping, it’s a sign that the plant needs to be turned for sun exposure. 

2. Create Warmer and More Humid Environments

Since your houseplants will boom with growth in ideal conditions, the temperature and humidity should not be overlooked. These are both crucial parts of growth. Along with providing enough light, you can accelerate the development of your houseplants by offering optimal temperature and humidity conditions.

As with light, ideal temperatures and humidity levels can increase the photosynthesis process in plants. 

Think about greenhouses. Have you ever walked into a greenhouse without getting hit with the warmth and heavy moisture in the air? Plants growing in a functional greenhouse always look so healthy, like they enjoy their life.

That’s because they do—they have everything they need!

Temperature

Temperature preferences differ per plant, and you should be able to find a happy medium for your different houseplants.

Most foliage and flowering plants have similar temperature preferences for daytime—that is, between 70 and 80 °F (21 and 27 °C). Ideal growing temperatures are slightly lower during the nighttime, usually between 60 and 68 °F (15 and 20 °C). However, flowering plants prefer higher temperatures during the night—closer to 60 °F (15 °C).

Generally, the higher the temperature, the higher the rate of photosynthesis. However, there’s a point after which higher temperatures stop being effective. This is usually 68 °F (20 °C). When the temperature is lower than 50 °F (10 °C), the plant enzymes cannot carry out their photosynthesis duties efficiently, and the photosynthetic rate decreases.

Now, don’t go turning the temperature up too high (above 68 °F or 20 °C) for your houseplants. High temperatures hinder the photosynthetic rate just as it does with lower temperatures.

Nonetheless, providing temperatures on the higher side of your plants’ preferred range would aid in the faster growth of your houseplants. 

Note: If you prefer to place your houseplants outside during the summer months for better sunlight exposure, make sure the temperatures don’t rise too high. At around 104 °F (40 °C), plant enzymes deteriorate rapidly, and your plant’s health will decline—in the worst case, it could die.

Humidity

Humidity is measured by the amount of moisture in the air. The plant body, especially the leaves, absorbs the humid air during the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. During transpiration, the leaves will add humidity to the surrounding atmosphere by releasing moisture back into the air through the leaf pores, also called stomates. 

If you have houseplants on a window sill, you may have noticed condensation forming on the windows. This comes from your plants transpiring and releasing excess moisture into the air. The temperature difference on the window surface colliding with the humidity your plant creates causes droplets of water to form on the window.

The humidity requirement for houseplants will differ depending on the plant, but most enjoy around 60% humidity in their atmosphere, while some may only need about 40% humidity. 

To create a preferable atmosphere for your humid-loving plants, you can place them closer together to keep the humidity level higher. During transpiration, your houseplants can contribute to slight humidity changes in that area of your home, depending on the number of plants you have placed together.

When the humidity is at your plant’s desirable level, it can open its stomata wider without fear of losing water and, in turn, increase the rate of photosynthesis.

How to Increase Humidity for Your Houseplants

It’s not a great idea to increase the humidity levels of your whole house because it promotes mold and mildew, which can make you very ill. Instead, try other ways to improve the humidity around your houseplants if you can’t group them together.

Here are several different options to try:

  1. Fill half a tray or plant saucer with water and pebbles for your pots to sit on. Ensure the soil isn’t in contact with the water.
  2. Mist your plants (especially ferns) several times a day using a spray bottle with the mist setting. However, avoid misting plants that have moisture-sensitive foliage, such as African violets.
  3. Place your plants in an area of your home with higher humidity, such as bathrooms or the kitchen.
  4. Place a small humidifier near your houseplants.
  5. Group together plants with similar humidity and light requirements.

3. Use Nutritious Water

The nutrients provided by water can also aid in your plant’s growth. Natural sources like rainwater and spring water provide the primary nutrients your plants need for healthy survival.

Water also helps plants break down and dissolve the nutrients in the soil for the roots to absorb, which are then released throughout the plant body for storage or energy.

The Essential Nutrients for Plants

The essential nutrients are the following:

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is a primary nutrient that plays a crucial role in the survival of all plants during photosynthesis and provides energy for plant development and reproduction. Nitrogen is provided during rainfall and within the soil. It helps the roots regulate the absorption of minerals and water for plant health and function. 

