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Cutting back an elderly cheese plant

Hello. Could I have some advice please? I have a cheese plant thats about 30 years old. Theres one main thickish stalk, about an inch in diameter, which stretches from the pot about 8 feet across the wall. Tendrils hang down from it, and its supported with string and screws into the wall. The leaves are mainly close to the pot or at the end of the stalk. Im guessing its not terribly healthy but it is a feature on the wall! Nonetheless I am wanting to redecorate and need to cut the plant way way back. I dont want to kill it because it has been with me all these years. How do I go about saving it but cutting it away back? Please assume that I am not green fingered and need everything explained in laymans terms!  Many thanks!


  • I have cut back a cheese plant before without failure. I just did it in phases. Don't take more than 30% off the plant in any one year. It sounds old and past its best so try not to be too sentimental about it. If it doesn't respond positively then perhaps there's a chance to get to know a new plant. Hope it works.

  • Thank you for your comments! Are you only meant to cut back at certain times of the year?
  • Hello,
    I learn so much from posts on this site from so many knowledgeable folk but very seldom have anything to offer, so I hope this may be of some help.

    I've also had a cheese plant for many years.  I've had to cut it back quite hard on more than one occasion when moving house and so far it has regrown well each time, as long as fed and watered afterwards.

    In Spring I take off the top few cm of compost, top up with fresh new compost and add slow-release granule feed, then give the occasional liquid feed during the Summer. Give the leaves a wipe over every so often to remove dust.

    If you've got a leaf somewhere along the stem with an aerial root below, you can cut sections out and pot these up to make new plants. 

    Hope this may be of some use.

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