Succulent plants are a popular choice for many gardeners and enthusiasts due to their unique and eye-catching appearance. These plants are also known for their tenacious vitality, which means they can adapt and survive in adverse conditions.
Spring finally arrives, and with it comes new life and growth in the plant world. As you tend to your garden or indoor plants, have you ever come across the miraculous sight of your succulents sprouting a circle of buds on their bare stems?
Join us as we delve into the world of succulent propagation and learn how to encourage the growth of new buds from succulent stems. So, let's get started!
Why Do Succulent Stems Grow Small Shoots
To satisfy your curiosity, let me reveal the reason behind the fascinating phenomenon of succulents growing many tiny buds from their stems.
This unique feature can be attributed to the plant's apical dominance, which dictates that the plant's growth is primarily controlled by the apical meristem located at the tip of the stem. However, when the apical meristem is damaged or removed, lateral buds on the stem are allowed to grow, forming new shoots and plants.
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Succulents are particularly adept at this form of vegetative propagation, thanks to their ability to store water in their leaves and stems, allowing them to survive and thrive even when the apical meristem is damaged.
How to get pups popping out of succulent stems
Follow nature's lead
Succulents are known for their tenacious vitality, a gift from nature. So even if your succulent stems have suffered frost damage during the winter, don't give up on them yet. As the temperature increases in the spring, your frostbitten succulents may come back to life, and you might be surprised to see new growth emerging from previously damaged stems. Click here to learn how to revive frozen succulents.
When your succulent plant reaches maturity, it is normal for dead leaves to accumulate at the bottom of the plant. These dead leaves not only affect the plant's appearance but also create a breeding ground for pests and diseases. However, cleaning up those dead leaves can encourage the growth of cute pups from the bottom of the plant. These pups will usually grow in a circular pattern around the base of the plant, creating a spectacular and eye-catching display.
By following nature's lead and giving your succulents a chance to thrive, you can witness the tremendous power of these incredible plants to regenerate and grow.
Remove apical dominance of succulents
If you want to promote the growth of succulent stems, one effective method is to remove the apical dominance of the succulent. By doing so, the plant will be encouraged to stem growth, leading to more pups' development.
One way to achieve this is by cutting off the top of a tree-form succulent. This will lure the plant to focus its energy on growing new stems and producing more pups. But, of course, the cutting beheading can also be propagated. Click here to learn how to propagate succulents by beheading.
Or, if you don't want to remove the head of the succulent completely, try removing 2-3 layers of leaves from the top of the plant using some garden tools like tweezers. However, this can create a wound that will encourage the growth of pups at the wound site or bud points along the stem.
Another way to promote the growth of succulent pups is by gently puncturing the bud points on the stem using sharp tools, toothpicks, or pointed tweezers. This can help stimulate the plant to produce more pups. Additionally, if you have nutrients that promote the growth of succulent pups, you can spray some on the punctured areas to further promote the development of small succulent shoots.
By following these methods, you can help your succulent plants produce more pups, leading to a fuller and more vibrant plant.
However, it's important to remember that succulents are hardy plants that can also thrive on their own, so it's always best to follow nature's rules only when necessary.
What to do when pups grow
Congratulations! Your succulent has grown pups, and now you're wondering what to do next. Don't worry. Taking care of succulent pups is not difficult; with a bit of attention, they will thrive and grow into beautiful plants.
Lighting: Pups need bright but indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn their tender leaves, so it's best to place them near the window where they can receive plenty of light, not direct sun. Spring sunshine is ideal for the growth of succulents. It's best to let the pups soak up the natural sunlight outdoors as much as possible, as it will help them thrive and grow happily.
Watering: The pups on stems require more water during the growing season, especially in the spring. You should water the succulent once a week and ensure the soil is evenly moist. However, in the summer, when the temperature rises and the humidity drops, water your pups sparingly and only water them when the soil is completely dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other plant diseases, harming the growth of your succulent pups.
Fertilizing: Succulent pups require proper nutrition for healthy growth, which can be provided through fertilization. To ensure your succulent pups get the right amount of nutrients, you can apply slow-release fertilizer diluted by half once per month during the spring season. However, be careful not to over-fertilize because this can cause damage to the succulent.
Pruning: Pruning is essential to taking care of succulent pups, as they tend to crowd each other as they grow. To ensure the healthy growth of your succulent pups, it's recommended to remove some of them to make enough room for the remaining ones to flourish. You can gently remove the rooted pups from the stem using a pair of clean tweezers and place them in prepared seedling trays for propagation. This will give them a better chance to develop roots and grow into mature plants.
Beware of Pests: Especially mealybugs, these tiny insects are quick to seize any opportunity, swarming around these vulnerable buds. So regularly inspecting your beloved succulents is crucial. Once you spot mealybugs on your succulents, use tweezers to remove these pests and spray diluted alcohol or disinfectant on the wounds.
Watching these plants thrive and grow is truly a magical experience, and it's no wonder they have become a favorite among gardeners and plant enthusiasts alike. So why not try your hand at propagating some succulent pups and witness the power of nature and the resilience of these amazing plants?