Phosphorus

Phosphorous is a vital primary nutrient plants use to convert the sun’s energy for the purpose of growth, development, and reproduction.

Potassium

Potassium is a primary nutrient gives a plant the ability to withstand drought. Plants use potassium to aid in the movement of nutrients and water through the plant tissues. As with other primary nutrients mentioned, it’s crucial for survival and optimal health in your houseplants. 

Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen

These three nutrients undergo a transformation during photosynthesis and are vital for the health of your plants. Plants break down CO2 and water to combine hydrogen and carbon, making carbohydrates. While carbon is used for plant growth and energy, oxygen is needed for the plant respiration and transpiration process. 

How to Get Natural Water

Natural water sources provide the best hydration for plants and trees, which is why you’ll see the outdoors looking radiant and full of life after a generous rainfall. It’s no different when it comes to your houseplants. You can obtain natural water by collecting rainwater or tapping into a natural water body on your property.

If you want to get the best hydration for your houseplants, it’s highly recommended to use rainwater or spring water over treated or hard water.

Rainwater

Many people recommend harvesting rainwater because of its purity and abundance of nutrients. When it rains, you’ll notice the outdoor plants looking lively and happy. That’s because rainwater provides nutrients your plants need to thrive. 

City and town water systems can be contaminated with pharmaceuticals, salt, and chemicals, while rainwater has very little contamination. 

Rainwater and other natural water sources are rich in nitrogen and dissolved oxygen.

It also contributes to releasing nutrients that are needed for growth and development: 

  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc

Some areas have regulations on collecting rainwater. Check your local town office to ensure harvesting rainwater is allowed before starting.

The best way to collect rainwater is with a rainwater harvesting system.

You can use any of the following methods:

Rain Barrel System

The rain barrel system is the most common and cost-efficient method for harvesting rainwater. Rain barrels are placed below the downspouts of your home gutter system. The rain will flow through the gutters system and into the rain barrels. 

The only downside with this method is if your roof has waste, such as bird droppings, which can contaminate the rainwater as it slides down the gutter.

Dry System

With the dry system method, you’ll use pipes to divert the water from your gutter system to a large tank above ground to store your rainwater. This is simpler than a wet system, with fewer pipes to direct the water and a lower risk of contamination due to stagnant water in the pipe system to the storage tank.

Wet System

The wet system allows you to connect to your gutter system and direct the water through underground pipes to a large water storage tank. The underground pipes come above ground to connect to the tank located away from the building and gutter system.  

Spring or Creek Water

Springs and creeks are naturally flowing water bodies full of minerals from the rocks and ground they flow through and over. Springs come from an underground aquifer, traveling upward and out of the ground surface by underground pressure. Creeks flow above ground and typically connect to a larger body, such as a river.

You may need to check your local town office for the regulations in your area on collecting water from springs and water bodies due to the possibility of contaminating the water. 

Types of Water You Should Avoid

Water has the function of helping plants dissolve and absorb nutrients through the root system. But, as mentioned above, natural water also contains nutrients that benefit the health and growth of plants.

If you’re unable to harvest natural water, you may think it’s safe to use tap water to water your houseplants. Using tap water from a well source that doesn’t contain hard water is acceptable, but if your tap water is hard or softened, using it continuously for your houseplants is not healthy. 

Some well water can be mineral-dense, and tap water is typically treated with chemicals and salt additives. Softened water may also contain chemicals from the town or city treatment processes.

Frequently using hard or softened water can cause mineral and salt build-up in the soil that will either greatly hinder your houseplant’s health or kill it. 

These are the signs of a mineral build-up in your potting soil:

  • Chalky or powdery residue on the soil surface
  • Leaf color changes that begin to appear brown or yellow
  • Discoloration or rotten roots
  • The plant appears sad, droopy, or wilting
  • Growth has halted or slowed

Softened Water

Towns and cities put water through a treatment process to make it ‘safe’ for drinking. Water softening transforms the hard water mineral concentration with the use of chemicals or ion exchange. A salt-water solution is often used during the softening process to eliminate the concentration of minerals that make for hard water.

The higher salt content in softened water can be detrimental to the health of your houseplants and cause salt to build up in the soil. 

Beneficial microorganisms and other components are also eliminated during the filtration process needed for plant growth and development.

Salts occur naturally in the soil, and their levels are typically at a healthy balance for your houseplants. 

