Should You Cut off Dead Leaves From an Indoor Plant?

This is a question that many gardeners ask themselves so what is the answer and why is the answer right.  

Should you cut off dead leaves from indoor plants and if yes why and if no why?  Plants add beauty to any room plus they also help to purify the air so it is important that you take care of your plant, and this may mean you have to cut off dead leaves.

Should you cut off Dead Leaves From an Indoor Plant?

Yes, you should cut off dead leaves from an indoor plant because it can be beneficial to the plant.  It does not matter if you are cutting dead roots, dead branches, dead leaves, or dead flowers.  This needs to be done for the health of your plant. 

As your indoor plant grows, it will go through the process of elimination.  The old ones die off as the new leaves, branches, flowers, and stems emerge.  Eliminating the old growth will let the plant continue to grow without losing any energy.  

Remember that sometimes the dead leaves did not die because they were old and a way for the indoor plant to introduce new growth.  It could be due to over-or-under-watering, insects, and diseases.  These problems have to be taken care of or else the plant will suffer from more dead leaves and such.

When to Remove Dead Leaves

If you see dying and brown leaves on your plant you should remove them only if they are 50% damaged.  Sometimes you can just cut off the brown tips and the plant will still survive.  If you want, you can leave them on until they naturally drop off but only if there is not an insect problem or a disease.  If this is the case, the dead leaves need to be removed immediately.

Should You Cut Off Dying Leaves from Your House Plants

How to Remove Dead and Dying Leaves

Generally, you can simply tug on the dead or dying leaf gently and it should come off without much resistance.  If it does not, then you can just wait a few days and it will come off by itself.  If the leaf does not come off with a gentle tug do not tear it off.  This can damage the healthy branch or stem.  You should use clean pruning shears or scissors to cut the leaf off as close as you can to the stem.  Be careful you do not cut the stem.  Get rid of the dead leaves immediately because they can become a breeding ground for diseases and pests.

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1. Landscape effect

Although your plants are indoors, when you look at them they sort of form a landscape picture with the way they are arranged, how the different species complement each other, even the colors coordinate. 

If you leave a dead part of the plant there it will take away from the tranquility of the arrangement, or landscape.  Often a dead branch will indicate a natural weakness.  In addition to the aesthetics of the plant, leaving the dead branches there they are breeding grounds for insects, decay, and diseases.  Make sure that when you see dead branches you remove them.

2. Health of plant

When you cut off the dead parts of your indoor plant, it will help to keep decomposing organisms and insects from attacking the plant’s healthy parts.  If the death of the leaves was caused by an infestation of insects, removing them can help to prevent it from spreading to other healthy plants and making sure that the rest of the plant does not become sick or infested.  Sometimes if you leave on the dead or dying leaves it can cause the plant to decline at a faster rate.

3. Protect people and property

Unless your plant is extra-large you will not have to worry about a branch breaking off and hurting anyone.  What this means is that the dead parts of plants allow stinging and poisonous insects a plant to bore into and make nests.  Pets and children could be playing around the plant and not know about these insects.  If they get bit by one of them, it could be deadly if they are allergic to the insect or the insect is poisonous.  

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4. Growth and yields

This means that in order to provide a boost to the new flowers and leaf buds you have to cut away the dead flowers and leaves that are yellowed, wilted, or turned brown.  Just use clean pruning shears to pinch them off. 

They will no longer be providing nutrients to dead areas and instead, they will be going to the healthy parts of the plants.  Also, when you remove the dead stuff, it helps with sunlight preparation and an increase in air circulation.  When you let the nutrients go the other growing parts of the plants, you will see growth spurts in the leaves.  


If you notice not only dead leaves on your plants but dead flowers or stems, it is okay to remove them.  Sometimes you can just pluck the dead leaf or flower from the plant but there are other times that you have to use scissors or shears to do so. 

You should also rinse and wipe your shears off before you move on to clip or cut off more.  The reason is that if the dead leaves are due to an insect infestation, will not be transferring the insects to another plant or to a healthy part of your plant.  The same if was a disease.

Also, make sure that you only have to gently tug the dead leaf or flower off.  If you pull it, you could break the stem or hurt the plant.  As with all things that grow, your indoor plant is shedding their old leaves and flowers in preparation for the new ones.  It is all a part of how indoor plants grow and thrive.  It will also help to keep your plant looking nice too and give a pleasing look to your plant