How to Prune a Snake Plant: A Healthy Trim

Snake Plant

Snake plants, also known as Dracaena trifasciata, are a very common household plant. These plants are notorious for their unique appearance, with sword shaped leaves. Additionally, they are popular for their ease of care. Snake plants can range from a few inches to several feet tall. They are chosen in households across the world for their low maintenance and air purifying abilities, making them excellent for beginners or busy homes. To continue to love and enjoy your plant, it’s essential to learn how to prune a snake plant.

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How to prune a snake plant?

The process of how to prune a snake plant includes gathering tools, evaluating the plant, prepping your tools, and clean up. Learning how to properly prune your plants is crucial to keeping them happy and healthy. Read on for everything you need to know about each step!

All About Pruning

Pruning a snake plant is not something that you will have to do very often. An instance where you would need to prune a snake plant is to remove dead or diseased leaves. Additionally, you can prune your plant to control its growth or to propagate the plant from its cutting. Pruning a snake plant is a relatively easy process.

Essential Tools

To start the process on how to prune a snake plant, you are going to need certain tools. The essential tools for pruning a snake plant are pruning shears, a clean cloth, disinfectant, and gloves. The most important tools are going to be pruning shears or sharp scissors to make a clean cut through the leaf. The clean cloth is to wipe away any sap or residue from the plant. It’s good practice to utilize disinfectant on your tools after pruning in order to prevent any spreading of disease next time the shears are used. Gloves are optional, but recommended, because they can prevent any sap from getting onto your hands. Notably, some varieties of snake plants produce sap that can be slightly irritating to the skin.

If your goal is to utilize the cuttings to propagate the snake plant, you should acquire the necessary tools for that process as well. You will need a pot of the appropriate soil to place the cutting in. Alternatively, you can propagate and root the cutting in a cup of water as well.

Evaluate the Snake Plant

Evaluating a snake plant, an essential part on how to prune a snake plant

Before you prune your snake plant, it’s crucial to evaluate it’s condition to decide which areas you are going to target. Make sure that you inspect the overall health of the plant and look for diseased or damaged leaves. Dying leaves will look brown, yellow, or like they are wilting. In comparison, damaged leaves will have physical damage on them or injuries from pests or disease. By pruning the dead or damaged leaves off, the snake plant will be able to put its full energy into the healthy leaves instead.

You also might look for overly long leaves that don’t fit with the rest of the plant or the look you want. This can include pruning away some leaves if you notice an excessive amount crowded in one area. Too much crowding can make the plant more likely to experience disease or fungus.

Prepare the Tools

To start the process of pruning, you should begin by preparing your tools. Prepare your scissors or shears by making sure that they are disinfected and clean from any previous pruning or from any other debris. Residue from other plants could potentially spread a disease to your snake plant. Additionally, allow the blades of the shears to fully dry after cleaning. Consider wearing gloves while you prune to protect your hands from skin irritants or just to keep them clean. As previously mentioned, the sap of some snake plants is known to cause a mild skin irritation in some people. If you get the sap on your hands, be sure to wash your hands after you are finished.

Pruning the Leaves

Once you have everything prepared and ready for pruning, make sure you know which leaves you are going to want to prune away. Grab the leaf firmly near the base with your fingers. Take the shears and position them as close to the base of the leaf as you can get, right above the soil line. Make a quick and clean cut across the leaf. Try to avoid ripping or damaging any of the other leaves that you do not want to prune away. Then simply move onto the next leaf that you want to prune from your snake plant if there are any others. Try not to prune too many leaves at once because this is a stressful experience for the plant.

Clean Up

Once you have removed all of the leaves that you wished prune away, you will need to clean up the area. Make sure you throw away all unwanted or damaged leaves into the trash. It’s important to keep the cut leaves away from any pets, as this plant can be toxic to them if eaten. Be sure to wipe down the shears that you used and proceed to use a disinfectant on them to prevent any disease transfer. If you chose to wear gloves, throw them away while trying not to touch the outside of them.

Overall, how to prune a snake plant is important information to know when you are an owner of one. This will allow you to better care for your plant and allow it to thrive. Pruning is a very easy process that you shouldn’t have to do very often to snake plants.

Article Sources:

Dracaena trifasciata. North Carolina State Extension