Any additional salt added to the soil can cause your plant’s health to decline. A salt build-up causes dehydration and root burn, as the plant becomes unable to absorb water from the soil and instead release moisture from their roots due to osmotic pressure.

The nitrogen uptake will also be compromised, preventing your plant from functioning properly for growth and reproduction. 

And as mentioned earlier, nitrogen is essential for plant health. 

To save your plant and help it heal from the shock, you’ll need to give your potted plant’s soil a good flush using distilled or filtered water. Flushing the soil means leaching the mineral concentration out of the soil and drainage holes. Ensure the soil doesn’t stay saturated, or the roots will begin to decay. 

Hard Water

Using hard water to water your potted plants can cause a serious issue with minerals building up in the soil. If this is not corrected, it will eventually be the demise of your plant.

Hard water contains a very high concentration of salts and many other minerals that impair the root system, which can cause problems with completing the photosynthetic cycles.  

The concentration of minerals in the soil will suffocate the roots and prevent them from sending nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the plant. Because the roots will not be able to cool themselves and cannot properly disburse nutrients, water, and oxygen to the rest of the plant, the plant will eventually die. 

The main sign of mineral build-up is similar to that of salt build-up: a powdery residue on the soil surface or on the outside of the pot if it’s planted in a porous pot like clay. 

If this happens, you’ll need to do the same as you would with salt build-up and give the soil good flush.

4. Use Nutrient-Rich Soil

Like the water you use, your houseplants’ soil has a purpose. It should contain the essential minerals to feed the plants for growth, development, and rejuvenation. The soil medium you provide to your houseplants should have a mineral balance to prevent burning the root system and allow aeration for a healthy spread.

For specific soil requirements, you’ll need to check with the individual recommendations for your houseplants.

Because your plants are confined with limited soil to draw nutrients from, they’ll eventually deplete all the nutrients the soil has to offer. As the roots absorb the nutrients, the soil will begin to harden, and you may even feel a waxy substance on the top layer.

To keep nutrients available for healthy growth, you should repot your houseplants when the soil begins to harden. 

You can also replenish the nutrients by fertilizing or adding compost. You should always wait about six weeks after repotting your houseplants before adding any nutrient-rich resource, such as fertilizer or compost. If your plants have an overload of nutrients in their soil, the root system will suffer from root burn and die if not caught and fixed quickly.

Nutrients Good Soil Should Have

The nutrients contained in the soil include some of the above-mentioned primary nutrients from the water you use to hydrate your plants.

Here’s a list of the main essential nutrients your soil should provide:

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Oxygen
  • Carbon
  • Hydrogen 

There are also other minerals your soil should contain: 

  • Calcium: It takes part in enzyme activity and root permeability.
  • Magnesium: It’s the central core of the chlorophyll molecule and is also involved in fat formation and metabolism.
  • Sulfur: A secondary nutrient that is responsible for proteins, amino acids, and vitamin and oil formation.

There are other essential nutrients called micronutrients that are also important in helping fuel plant growth. Micronutrients benefit plant growth and development, but they should be present in smaller amounts than the previously mentioned nutrients.

Here are the main plant micronutrients: 

Chlorine

Chlorine is a micronutrient that aids in chlorophyll formation, cellular development, and enzyme activity. Plants can easily suffer chlorine toxicity from absorbing too much chlorine in their soil or from chlorine-treated water. When a plant’s chlorine intake is too high, the leaves will provide signs of browning and appear scorched.

Iron

Iron is an essential nutrient that is crucial for enzyme development and plant reproduction. It’s also essential for chlorophyll formation and maintenance. One sign that your plant lack iron is the yellowing of the leaf veins due to chlorophyl degradation.

Zinc

Zinc is a micronutrient that helps with the development of chlorophyll and activates enzyme activity for specific proteins. Although it does have essential roles in a plant’s metabolic functions, zinc is necessary only in trace amounts.

Copper

Copper is a mineral that partakes in several plant processes, including photosynthesis and respiration. It also is needed for seed production. This mineral is also linked to the production of vitamin A.

Manganese

Manganese is a mineral that contributes to root development and health, plays a crucial role in photosynthesis, and is essential to many other functions in plant growth and development.

