How to Prune a Citronella Plant

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Citronella plants are best known for their mosquito-repelling properties. But did you know that these plants also need to be pruned? In this blog post, we’ll show you how to prune a citronella plant so that it can continue to thrive.

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Pruning Basics

Pruning is an important part of plant care. It helps to promote growth, remove dead or damaged leaves, and shape the plant. Citronella plants should be pruned in early spring or late fall.


Pruning is an important part of citronella plant care. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. This will give the plant time to recover and produce new growth for the upcoming season.

Citronella plants can be pruned quite heavily without causing harm, so don’t be afraid to cut back the plant by up to one-third its height. This will encourage new growth and help to keep the plant from getting too leggy.


Pruning shears, also called hand pruners, come in two basic types: anvil and bypass. Bypass pruners have two blades that slide past each other, like scissors; anvil pruners have one sharpened blade that closes against a flat surface. Which kind you need depends on the job you’re doing:

-Bypass pruners are best for making clean cuts through living tissue on small stems;
-Anvil pruners can crush or bruise plant tissue and are best used on dead wood or very tough stems.

Loppers are larger versions of pruning shears and are used for cutting medium to large branches. Loppers come in both bypass and anvil styles.

Pole pruners have a cutting head with one or two blades at the end of a long pole; the cutting head is often attached by a flexible cable. Some models have a ratchet mechanism that multiplies your cutting power. Pole pruners are used to cut branches too high to reach with shears or loppers.

Pruning a Citronella Plant

Pruning a citronella plant is important to maintain the health of the plant and to encourage new growth. Citronella plants can be pruned using a variety of methods, including manual pruning, shearing, or using a pruning saw.

Remove dead or diseased leaves and stems

Start by removing any dead or diseased leaves and stems. Citronella plants are subject to a number of diseases, including fungal leaf spots, root rot, and stem blight. inspecting your plant regularly and removing any affected leaves or stems as soon as you see them is the best way to prevent these diseases from taking hold.

Next, remove any leaves or stems that are crowding the center of the plant. This will allow air to circulate more freely, which will help prevent fungal diseases from developing.

Finally, cut back any leggy or overgrown stems. These can be trimmed back by half or more, depending on how much they need to be reduced.

Trim back overgrown areas

Pruning a citronella plant is important to keep it looking its best and encourage new growth. You should trim back overgrown areas, dead or diseased branches, and any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. It is best to prune your citronella plant in the spring or early summer.

When you are ready to prune your plant, put on a pair of gloves and use sharp, sterile pruning shears. Make sure to make clean cuts and avoid tearing the bark. You can dispose of the trimmed branches in your compost bin or green waste bin.

Cut back leggy stems

To encourage new growth, cut back any leggy stems to about 6 inches (15 cm) above the ground in late winter or early spring. You can also cut back the plant more severely every 3 to 4 years to keep it from getting too large.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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