Should You Cut Off Dying Leaves from Your House Plants? How to Remove Dying Leaves

As we’ve learned to properly care for different house plants over the years, we’ve had our fair share of brown, dying leaves. In the beginning, we weren’t sure if we should remove them or leave them. Here’s what we’ve found works best.

Should you cut off dying leaves? Yes. Remove brown and dying leaves from your house plants as soon as possible, but only if they’re more than 50 percent damaged. Cutting off these leaves allows the remaining healthy foliage to receive more nutrients and improves the plant’s appearance.

Although it may seem simple enough, there’s more to it than just snipping off those leaves. You’ll need to consider how much of the leaf is dying and then remove the damaged parts properly to maintain your plant’s health.

How to Remove Dead and Dying Leaves

Generally, you can simply tug on the dead or dying leaf gently and it should come off without much resistance. If it does not, then you can just wait a few days and it will come off by itself. If the leaf does not come off with a gentle tug do not tear it off. This can damage the healthy branch or stem. You should use clean pruning shears or scissors to cut the leaf off as close as you can to the stem. Be careful you do not cut the stem. Get rid of the dead leaves immediately because they can become a breeding ground for diseases and pests.

Why You Should Cut-Off Dying Leaves

1. Landscape effect

Although your plants are indoors, when you look at them they sort of form a landscape picture with the way they are arranged, how the different species complement each other, even the colors coordinate.

If you leave a dead part of the plant there it will take away from the tranquility of the arrangement, or landscape. Often a dead branch will indicate a natural weakness. In addition to the aesthetics of the plant, leaving the dead branches there they are breeding grounds for insects, decay, and diseases. Make sure that when you see dead branches you remove them.

2. Health of plant

When you cut off the dead parts of your indoor plant, it will help to keep decomposing organisms and insects from attacking the plant’s healthy parts. If the death of the leaves was caused by an infestation of insects, removing them can help to prevent it from spreading to other healthy plants and making sure that the rest of the plant does not become sick or infested. Sometimes if you leave on the dead or dying leaves it can cause the plant to decline at a faster rate.

3. Protect people and property

Unless your plant is extra-large you will not have to worry about a branch breaking off and hurting anyone. What this means is that the dead parts of plants allow stinging and poisonous insects a plant to bore into and make nests. Pets and children could be playing around the plant and not know about these insects. If they get bit by one of them, it could be deadly if they are allergic to the insect or the insect is poisonous.

4. Growth and yields

This means that in order to provide a boost to the new flowers and leaf buds you have to cut away the dead flowers and leaves that are yellowed, wilted, or turned brown. Just use clean pruning shears to pinch them off.

They will no longer be providing nutrients to dead areas and instead, they will be going to the healthy parts of the plants. Also, when you remove the dead stuff, it helps with sunlight preparation and an increase in air circulation. When you let the nutrients go the other growing parts of the plants, you will see growth spurts in the leaves.


If you notice not only dead leaves on your plants but dead flowers or stems, it is okay to remove them. Sometimes you can just pluck the dead leaf or flower from the plant but there are other times that you have to use scissors or shears to do so.

You should also rinse and wipe your shears off before you move on to clip or cut off more. The reason is that if the dead leaves are due to an insect infestation, will not be transferring the insects to another plant or to a healthy part of your plant. The same if was a disease.

Also, make sure that you only have to gently tug the dead leaf or flower off. If you pull it, you could break the stem or hurt the plant. As with all things that grow, your indoor plant is shedding their old leaves and flowers in preparation for the new ones. It is all a part of how indoor plants grow and thrive. It will also help to keep your plant looking nice too and give a pleasing look to your plant

Frequently Aѕkеd Questions About Dying Leaves

Dо уоu nееd tо cut thе dead leaves?

If уоu ѕее dead leaves, dormant stems, оr brown раrtѕ оf thе leaves, cut thеm оff. It’s okay tо pluck оff dead leaves оr stems wіth уоur hands whenever роѕѕіblе, but don’t pull tоо hard оr you’ll damage thе healthy раrt оf уоur plant.

Iѕ іt normal fоr plant leaves tо die?

It doesn’t hаvе tо bе a рrоblеm аt аll – leaf drop іѕ a normal growing condition fоr mаnу plants, wіth thе lower leaves gradually dying аnd falling оff аѕ раrt оf thе life cycle.

Cаn a plant continue tо grow wіthоut leaves?

If thе stems аrе cut, thеrе іѕ a chance thаt thе plant wіll survive. But whіlе plants саn survive wіthоut leaves, thе bеѕt wау fоr plants tо survive іѕ wіth thеіr leaves. Foliage plants аrе plants thаt thrive!

Hоw dо уоu bring a plant wіthоut leaves bасk tо life?

Aѕ thе leaves аnd stems develop furthеr, cut оff аnу раrtѕ оf thе stems thаt аrе nоt producing leaves оr stems. If уоu don’t ѕее nеw leaves оr stems аftеr a fеw weeks, recheck thе plant’s stems аnd prune аwау аnу dead wood аѕ thе stem dies.

Whаt tо dо іf thе leaves оf thе plants turn brown?

Water thе plants generously аnd repeatedly tо remove soil аnd tо prevent buds frоm burning. Abundant watering removes accumulated salts. If thе plants begin tо ѕhоw brown tips аѕ thе soil thaws іn spring, thеу mау hаvе bееn exposed tо winter. Immediately flush thе soil wіth plenty оf water.

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