Succulents benefit most from pruning at the start of their growing season, although you can prune them at any time. If you prune around the end of the growing season, new growth might not appear as rapidly, but it will develop gradually and accelerate once they begin to grow vigorously again.
There are numerous succulents that grow best in the summer, but there are also quite a few that grow best in the winter. To determine when your succulents are actively developing, check at this dormancy table.
My succulents are often pruned in the spring, after spending the winter indoors. Typically, they become quite stretched out and lose some of their initial beauty.
I can freshen the arrangement by pruning them without needing to buy new plants. It’s a fantastic approach to grow your garden!
How may a succulent be pruned without harming it?
The cut should be made a few inches below the point where your succulent’s rosette or top growth terminates. When planting your plant, you should leave a small amount of stem showing, but not so much that it protrudes too far from the ground like it did before.
Where do you prune succulent plants?
It’s great to watch the video and have a visual understanding of how I prune if you’re new to the lovely world of succulents. Panda Plant, Echeveria, Sedum, String of Buttons, Jade Plant, and Princess Pine Crassula are some of the succulents you’ll see me prune.
The nodes, or locations where a leaf or side stem joins to the main stem, are present on the majority of succulents that I am aware of. It is shown to you in the graphic in the link. Pruning should be done 1/4 to 1/2 inch below a node.
Depending on the type of succulent and your goals for trimming it, you should decide where to make the lengthwise cut.
It depends on you and the amount of trimming the succulent requires how much you cut off. I occasionally tip prune (pinch off the very end) and only remove a couple of inches.
I recently removed 3 and 4 stems from my Grey Fishhooks and Pencil Cactus. The damaged stems of the pencil cactus prevented it from standing up straight. It does not require staking due to the pruning.
Pruning was done on the Fishhooks to manage length, remove dead stems, and encourage new shoots at the top. Together with two other hanging succulents, it grows outside on the patio outside my kitchen.
Tucson summers are incredibly hot, and this is not the best time of year for fleshy succulents. If the trails are kept short, they perform and look better.
How should a leggy succulent be pruned?
- The plant should be cut, leaving approximately an inch or so of stem at the base.
- For a day or two, or longer if your area is humid, leave the stem cuttings in a dry location away from direct sunshine to dry. Launder and seal the wound. To hasten the rooting process, it is optional to dip the cuttings in rooting hormone.
- Put the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix after the cut has healed. Perlite and a cactus mixture are my preferred combinations (1:1 solution). You can find soil and soil amendments here.
- Every few days or whenever the soil gets dry, mist or water the area.
- The stem cuttings usually take two weeks or longer to root.
- Avoid direct sunshine and keep watering every few days or whenever the soil starts to feel dry.
- When the plant reaches maturity, increase sunshine while reducing watering.
The portion of the plant from which the cuttings were taken will keep expanding and generating new growth. Rarely, the base will stop expanding and eventually disappear. However, if this occurs, hopefully you have already grown new plants from the stem cuttings.
Decide where to cut the plant. In order to conveniently put the plant you are cutting into soil and propagate it, you should ideally have at least half an inch of stem on the bottom of the plant.
When you cut the plant, make sure to salvage as many of the roots as possible. These already have roots sprouting, so they will thrive when replanted in soil.
What happens if you remove a succulent’s top?
A succulent cannot return to its original compact height and shape once it has been stretched out. But don’t worry!
Start by using good-quality scissors to trim off the succulent’s top (I adore this pair so much! Definitely worth every cent! Leave 2-3 leaves on the base for at least an inch or two. If you leave a few leaves on the base to absorb sunlight, the base will thrive.
I’ve seen bare stems produce new offshoots, but it takes a lot longer than when I leave a few leaves on the stem. You can trim some of the stem to shorten the cutting if the cutting (the top portion you cut off) is too long for your taste.
Allow the base and the cutting to dry for a few days. You can plant the cutting in soil and start watering it once the cut end has calloused over (totally dried out and appears “scabbed”).
Cuttings do, in my experience, require a little bit more frequent watering than a fully rooted plant. To prevent the stem from becoming too soggy and rotting, use a soil that has a really good drainage system. Here is more information on how to grow succulents from cuttings.
