We have several shrubby plants that are ancient, potted, and in need of pruning. My inclination is to prune them before I bring them inside for the cold season. Most the the plants come from more temperate climates and bloom while inside. But part of me always wonders if I should prune in early summer when I bring them outside. Any general recommendations?

  • Impossible to say without seeing each individual plant, or at least knowing the variety
    – Bamboo
    Sep 12, 2017 at 11:42

1 Answer 1


Pruning is best done in little bits all of the time. When you are thinking of pruning go get your pruners, alcohol and do a bit of clean up. There is no 'best' time for indoor plants. I always took my plants outside on a covered porch for the summers. Really gives our long term 'perishables' a great boost. You don't just put them in the sun do you? Send a picture, Ben. I am playing with this paint program I might be able to help prune. Bypass pruners, sharp sharp sharp and alcohol. Usually the rule is 1/3 of a plant but I try not to do more than 1/4 of the plant at a time but that is a tough thing to figure. I go by the vigor of the plant for how much I will take off a plant at a time. Little sessions work very well. Taking your indoor plants out of doors for the summer is truly smart! You can also hose them down and clean them of dust. What are you doing for fertilizer, Ben?

  • 1
    Definitely would be easier if the question was about one particular plant, with pics! The '1/3' rule probably didn't have most houseplants in mind, so it would really depend on what parts were being removed.
    – J. Musser
    Sep 12, 2017 at 10:42
  • I will probably ask for advise for a specific plant in a bit, but have about a half dozen different plants I'm now in charge of taking care of. I've been working with outdoor plants all my life, but am a little intimated,by indoor. I could use some general advise on indoor fertilization.
    – Ben
    Sep 12, 2017 at 12:48
  • There are basic generic rules that fit most plants, Ben where pruning is concerned. Fertilizer is 'less is best but none is dumb' gig! Grins. Get Osmocote 14-14-14 extended release. Ugh, I hate the company but this is a great, easy, simple only to be used a few times per YEAR...for all plants. Send pictures before anything else. Okay?
    – stormy
    Sep 13, 2017 at 7:02

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