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China Doll Plant Harvesting:
Optimal Time and Technique

Updated: July 7, 2022

The China Doll plant, also known as Radermachera sinica, is a popular houseplant due to its delicate foliage and ease of care. However, as the plant grows, it may need to be pruned or harvested to maintain its shape and prevent overcrowding. In this article, we will discuss the optimal time and technique for harvesting a China Doll plant.

When to Harvest a China Doll Plant

The best time to harvest a China Doll plant is during the growing season, which typically runs from late spring to early fall. During this time, the plant is actively growing and producing new leaves, making it easier to prune and harvest without causing damage. It is best to avoid harvesting during the dormant season, as this can stress the plant and limit its ability to recover.

Techniques for Harvesting a China Doll Plant

There are several techniques for harvesting a China Doll plant, depending on your desired outcome.


Pinching involves removing the tips of the stems or branches, which encourages the plant to grow more compactly and bushier. To do this, simply use your fingers or pruning shears to snip off the top inch or two of each stem or branch. This should be done regularly throughout the growing season to maintain an attractive shape.


Pruning is a more drastic technique that involves removing larger portions of the plant to control its size or shape. To prune a China Doll plant, use sharp pruning shears to cut back any overgrown branches or stems. Be sure to make clean cuts at a 45-degree angle just above a leaf node, as this will encourage new growth.

Harvesting Leaves

If you want to harvest leaves from your China Doll plant for use in arrangements or crafts, it is best to choose mature leaves from the lower portion of the plant. Simply use scissors or pruning shears to snip off the leaf at the base of the stem. Avoid harvesting too many leaves at once, as this can stress the plant and limit its ability to produce new growth.


Harvesting a China Doll plant can also be an opportunity to propagate new plants from cuttings. To do this, simply take a cutting from a healthy stem or branch, making sure it is at least 4-6 inches long and has several leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and plant it in a pot filled with potting soil. Keep the soil moist and place the pot in a bright, indirect light until new growth appears.


How often should I prune my China Doll plant?

Pruning should be done as needed to maintain the desired shape and size of your plant. During the growing season, you may need to prune every few weeks to keep the plant looking its best.

Can I harvest my China Doll plant during the dormant season?

Harvesting during the dormant season can stress the plant and limit its ability to recover. It is best to wait until the growing season to harvest or prune your China Doll plant.

How do I prevent my China Doll plant from becoming too leggy?

To prevent your China Doll plant from becoming too leggy, make sure it is getting enough light and water. You may also need to prune regularly to encourage bushier growth.

Can I propagate my China Doll plant from leaf cuttings?

Propagation from leaf cuttings is possible but can be more challenging than using stem cuttings. Make sure to choose healthy leaves and use rooting hormone to encourage new growth.

In conclusion, harvesting a China Doll plant can be a rewarding experience for any plant enthusiast. By following these techniques and tips, you can maintain the health and appearance of your plant while also enjoying its beautiful foliage.