Within a few days, maybe, but most probably within two to three weeks, the cutting should begin to give off roots. You should reduce watering as the roots take hold in order to put the plant on the same “schedule” as fully rooted plants.
Within a few weeks, the base, or original plant, will begin to produce additional offshoots. This plant can still be taken care of in the same manner as before the cut.
The leaves you initially left on the base plant can eventually wilt or drop off. Although highly common, this won’t always occur.
But if they do come off, don’t panic! Without the “parent leaves,” the young rosettes will still be able to develop.
Why is my succulent gaining height rather than width?
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Your succulent does it appear different? Are you perplexed as to why it is becoming so stretched-out, tall, and leggy?
Your succulent is experiencing etiolation if it is expanding vertically rather than horizontally. Your succulent needs more light, to put it simply.
Sadly, damage that has already been done cannot be undone. But it can bounce back. Your stretched succulent can be propagated, which will result in more plants. Win!
Let’s examine this stretched Crassula perforata more closely. Find out what caused this to happen and how to solve it.
Visit How to Grow Succulents Indoors to catch up on general care for succulents.
Must I remove the dead leaves from my succulents?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of growing succulents, in our opinion, is getting to remove all the dried leaves from the area around your plant’s base. Most individuals find it to be quite calming and enjoyable since it is so enjoyable and genuinely healing.
Aside from that interesting fact, you should remove any dried leaves and blossoms for the sake of your plant’s health. You can maintain the happiness and health of your plants by carrying out this easy chore.
New growth, New plants, New Blooms
Energy can be recycled back into the plant by removing any spent, dried-up bloom stalks and dry leaves from your succulents. Your plant will be able to produce new growth, blooms, and occasionally new rosettes or pups if you do this. And who doesn’t desire succulents that are bigger and more numerous?
To remove, gently lift the plant’s healthy leaves, and then pull any dried-out leaves from beneath. They ought to be rather simple to remove. If they don’t, you can either leave them to dry out more or, if they are past their prime and unsightly, try to snap them off completely.
Good Air Flow
Humidity, wetness, and/or succulents make for a dangerous and occasionally lethal mix. You may provide your plants sufficient air circulation and make it easier for the soil to dry out by removing these dried leaves from beneath your plants. Removing these dried leaves will assist avoid the growth of rot, mildew, and/or illnesses, especially in humid or very rainy weather. Additionally, air circulation around the plant’s base is made possible by this procedure.
Succulents are susceptible to a wide range of pest attacks, just like most other plants. Getting rid of the dead leaves beneath your plant can also help deter pests. Little insects adore wet areas where they may hide and reproduce. A succulent’s compressed lower leaves are likely to retain moisture around the plant’s base, which will attract pests. Your plant has a higher chance of repelling these pests if you remove these leaves.
Another alluring nesting habitat for bugs, specifically aphids, can be bloom stalks. If you see that your blooms are starting to develop this bug problem, you can either completely remove the bloom stalk or treat the bloom with a mix of diluted rubbing alcohol and water. These bugs frequently spread disease to surrounding plants and flowers if the situation is left untreated. In order to remove bloom stalks from your plant, either gently wriggle the stalk back and forth or, if it hasn’t dried up yet, snap or cut it low.
Do we have any ASMR fans out there??
We made this little movie to demonstrate how to take these leaves off your plants, but since we adore succulents, it also serves as our take on ASMR. Am I correct?
(According to The Urban Dictionary, ASMR’s sole function is to help people unwind. The goal of ASMR videos is to relax the viewer by sending a tingling sensation down their spine or back.
How do I get a bushier cactus?
Any plant’s other buds will be able to grow, sometimes with astonishing vigor, if the top is pruned removed. As a result, the plant becomes bushier as each lower bud develops into a new, smaller shoot. By making a cut slightly above a bud that is oriented in the desired direction, you can control the growth.
How are elongated succulents treated?
It consists of these four simple steps:
- Trim the stem to a length that will fit in your new pot.
- Get rid of any extra leaves beneath the main rosette.
