How to Prune a Philodendron After a Freeze

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Secateurs easily slice through philodendron stems.
Secateurs easily slice through philodendron stems. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Philodendron is a genus of tender tropical perennials adapted to hardiness in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 through 11 and is most commonly grown as an indoor plant in colder climes. Despite these parameters, the plants may be exposed to frost and freezing temperatures whether from being left outdoors after summer or from a rare cold front. Philodendrons are prolific growers and typically recover from damage, provided the plant roots and crown survive.

Prune a freeze-damaged philodendron in the spring after the last threat of frost has passed, or upon its return to a warmer indoor climate. Enduring a freeze after pruning further stresses the plant and can hurt its chances of survival.

Prune away the freeze-damaged, discolored and wilting leaves. Cut the leaves one by one, severing each leaf stem down at the crown of the plant just above the soil line. Pull the cuttings clear of the soil to make room for new shoots to emerge.

Water the plant to make the soil evenly moist but not soaking wet, if needed. This helps ease the stress on the plant and spur regrowth.

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