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Removing dead leaves or the entire contents of a planter

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If most of the leaves have died in a potted plant (perforated planter, outside), may I remove the dead leaves and/or throw out the entire contents of the pot?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Disposing contents of the entire pot:

It is permissible to dispose of the entire contents of the pot (of course, do not refill it during shemitah).

Leaf removal:

I discussed this issue with Dr. Mordechai Shomron (our agronomist), who said that if you only take off the dry part of the leaves, it doesn't increase the growth. Only if you cut the green, living part of the leaves, it is problematic. If you take only the part that is dead, it technically does not increase growth. The problem is only when you remove the leave where it touches the branch, or in other areas where the plant is alive.