Boron

Boron is an essential mineral that is needed to regulate plant hormones and to produce flowers or fruit. Boron is used with calcium for new cell development (cell division) and cell wall synthesis. 

Molybdenum

Molybdenum is a micronutrient that’s essential to plant growth and development. It plays a vital role in nitrogen metabolism. This mineral is also needed for the nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur cycles. 

Signs of Nutrient Imbalance in Your Soil

Your plants will let you know if your soil lacks the proper nutrients or has them in excess. Most of the time, the leaf health of your plant will provide a good indication.

Here are some signs you should look for when measuring nutrient deficiency or overload: 

  • Yellowing of the leaves.
  • Browning of the leaves’ tips and edges.
  • Leaves appear droopy or are falling off. 
  • Weakened plant structure.
  • Growth has slowed or stopped.
  • Blooms are not forming.
  • A dark brown or rotting root system.

If you find your plants are suffering in the soil they’re potted in, the easiest fix is to repot them with fresh soil to ensure balanced nutrients.

Types of Soil for Houseplants

Many local nurseries and hardware stores will sell premixed potting soil types for different plant needs. It’s also easy to mix your own soil with amendments to optimize nutrients and drainage (more on amendments below).

Some of the different types of premixed soils you can purchase are: 

All-Purpose

All-purpose soil is the most common type, and it’s usually a good pick if you aren’t sure what to use for your houseplants. It provides a balance of nutrients and is designed for all types of plants. 

Organic

Organic soil is rich in organic matter, such as worm castings, manure, and decaying plant parts. It may be too rich for some plants but can be mixed into other soil to thin out the amount of organic matter. 

Moisture Control

A moisture control mixture contains pellets that absorb moisture for the roots to have a way to obtain water when the soil is dry.

Seed Starting

A seed-starting mixture is formulated to aid in seeds’ germination and root growth. There’s a low concentration of nutrients to allow the roots to reach and spread easily. By using seed-starting soil, you can expect faster growth from seedlings.

Cactus and Citrus

Cactus and citrus is a good choice for plants that prefer well-drained soil. It has sand mixed into the soil to allow airflow and drainage. This mixture will provide a dryer environment for plants such as cacti, succulents, and citrus.

Orchid Potting Soil

Orchids are pretty sensitive plants. They’re particular about the soil they grow in, and this type of soil is formulated for them to thrive. It provides the nutrients needed as well as airflow and drainage to prevent root rot.

5. Organic Compost and Other Amendments

Organic compost is undoubtedly an exceptional additive in aiding healthy growth for outdoor plants. It should not be overlooked when taking care of your indoor plants.

Compost is a type of biological amendment that fertilizes the soil with organic matter. When compost is in the making, its inside temperature heats up from the fungi, bacteria, and other decomposing organisms feeding on the organic matter to break it down.

As the compost is broken down, it creates a nutrient-rich soil that helps plants thrive with healthy growth from the nutrient boost.

Eventually, the soil mixture your houseplants live in will deplete nutrients. You’ll need to replenish the nutrients for your plants to continue with growth, development, and blooms. An inch (2.5 cm) of compost can be mixed directly into the top 2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm) of your houseplant’s soil. Just be careful not to damage the roots in the process.

The amount of compost to add varies depending on the plant and the nutrients the soil still contains. Typically, you can add about an inch (2.5 cm) of compost a couple of times a year, mixing it into the top of the soil.

Cacti and succulents may need a little less since compost can create too much density in the soil and hinder drainage.

You can use the compost you’ve made or purchase it from your local supplier or hardware store. It can quickly be done if you’re interested in creating your own compost to save money.

Here’s a quick DIY compost bin guide, including what to put in it: 

  1. Gather your materials:
    • A storage container of at least 30 gallons (113.6 liters). Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid
    • Tool(s) to put holes in your containers, such as a hand drill or a hammer and nail
    • Brown matter, such as dead leaves and twigs
    • Soil
    • Green matter, such as food waste and grass; approximately 30% of food waste can be composted
    • Shovel
  2. Choose a shady location for your compost bin to sit and work its magic.
  3. Make around ten holes in the bottom of the container. This will allow your compost to breathe, which is crucial for bacteria and fungi to do their job.
  4. Fill about ¼ of the container with brown matter. 
  5. Add soil until the container is half full.
  6. Add the green matter.
  7. Mix the materials with the shovel and make sure the soil covers all of it. 
  8. Pour some lukewarm water to moisten the soil, but not enough to drench it. This could damage your compost. If there’s an odor coming from your compost, that means you’ve used too much water.
  9. Mix your materials every two to four weeks to ensure everything breaks down. 
  10. Once all the organic matter has broken down into nutrient-rich soil, it’s ready to use on your plants!

