Succulent Separation 101: A Straightforward Approach

Succulents are a diverse group of plants that come from various plant families. They can grow in different forms, such as tree-like, bush-like, or in clusters. When it comes to propagating succulents, branching varieties can be grown by rooting their leaves or stem cuttings. On the other hand, succulents that produce young plant clusters, called offsets, are ideal for splitting or dividing. In this article, we will explain in detail how to separate succulents. So, let’s explore this topic together and learn the step-by-step process!

how to separate succulents

Can You Break Off a Succulent and Replant?

Absolutely! You can easily separate a succulent and replant it. Sometimes, you’ll notice smaller plants called offsets or plantlets growing around the main plant, also known as the “hen.” These offsets or plantlets, often called “chicks” or “pups,” are actually fully developed mini plants with their own roots. They are clones of the parent plant and can grow into new plants on their own. To separate them, gently dig up the entire succulent and carefully tear apart the roots. Then, you can plant each separated clump individually.

can you break off a succulent and replant

When planting the divided succulents, it’s best to do it right away. Place them in well-draining soil and water them sparingly after a day. If you plan to plant them in your garden, choose a spot with indirect sunlight rather than direct overhead sun. Prepare the soil by making a mound and creating a shallow depression for the shallow roots of the succulent. Carefully place the succulents in the depression, cover the roots with soil, and gently tamp it down. After a day, water the soil around the succulents.

Should Succulents Be Separated?

should succulents be separated

If you’re looking to create a succulent garden without spending a lot of money, separating or splitting your succulent plants is a cost-effective option. The best time to divide succulents is when they have outgrown their containers or produced many offsets or “babies.”

Dividing succulents is often easier than repotting a large, multi-stemmed plant. Each repotted part of the succulent can grow independently in a new container. Most succulents grow quickly when separated during their specific growing season, which varies depending on the species. Some succulents, like aeoniums, grow during the winter, while others thrive in the summer or spring.

However, you can separate and repot succulents throughout the year. It’s best to do it on a nice day outdoors. Remember not to split a single succulent; it’s recommended to separate those with new foliage or offsets.

How to Separate Succulents – Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Water the soil to soften it before starting the separation process. This helps in easily separating the baby plants from the parent plant.
  2. Using a sharp knife (or scissors), wash it with soapy water, and then sterilize it by dipping it into a mixture of 10% bleach or alcohol. Rinse the knife with clean water and let it dry.
  3. Protect your hands by wearing thick gloves, as some succulents have spines. Loosen the soil on the sides of the pot and gently remove the plant. If necessary, tilt the pot to the side and pull the plant out instead of grabbing it.
  4. Remove the soil from the plant and gently tease out the roots.
  5. With a sharp knife, cut off the stem that connects the parent succulent and the offset. Take care not to damage the offset’s roots while removing it from the soil. This ensures a successful transplanting process.
how to separate succulents 1
  1. Place the offsets on a tray lined with paper towels, and keep them in a warm, shaded area away from direct sunlight.
  2. Allow the offsets to dry for 2-3 days, forming a callus over the cut area. This callus acts as a protective barrier against diseases and prepares the young plant for planting.
  3. Plant the offsets in a new pot with well-draining soil. Make sure the top of the plant is at the same level as the soil or slightly above it. If needed, add soil at the bottom to adjust the plant’s height.
  4. Wait for 1 to 2 weeks before watering your new plants. This allows the roots to heal before absorbing water.

Propagating succulents is an enjoyable activity, especially when you see your garden filled with thriving plants. Separating or dividing succulents is just one of the ways you can propagate these amazing plants. So why wait? Get started and witness your succulent garden flourish!