Suburban Succulents
September 20, 2018

Succulent Division Day!

Division day happened, hundreds of plants were cut, stripped of their bottom leaves & topped to grow on...

tray of succulents
tray of leggy succulents ready for division

We set-up, we divided, we conquered, AND now we are growing a ton of new plants as a result.

So what do you do when it’s time to clean up leggy or overgrown succulents? Provide new soil, cut the plant, save the leaves (& stems if you are a succulent hoarder like myself), and use the tops in a project or plant it to grow on.

division setup
preparation of well-draining soil for our succulents

Be sure to provide new soil when you transplant any plant not just succulents. If you want more information on the benefits of a custom soil mixture for your garden, see our resources about soil recommendations, which we also offer in our store ;)… furthermore—a well-draining, porous soil is going to help when it comes to keeping your succulents alive. If your soil is mainly dirt or is a few years old, it probably won’t have a nutritious enough environment for the succulent to continue to grow properly. Basically, it will cause root rot and then becomes a breeding ground for bugs and fungi.

leggy succulents
tray of succulents that have become leggy over the past year of growth

Here are some more helpful tips for cleaning up your leggy succulents– when you pull the leaves from the stems, be sure to get the entire leaf piece– try a twisting & slight pulling motion to remove the leaf from the stem. If you break the leaf, you still may be able to grow a new plant- I suggest saving everything as it doesn’t take up too much space and you never know what you may grow!

callused end of cut succulent stem

Before you plant your new leaves in soil be sure to let them harden off (callus) for a couple days. I have tried putting leaves directly into the soil as well as letting them harden first and I definitely get better results when I let them harden. The only caveat, if I forget to plant them a couple days later or they get overly exposed to sun/heat, the entire batch can get burnt & die. However, if you plant them right away, you run the risk of them rotting…

While waiting for your succulent leaves to callus try to avoid watering them.  Be sure to place the leaves and cuttings in a dry, warm area and mist lightly with water. Same goes with the stems if you chose to keep them, just place them on top of the soil and bury any roots.

I suggest planting out your succulent leaves into large trays- spread an inch or so deep of soil to grow leaves– spread 2-3” deep of soil for larger succulent tops as they will need more soil to grow strong roots.

cut tops
tray of succulent tops that have been cut

Once you have the tops (rosettes) of your succulents cleared of the leggy mess they grew into over the last season, the world is your oyster- you can make many projects or designs or even just grow them on to get larger each year. Be sure to let the stems callus before planting into the soil to grow on.

In the photos here I have planted out trays of leaves and tops- I will use these for future projects, but for now, I am just growing them to increase the plant count of our farm. Note- I am not saving any stems as I have a separate tray of saved stems that is growing on, but for the sake of what it looks like after the division and cutting massacre, see below and as always be sure to check back for more!

tray of discarded stems and old soil after cutting and dividing

Let us know in the comments what you think?!

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