Succulents are a diverse group of plants with many plant varieties making clusters like Crassulas, Sedums, Sempervivums and many Echeverias. The clusters are often called pups or offsets that need to be divided and propagated.
Remember, these mini plants are not difficult to propagate, but careful separation can speed up the growth of baby plants. So, let’s see how to divide cluster succulents and propagate them to get new plants.
Why Separate the Cluster Succulents?
The succulents grown in clusters make the space crowded which may create competition between offsets and parent plants. The cluster succulent plants may survive in the larger pots with more potting soil, nutrients and other resources, but it is hard for succulents in smaller spaces. As a result, pups or offsets die, minimizing your chance of growing new plants.
Another significant reason for separating cluster succulents is to make space for watering. When there is space between the plants, it becomes easier to water the plant. The water goes into the soil without making leaves wet, saving your succulents from rotting.
Benefits of Separating Cluster succulents
Here are the major benefits of separating succulents:
- 1. Dividing cluster succulents is one of the most cost-effective ways of spreading your succulent garden.
- 2. It is a lot easier to separate and propagate offsets rather than repotting a large multi-stemmed plant.
- 3. You can grow pups of multiple succulents in the same pot and get a unique plant layout.
When to Divide Succulents?
The best time to divide succulents is their growing season. Remember, all succulents are not the same. Some are summer growers, while others are winter growers. The plants that grow in summer go dormant in winter and vice versa. So, the best approach is to separate succulents that have sprouted new foliage.
You can also divide succulents when the plant is overgrown in the container, or there are a lot of pups in the pot. To do so, select a good sunny day and divide it any time of the year.
How to Separate Cluster Succulents?
Follow these steps to separate cluster succulents and propagate fast:
- 1. Take a succulent that is overgrown and needs to be divided. Water the soil before starting the procedure and soften the soil to make separation easy.
- 2. Then take a sharp knife or scissors, sterilize it with alcohol, and wash with clean water to ensure no risk of plant infection.
- 3. Now is the time to take soil off the plant roots and make them visible to cut offsets. In order to do so, loosen the soil from the sides and gently invert the pot upside down without damaging the plant. Usually, the plants come out of the pot easily, but if your succulent is not, use the trick of poking a chopstick or a pencil from the bottom hole.
- 4. After getting the plant, brush away the top soil until roots are visible and gently pull them apart while preserving as many roots as possible. You must know mature offsets will have developed their own root system, but the stem will be connected to the mother plant. So, use a clean, sharp knife to separate them without damaging the roots.
- 5. When you have cut them apart, remove soil from the offsets' roots and allow the cut section to heal at a moisture-free place.
- 6. Let the offsets dry for a few days, and ensure they receive plenty of indirect sunlight.
- 7. Your offsets will be ready to plant when they are callused.
Planting and Propagating Pups
Once offsets are callused, prepare new pots for their plantation or propagation. Use clay, ceramic or plastic pot of your choice, but it must have a drainage hole at the bottom. You can also drill one yourself if there is not.
Now add a well-drained cactus soil mix. Ensure it is porous enough and well drained to prevent offsets from sitting in the wet soil for a long. It will help offsets grow fast with no disease or fungal attack.
Water the soil slightly, make a shallow hole and set offset in it. Place all pups doing the same thing and cover roots without making the offset buried.
Place the pot in the indirect sun to grow and establish roots. Your offset will be on the way to becoming a whole new plant. Just take care of it, water carefully and prevent direct sun exposure.