How to Trim Small Palm Trees

Updated February 21, 2017

A small palm tree used as a houseplant helps bring a bit of the tropics indoors. Small indoor palm trees require proper trimming or they begin to look unattractive. Also, if you do not trim the tree, it can grow too big for your house. When you trim your palm tree, take great care to do it the correct way or else you risk damaging, or even killing, your tree.

Add fertiliser to your tree one week before you plan to trim it to help it fight off shock once it's trimmed.

Take the tree outside so the fronds you trim off don't get all over your floor or carpet.

Cut off any dead or diseased fronds first. Look for any fronds that are yellow or brown. Clip these off from the base.

Using the shears, cut off any growth that is growing around the base of the palm.

Cut off only the brown tips of otherwise healthy fronds.


When pruning, you must shape the palm tree so it looks uniform and keeps its fan shape.


Be careful not to cut off healthy fronds. Too much damage to healthy material can severely injure the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Clippers
  • Shears
  • Fertiliser
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About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.