This post will describe how to trim succulents correctly and when it is best to do it. Because they are still dormant, the optimum time to trim them is in the late winter or early spring. There are methods for trimming succulents that can result in benefits for your plants. Learn for yourself by reading HOW TO TRIM YOUR SUCCULENTS.
Why would you trim your succulents?
When they grow too long and heavy they can fall off and look unsightly, obviously, they would need some trimming.
Another reason is when you have them in arrangements. When they begin to outgrow the container you don’t really need to uproot them and replant them again. You can just simply trim the longer ones and you will be rewarded with new growth and the container arrangement can be restored back close to its original look.
You can also trim them if you want them to look fuller or you can remove the dead leaves and dead branches so that new sprouts will grow.
Best time to trim your succulents and why
The best time to trim them is during late winter or early spring. Because they’re still dormant or they’re not actively growing.
There are a lot of advantages when you prune them at this time. Pruning them during cooler days reduces the amount of stress they experience allowing them enough time to recover fast before their rapid growth spurts during spring.
Another advantage is that when you prune them before the growing season whatever food they store will be used to produce more sprouts instead of supplying the area that you removed.
When you cut the plants you are creating a wound just like doing surgery. That open wound is an invitation for insects, bacterial and fungal spores to get inside the plants.
Since most insects and diseases are not active during cold winter weather the succulents can recover without stressing themselves to fight off potential problems.
For places that do not experience winter, you can trim them any time as long as the weather is dry or the humidity is low.
Obviously, you don’t trim them during the rainy season or when it just rains a night prior because the moisture from the environment or water can drop on the wound and can make the plant susceptible to diseases and insects.
When the humidity is low the wound can also dry faster and that’s what you really want to happen.
What equipment you will need
When you trim you will need some equipment. You will need gloves especially when you cut succulents with sticky whitish sap like the fire stick. Be very careful when handling these types of plants because the sap coming out from the branches can irritate your eyes and skin.
To trim do not just pinch it to your nails or just turn and twist and break the branches. You need to create an excellent clean cut therefore you need to use the proper tool.
You need to use sharp clean pruning shears to make the job easier and prevent damage.
To clean your pruning shears you need to soak them in water with a teaspoon of bleach. A clean tool will ensure that the plants are not exposed to bacteria or pests.
How to trim your succulents
When you cut make it at a 45-degree angle. By doing so you’re allowing the water to just run through it instead of sitting on top of the cut.
Try to avoid over-trimming. It can lead to plant shock resulting in some problems such as slow growth. Remember that every time you cut, you create a wound, so the fewer the cuts, the better.
To remind yourself not to cut too far apply the rule of thirds. Do not prune more than one-third of the size of your plant.
Sometimes you have to make your own discretion – especially when the plant has grown too long then you might need to trim more.
You can also train them to grow in the direction you want by cutting just above the leaf that points to that direction because new growth tends to sprout near the cut end.
So you look for the leaf for a node that is pointing to the direction that you want and cut just above that part or in between the next node.
I hope you learn a lot from this article. Thank you for reading. Happy Gardening!