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How to Trim Cast Iron Plant:
In-depth Pruning Guide

Updated: May 2, 2022

The Cast Iron plant, also known as Aspidistra elatior, is an easy-to-grow houseplant that can withstand neglect and low light conditions. It is named “cast iron” because of its toughness and hardiness. However, even the toughest plants need pruning to keep them healthy and looking their best. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about trimming your cast iron plant.

Why Trim Cast Iron Plant?

Pruning your cast iron plant is essential for maintaining its health and appearance. Over time, the plant can become leggy and develop brown or yellow leaves. Trimming the plant promotes new growth and helps maintain its shape.

When to Trim Cast Iron Plant

The best time to trim your cast iron plant is in the spring or early summer when it is actively growing. Avoid pruning during the winter months or in the fall when the plant is dormant.

How to Prune Cast Iron Plant

  1. Start by sterilizing your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol or a solution of one-part bleach to nine parts water. This will help prevent the spread of disease.

  2. Identify the stems that need pruning. Look for any dead, damaged or diseased stems. Also, look for stems that are too long or have too many leaves.

  3. Cut off the stem at the base using your sterilized pruning shears. Make sure you cut at a 45-degree angle to promote healing and prevent damage to the plant.

  4. If you want to thin out the foliage, remove some of the older leaves from the base of the plant.

  5. After pruning, water your cast iron plant thoroughly to help it recover faster.

Tips for Trimming Cast Iron Plant

  • Always use sterilized pruning shears to avoid spreading diseases.
  • Do not remove more than one-third of the plant’s foliage at once.
  • If you want to propagate your cast iron plant, you can use the cuttings to start new plants.


Can I trim my cast iron plant with scissors?

While you can use scissors to trim your cast iron plant, it is better to use pruning shears. Scissors may crush the stems, which can lead to disease and damage.

How often should I trim my cast iron plant?

You should trim your cast iron plant as needed. It is best to prune it when it becomes too long or leggy or has yellow or brown leaves.

Can I trim the roots of my cast iron plant?

While you can trim the roots of your cast iron plant, it is not necessary. Only do this if the plant has become root-bound and needs repotting.

In conclusion, pruning your cast iron plant is essential for maintaining its health and appearance. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can keep your cast iron plant looking its best all year round. Remember to always use sterilized pruning shears and only prune as needed.