How To Prune Calathea: A Complete Guide

Because of their gorgeous foliage and easy maintenance needs, calathea plants are a popular choice for indoor gardeners. These plants are originally from South American rainforests and are famous for their bright, patterned leaves with unique textures. Knowing how to prune your Calathea plant the right way is key to keeping it looking and feeling good.

Pruning is an essential part of maintaining the shape and size of your plant, promoting healthy growth, and preventing disease. In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to prune Calathea plants, including when to prune, the tools you’ll need, and the proper techniques for different types of pruning.

Importance of pruning for Calathea plant

Pruning is important for keeping your Calathea plant in good shape. By getting rid of leaves and branches that are dead, damaged, or sick, regular cutting back helps your plant grow healthy and keeps it safe from illness. It also helps to shape the plant and control its size, which is really handy if you don’t have much room or want to keep your Calathea looking neat and tidy.

Pruning can also make your plant look even better by encouraging new growth and keeping the plant’s colours and patterns looking fresh. With the right pruning, your Calathea can really thrive and keep making your indoor space look beautiful.

pruning for Calathea plant

Materials needed for pruning Calathea

Before you start pruning your plant, you need to get your stuff together. You’ll need a sharp pair of pruning shears, rubbing alcohol, and a clean cloth.

  • Pruning shears that are made specifically for slicing through plant debris. Picking a set of well-made, razor-sharp shears that will perform precise cuts without crushing or harming the plant is important.
  • Rubbing alcohol: You use rubbing alcohol to clean your shears before and after pruning to avoid the spread of disease.
  • A clean cloth:You use this to clean the blades of your shears between cuts. This helps to get rid of any sap or bits of plant that might stick to them and stop it from getting on your plant.

How To Prune Calathea?

Wondering how to pruning Calathea? Just follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the plant thoroughly: This helps you see which parts of the plant need pruning.
  2. Look for dead, damaged, or diseased leaves: Dead leaves are usually brown and crispy, while damaged leaves might have rips or holes. Diseased leaves might have spots or look discoloured. Once you’ve spotted these leaves, it’s time to start pruning.
  3. Cut off dead, damaged, or diseased leaves: Using the pruning shears, cut off the dead, damaged, or diseased leaves at the base of the stem. Make sure to cut cleanly to avoid leaving any stubs that may invite diseases or pests. After you’ve cut them off, throw away the bits you’ve cut off away from your plant so you don’t spread any diseases.
  4. Trim off yellowed leaves: In addition to dead, damaged, or diseased leaves, Calatheas may also develop yellowed leaves. Leaves that have gone yellow could be a sign that you’re watering your plant too much or too little, or that it’s getting too much direct sunlight. To sort this out, use your shears to cut off the leaves that have gone yellow.
  5. Trim away the browned edges: Brown leaf edges are another common issue that Calatheas may face. Brown leaf edges can be caused by low humidity, over-fertilization, or too much direct sunlight. To fix this issue, use the pruning shears to trim away the browned edges. This will help the plant direct its energy towards healthier parts.
  6. Remove leggy stems: Brown edges on the leaves are another common problem that Calatheas can get. Brown edges can be caused by not enough humidity, too much plant fertilization, or too much direct sunlight. To fix this, use your shears to cut off the brown edges. This helps your plant focus on the healthier parts.
  7. Trim away excessive growth: Excessive growth can also be an issue in Calatheas, particularly in fast-growing varieties. If your plant has grown too big, use the pruning shears to trim away excessive growth.

Steps to prune the Calathea

Things to keep in mind when pruning Calathea

When pruning your Calathea, there’s a couple of things to remember:

Firstly, it’s important to use clean and sharp pruning shears to prevent damage to the plant.

Next, it’s a good idea to prune during the growing season – the plant bounces back faster then. When you’re pruning, aim to get rid of any dead, yellow, or brown leaves, and also any scraggly or overgrown stems.

Finally, try not to prune too many leaves or stems all at once, ’cause this can really stress out the plant and slow down how fast it grows.

Prevent common problems when pruning a Calathea

To prevent common problems when pruning a Calathea plant:

1. Start by trimming just a few leaves at a time, focusing on any that are dried up or damaged.

2. Make sure to use clean and sharp pruning shears when cutting the leaves, so you are not to damage the remaining healthy ones.

3. Avoid over-pruning your Calathea plant by getting rid of no more than a third of its leaves at a time.

4. After pruning, remember to clean the cutters with rubbing alcohol to stop disease or infection spreading.

5. Place your Calathea plant in a bright spot and give it the care and upkeep it needs so it can keep doing well.

Caring for Calathea after pruning

Taking care of your Calathea after pruning is key to making sure it keeps doing well. Here are a few pointers on how to look after your Calathea properly:

Water the plant

Water the plant regularly. Calatheas like their soil to be damp so make sure you’re giving it enough water to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. It’s also important to make sure that water can easily drain away from the plant’s roots, as standing water can lead to root rot.

Try to keep the soil moist but not soggy by checking regularly and watering when it’s needed. Water until it comes out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings and don’t let the plant sit in standing water.

Proper Fertilize 

Fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer to support your Calathea’s growth. Choose an all-purpose or houseplant formulation, and use it as directed on the label.

Provide bright, indirect light

Give your Calathea bright, indirect light so it can do well. Put it near a window that gets a few hours of morning or afternoon sun, but make sure the plant’s not getting direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, so it’s best to keep your Calathea in a shaded spot during the hottest part of the day.

Monitor the plant’s growth

Keep an eye on how the plant’s growing. Make sure you’re regularly checking the leaves and stems of your Calathea by gently touching them and looking for signs of stress like wilting or yellowing leaves. Spotting any possible problems early can help keep your Calathea healthy and doing well. Also, make sure you’re regularly giving your Calathea a haircut to keep it nice and bushy.

Caring for Calathea after pruning


How to prune Calathea? It’s easy to prune your Calathea and only requires a few common household items You can make sure your plant stays healthy and keeps doing well by paying attention to the tips in this Famiplants blog post.

In order to maintain your Calathea’s best appearance, don’t be afraid to prune it. Share this post with your buddies if you like, and don’t forget to drop a comment below. Enjoy your garden!

Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

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