With the exotic and appealing appearance, succulents serve as a beautiful addition to your garden. While these drought-resistant plants are popular for thriving with a little care, you need to be very particular with the caring steps for your succulent’s healthy growth.
Since we have already covered many commonly-asked questions in our previous articles, you should have known by now some basic caring tips for most succulents. Hence, it is the time to discuss how to prune the succulents, as the fall is around the corner, and you are likely to see new growth.
Pruning is an important step to keep your lovely succulents healthy. Removing overgrown, unruly growth and dying parts of it encourage vigorous growth.
Why Should You Prune the Succulents
While the unusual features of succulents mesmerize every sight, some of the plants overly sprawl, outgrowing from your container or garden space. At this point, you need to trim them up to maintain the neat aesthetics of your garden.
Not only this, pruning can help these amazing greens to grow in better size and shape. Succulents also require pruning to propagate more pups. Since most of these plants can seal off the trimmed points, it is always best to cut off the diseased, dead, or broken stems, flowers stalks, and leaves.
What to Consider While Pruning Your Succulent
Although string trimmers are known to remove succulent groundcovers, keep in mind that it will need a firm hand and therefore can be tricky for novice gardeners. Using a pruning saw, sharp knife or clean clippers for cleaner cuts is a suitable option. However, if your plant has developed any disease, make sure to dip or swab the trimmer blades in alcohol before cutting the parts.
If you are trimming the succulents that have milky sap or spines, do not forget to wear gloves, especially in case you are handling types of Euphorbia genus, such as the crown of thorns and pencil cactus.
Aeonium, Crassula, Graptopetalum, Echeveria, and other multi-branched or long-stem plum greens can be pruned occasionally. The new growth in these plants usually stems from the end of cuts. So, prune the stems where you want to the new growth to emerge. You can propagate some cut-off stems of your succulents after drying them out for a few days and then rooting it in well-drained soil.
When to Prune Your Succulents
If you have in-ground succulents planted outdoors, it is best to prune them in early spring. However, pruning the year-round tropical succulents in warm seasons is good. When it comes to blooming species, prune them while dormant in cold season or soon after they start flowering.
How to Prune Your Succulents
For pruning your succulent, determine the point of a stem you are planning to prune. Examine the leaves to find out a leaf node that can grow a new stem in the direction you want. Once you have spotted such a point, cut the stem at right there.
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Then, make a 45-degree clean cut with a sharp-edged tool through the stem within half-inch of the selected leaf node. After that, cut off 1/3rd of the stem, but remember that the trailing succulent species required to trimming in different lengths.
What to Do With Succulent Flower Stalk
Many novice gardeners ponder over what to do when their succulents start producing flowers. Not every succulent bloom in every spring season; some succulents are monocarpic, and others are perennial. The chubby greens that are monocarpic bloom once in their lifespan, whereas perennial succulents tend to grow flowers many times throughout their growth.
Seeing your monocarpic succulents to blooming bring so much excitement. But this excitement fades away when you notice your lovely plant is dying. Well, the flowering rosette of such type of succulents dies after flowering. However, once the flower stalk begins to wither, you might wonder how to proceed with your succulent care.
In that case, cut the flower stalk of your plump green from the base once the flowers start to fade. Make sure to cut the stalk off right at the base but be careful while trimming; avoid damaging the delicate leaves of your plant. Use bonsai scissors with sharp edges for a clean cut.
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Most experienced gardeners recommend pruning the succulents before the new growth begins, i.e., in early spring. Furthermore, you should prune the flowering varieties in the dormant season or after blooming. Remember, the cuttings you get from pruning can root in well-drained soil and grow into new chubby greens.