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My mum has a plant (Aglaonema modestum) which she doesn't quite take care of, and it is messy with dead leaves and half yellow, half green leaves.

I find them very ugly and want to trim them off. The question is, should I trim off the half yellow, half green leaves from plants in general?

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@gunbuster363, yellowing of leaves is normally a sign of over watering (or poor drainage in the pot, which can lead to too much moisture constantly in the soil). Do you think your mum could be over watering the plant? – Mike Perry Jul 18 '11 at 1:43
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The answer depends on the size of the leaf in question. For e.g., if you have large leaves, then the stalk is going to be wider and so the cut (where you trim the leaf) is going to take longer to heal and could possibly get infected. On the other hand, for plants with moderate to small leaves (e.g., roses), there is no harm in trimming off a half yellowed leaf.

I usually give such leaves a slight tug and see if it snaps off itself. If it does, well and good and if it doesn't, I wait for a couple of days and try it again. If it looks really ugly, I take the scissors to it.

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