One of the most exciting parts of houseplant parenthood (in my opinion) is propagating your plants. I love cloning my favorite houseplants and giving them away as gifts, or keeping them to myself! Let’s talk about how to prune and propagate your majesty palm.
Why and How to Prune Your Majesty Palm
First, you might ask, why is pruning necessary?
Pruning is important for maintaining the health and appearance of your houseplants because this allows you to remove dead leaves and stems, clear out crowded areas to promote good airflow between the leaves (which can deter fungal growth), keep your plant well-shaped and balanced, and even encourage growth in areas where you’d like to see new leaves or branches!
Majesty palms are fairly slow-growing houseplants (which is one of the features that makes them such a great choice for an indoor tree!) so you probably won’t need to prune often.
Since majesty palms grow so slowly, it’s not a good idea to remove green, healthy fronds from the plant because it will take the tree so long to replace them. Majesty palms also tend to grow in a very symmetrical pattern, so you won’t have to prune to shape your majesty palm or prevent it from getting too big. (See? I told you majesty palms were low-maintenance!)
Most likely, you’ll only need to prune to remove dead or damaged fronds. To prune your majesty palm, simply use clean scissors or shears to remove dried out or yellowed fronds, or any fronds with brown spots. That will redirect your palm’s energy to healthy growth and prevent the potential spread of any diseases.
If you suspect disease, do not compost the pruned fronds so you don’t accidentally spread harmful pathogens to other plants. But if the fronds are simply dried out, you can put those in your compost pile.
How to Propagate Your Majesty Palm
While you can propagate many plants with cuttings (which is why I often lump these two subjects together), that’s not the case with majesty palms. To propagate a majesty palm, you must use the separation method.
Like many succulents, majesty palms put out offshoots or “pups” that you can remove from the mother plant and plant on their own. If you notice that your majesty palm has several different stalks that appear to be attached to their own bulb that is growing off the mother plant, you can separate them!
Here’s how to do this.
Step #1: Remove the plant from its pot
Tip the pot on its side and gently remove the majesty palm. Do NOT yank the plant out from the top!
If the plant is still in its nursery pot, you can squeeze the pot to coax the plant out or even cut the plastic pot off the root ball.
Step #2: Identify the separate plants
Take note of how many pups, or different plants, are growing in the pot, and plan how you’d like to separate them. You can separate each pup to plant on its own or divide them into a few plants for each pot.
Step #3: Separate the plants
Massage the root ball to relax it and do your best to untangle it with your fingers. If the root ball is compacted, you may need to score the outside with a knife to loosen it up. You can also use a hose to dislodge some of the dirt in the root ball and make it easier to work with.
This may take some time, especially if your plant is large and tightly packed. Once the root ball starts to loosen, start separating the different stalks into individual plants. If the roots on the individual plants are very long, you can trim them to encourage new root growth. (This might also help them fit into the smaller pots!)
Step #4: Plant the offshoots
Now that you have individual mini-majesty palms, you can plant them in their own pots!
To do this, select pots with drainage holes and place a little fast-draining palm soil (or our favorite majesty palm soil recipe) in the bottom. Place your majesty palm plant in the middle of the pot and fill the space around it with soil so that the plant stands upright. Make sure to leave about two inches of space on top for watering.
Once you’ve filled the pot with soil, water your new baby majesty palms until the water just starts to drain out the bottom. If the soil settles down, add a little more on top, still taking care to leave an inch or two of space.
If you have trouble keeping your cuttings upright in their container or medium, you should try these easy-to-use node holders! This handy propagation tool is a simple way to keep root cuttings healthy and in place while they take root, which gives those roots more room to grow without the added pressure of supporting the plant’s weight. This plant node support also helps your cuttings root faster.
After about a month, you can start fertilizing with Indoor Plant Food to encourage your new majesty palms to grow and put out new, beautiful palm fronds!
That’s it! Separation is a relatively quick and easy way to propagate, and it’s a fantastic way to give thoughtful gifts to plant-loving friends or to expand your own houseplant collection!