To learn more, check out my extensive guide about making compost at home: How to Compost With and Without a Bin (Ultimate Guide)

Other Amendments

There are other amendments that can change the soil’s structure to benefit the health and growth of your plants. Amending the soil should improve the current conditions, but the choice of amendment depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

Here are a few ways of amending your soil:

Improving Drainage

Most houseplants need soil that drains well to prevent anaerobic soil conditions. Using  the following materials will improve drainage in your houseplants:

  • Perlite
  • Sand
  • Stones 
  • Bark and woodchips

Improving Water Retention

Some houseplants prefer their soil to stay moist and need amendments to help with water retention. Vermiculite can be used to retain moisture and allow drainage for the roots to stay healthy, but it can be pricey.

Other water retention amendments are:

  • Sphagnum moss (peat)
  • Compost
  • Coconut Coir
  • Pine bark or chips

Leaves and Food Waste

Instead of using full-strength compost, you can add raw organic materials, such as dead leaves and food waste, to your potting soil for nutrients. The organic matter breaks down over time and helps keep nutrients available for your plants to absorb. 

6. Prune to Promote Fuller and Healthier Growth

Pruning your houseplants is an excellent way to keep them growing healthy. All houseplants should receive routine care that includes this chore. Pruning is typically done in the spring, as their dormancy ends and the growing season begins.

Here are some of the benefits of pruning your houseplants:

  • It promotes new growth.
  • Your plants will have healthier and more balanced growth.
  • It corrects growing and structure issues from lack of proper sunlight.
  • It helps prevent pests from damaging your plant.
  • Allows for propagation to make more plants.
  • Pruning your houseplants can be very therapeutic!

Unless you’ve neglected this pruning for too long, it’s not complicated or as time-consuming as you may think. Pruning consists of removing dead parts of the plant or cutting back the growth. If your houseplants are happy and healthy with no structure or growth issues, you may only need to remove a few dead parts and cut back areas to reshape a bit.

As you prune your houseplants, you’re able to get a better look at your plant, its health, and how it’s growing. 

How to Prune Houseplants

As mentioned, this is an integral part of routine care to ensure full and healthy growth. Most houseplants will be simple to prune, and you can even propagate the clippings!

Here’s a quick guide on general plant pruning:

  1. Grab some sterile shears or scissors—and your plant, of course. 
  2. Rotate your plant to pick off all dead parts or clip them if needed.
  3. To trim back leggy or misshapen growth, cut above leaf nodes. This allows new development to form. Don’t cut back more than 30% of your plant.
  4. To help your plant recover from the injuries from your shears, apply cinnamon to the areas you cut. Cinnamon is said to heal the damage from cutting, which helps direct plant energy to root and plant development instead of healing. Many gardeners use this spice because of its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
  5. Once you’re done pruning, new growth will occur over the next few weeks, and your houseplants will look healthy and lush in a matter of a few months—or even faster if you provide optimal living conditions.
  6. And don’t be so quick to throw the clippings away. For many houseplants, such as pothos, philodendrons, and succulents, you can easily propagate by potting the clippings!

Final Thoughts

Houseplants are confined in a pot and rely on you for sunlight, water, and essential nutrients to survive and thrive. If you want your plants to be healthy and lush, be informed of their individual needs. And if you wish for faster growth, you’ll need to provide routine care and the above recommendations.

By following the recommendations in this guide and familiarizing yourself with the preferred living conditions of each plant species, your houseplants will have the resources needed to grow to their full potential faster.

Dr. Moritz Picot

Dr. Moritz Picot is a horticulture enthusiast and the founder of TheGrowingLeaf.com, where he serves as the lead content writer. He established the website in 2022 as a valuable resource for both gardening aficionados and beginners, compiling all the gardening tips he has accumulated over the past 25 years. Alex has a passion for nurturing plants, transforming backyards into inviting spaces, and sharing his knowledge with the world.

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