- Dry everything for a couple of days.
- Replant your succulents and cactus in new potting soil.
Step One: Cut
If you have a longer stem to deal with, that will assist it get nicely anchored into your new pot. You may truly cut the stem anywhere and it will start to sprout roots out of the sides and bottom after you replant it. You can just nestle the succulent’s base deep into the earth for replanting, or you can use a stem as short as an inch. To create cuts like these, always use clean, sharp pruning shears. These pruning shears look to be an upgrade of the ones I’ve had for ten years and use every day and adore.
Step Two: Remove Excess Leaves
Remove any leaves that are below that in order to form a wonderful rosette formation, similar to what you presumably had when you initially purchased your succulents. Save those leaves because they may be planted in soil and will each produce a new succulent plant.
Step Three: Dry
Any cuts or cracks you create in a succulent should be left exposed for one to two days. This enables it to sort of scab over and guards against bacterial infections that may happen if the succulent is exposed to any excess moisture. The chances are good that your freshly cut succulents will still dry out without first allowing them to air dry; however, it will take a little longer for the cuts to close up and you run a slight danger of something going wrong. But it’s up to you!
Step Four: Replant
Replanting your succulents into a fresh pot using cactus/succulent potting soil is the last step. This is quite simple. Simply poke a small hole with your finger and put the plant’s stem into the soil. The added benefit is that, while they adjust to their new surroundings, you don’t even need to water them for a week!
Your Succulent Isn’t Getting Enough Light
All plants require light, but succulents particularly crave it. Your pal may be leggy if you don’t provide a sunny area where they can soak up the light.
Insufficient sunshine causes succulents to develop lengthy stems. They begin to turn and spread out in search of light during a process known as etiolation, which gives them a “leggy appearance with a long stem and smaller, spaced-out leaves.
It can be challenging to determine how much light your plant needs right immediately because every plant is unique. Try transferring the succulent to an area where it will receive more light if you find it starting to grow a long stem without adding more leaves. You might want to think about buying a tiny tabletop grow light if your house doesn’t have a place where the sun shines.
Can succulent cuttings be planted directly in the ground?
What is there to love other than a succulent? Obviously, a full garden of succulents! Fortunately for us, it’s simple to propagate a variety of these resilient, vibrant plants at home. We can’t wait to see succulents growing all year long in containers around the house and garden; there are various easy ways to reproduce them.
Propagating by Division: Plants that have gotten too leggy perform best with this method, which produces new succulents from cuttings. Start by delicately removing any leaves that may be attached to the stem below the rosette; be sure to preserve the leaf’s base while you do so. After all the leaves have been eliminated, cut the rosette with shears, leaving a brief stem intact. The cuttings should be let to dry in an empty tray for a few days until the raw ends have calloused. The cuttings can then be rooted in either water or soil.
Soil: After the stems have calloused, set the cuttings on top of a shallow tray filled with well-draining cactus/succulent soil. From the base of the cuttings, roots and little plants will start to emerge in a few weeks. Once the roots start to show, water sparingly once a week; take care not to overwater. The parent leaf will eventually wither; carefully remove it while taking care not to harm the young roots. Your propagated succulents can be replanted once they have established roots. As soon as the plants are established, keep them out of direct sunlight.
Water: After the stem has calloused, place a cutting with the end barely visible above the water’s surface on the lip of a glass or jar filled with water. Pick a sunny location for your glass. The incision will eventually produce roots that extend toward the water. Once roots have sprouted, your new succulent can either be replanted in succulent potting soil or allowed to remain submerged in water as illustrated above.
Offsets are little plants that develop at the base of the main specimen, and many species of succulents, such as aloe, hens and chicks, and some cacti, will generate them. Check for root growth after an offset has developed for two to three weeks before carefully twisting, cutting, or using a sharp knife to separate it from the main stem. Be cautious to prevent destroying any already-formed roots. Follow the directions above for propagating in soil or water, letting the offsets dry, establish roots, and then repot when they have had time to callus any exposed regions. Removing offsets has the added benefit of enhancing the health of your current succulents and redirecting energy into the growth of the primary plant.