How To Trim Succulents (An Easy Step-by-Step Guide)

By | Updated November 29, 2023

The succulent is a popular plant that can be found in many homes and offices around the world.

These plants are known for how easy they are to take care of; most require very little water and light, making them one of the easiest plants to grow indoors.

However, over time these succulents will continue growing and eventually need to be trimmed or pruned.

This guide will show you how simple trimming your succulents really is!

Why Should You Trim Succulents?

Trimming succulents is beneficial because it makes them look better and more attractive.

They can grow much larger and fuller if well-maintained. Succulents that are not trimmed can end up looking like a tangled mess.

Trimming succulents also stimulates growth and keeps their shape in check.

Some people trim their succulents when they get too big or to keep succulents small, but others only do so if portions of the plant appear dead or dying.

The main reasons for trimming succulents are:

  • To shape the plant
  • To stimulate new growth
  • To remove dead or dying parts of the succulent so it can regenerate and continue to look beautiful.

It’s very easy! We have a guide here with step-by-step instructions on how to trim your succulents at home!

You do not need any special equipment, just a pair of sharp scissors.

When To Trim Succulents

Succulents should be trimmed at the end of their growing season; this is when they have time to recover from the process.

The timing depends on where you live and your climate, but the growing season is usually in early Spring. During this time, it is best to choose a bright and dry day for trimming your plant.

Succulents can be trimmed at any point in their life cycle, but remember, they are most vulnerable after flowering.

Usually, you will need to trim your succulents when they become too big for their vase or pot.

In some cases, it can also be a good idea to trim and prune succulents that have started leggy growing – this is when the stems of the plants are longer than its leaves.

If you have a succulent plant with this type of growth, trimming them back to the desired size can help improve its shape.

If you do not want the plant to grow leggy, it is best to trim succulents regularly and remove any dead or dying leaves.

In general, it is best to be conservative when trimming your plants because they do not grow back as quickly as other types of plants. If in doubt, wait longer before cutting again!

Things To Consider Before Trimming Your Succulents

Before you trim your succulents, make sure that they are dry and not moist.

Trimming them when the soil isn’t completely dried out can cause root rot or fungal infections to develop in their roots.

It is best to leave a few days after watering until the potting mix has had the chance to become fully dry again before trimming your plants.

It is also important to take into account the time of day when you are trimming your succulents.

If you can, try to avoid trimming them in the hottest part of the day as this will cause their leaves to wilt and they may become damaged more quickly than usual.

The best time for trimming your plant is early morning before the sun has had a chance to dry out its leaves or during the evening when temperatures are lower.

You also need to think about how long it will take for your plant’s roots to recover from being pruned back. After all, most succulents grow very slowly, so any damage done could set them back months!

Generally speaking, though, if you’re careful not to remove too many stem segments at once, they should be fine within one month.

You will likely notice a difference in your plant’s appearance after they have been pruned back.

Their leaves may develop more layers, their stems might become thicker and more robust, or the overall shape of the succulent could change completely!

How To Trim Succulents: Step-by-Step Guide

Trimming succulents is an excellent way to help your plants grow and keep their shape.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to trim succulents:

Step One

First, you need to find a sharp pair of scissors. Ensure that your scissors are clean and dry.

A clean pair of scissors will help you trim your succulents without transferring any dirt or germs from one plant to another.

Step Two

You need to decide how much of the plant you want to remove. You want to make sure you don’t remove more than a third of the plant.

Step Three

Trim off any damaged or dead leaves first, as these will not grow back. This helps your succulents to grow healthier and stronger.

You can also trim off any plant parts not connected to the roots, as these will die and cause your succulents to become weak.

Step Four

Next, begin to shape your plant by cutting it into the desired size and style.

Cut through any leaves or stems with sharp scissors at any angle between 45 and 90 degrees. Cut right above a joint so it does not harm your succulent and encourages it to grow stronger.

You should make sure you only cut the leaves and stems. Avoid trimming off any succulent roots when trying to shape it if possible because this will cause your plant to die or become weak.

Step Five

Once you have finished trimming, clean your succulent by wiping off all of its leaves with a damp cloth or paper towel.

You can also use a small brush to scrub away any dirt on more stubborn areas gently.

This will remove dirt and dust from the leaves so they can heal and grow.

Step Six

Once you have finished, water your succulent to help it recover from any stress caused by cutting off its leaves and stems.

You should only water the soil around an inch deep, but make sure that all of the roots are covered in wet soil so they can breathe properly. If there is any dry soil, then you should water it until the soil is wet.

Step Seven

Finally, place your succulent in a well-lit spot where it will receive sunlight, but not direct sun. Succulents love bright indirect or filtered light, so try to put your plants in this type of lighting for at least six hours per day.

Place your succulent about an inch away from the windowpane, so its leaves do not touch any windows and block the light from reaching its leaves.

You should also avoid placing your succulent near a heater or fan, as this can cause the temperature to fluctuate and damage your plant.

How To Trim Tall Succulents

Tall-growing succulents often tend to become leggy and sparse at their lower sections.

If you have been caring for your succulents, then you probably know how it feels when they start getting too tall.

Many people do not realize that this makes them vulnerable to root rot.

To avoid such problems, we need to trim our succulent plants. It is easy to do and will make them healthy again!

There are many methods for trimming succulent plants, but the easiest one involves using household scissors or garden shears.

All you need to do is cut off any part of the succulent stem that looks like it has grown beyond its normal size.

Make sure to cut off the long stem where it looks bare. This will encourage your succulent plant to branch out and produce more leaves in different areas of its body.

If you trim taller succulent plants, do so once a week or when their stems need some pruning.

You can also use this opportunity to shape them into any design you want!

Make sure not to remove too much at once because you might damage your succulents. Therefore, only take away about an inch from each side until your plant returns to its original size.

Do not forget to make smooth cuts with clean edges instead of ragged ones.

How To Trim Overgrown Succulents

Caring for succulents that have become overgrown can pose a challenge. Luckily, you can trim them up and give them a fresh start!

First, clean up the dead leaves by cutting them off at their base, ensuring they do not damage the plant.

Next, cut away any excess roots or stems that don’t appear healthy anymore – this is also an excellent time to pull out any dead pieces.

Finally, use a sharp pair of shears to make your desired cuts! Cut off dead pieces or unwanted growth, and trim the leaves for a tidier look.

To keep it looking fresh and growing strong, remember to give it a good watering. Also, make sure to keep it in a nice sunny spot!

How To Trim Stretched Succulents

A stretched succulent, commonly known as “leggy succulent”, has a long stem, and the plant grows tall and thin.

This is usually because the plant has grown in an area with very little light.

The stem will be too long, and the leaves at the top of the succulent will start to lose their color or turn yellow.

When this happens, you should cut off any dead leaves hanging on at the end of your succulents’ stems. Then, cut the stem down to about two-thirds of its length.

Doing so will encourage new growth and make it fuller and shorter.

You can also cut off the top of your succulents’ stems if you don’t want them to get too tall. This will encourage it to grow wider instead of taller so that they are not leggy anymore.

It’s important to note, though, that it might take a few months for your succulent to recover fully.

Final Thoughts

Trimming your succulents will help them stay healthy and vibrant for longer periods while allowing them to grow more aesthetically pleasingly.

You only need some sharp pruning shears for most succulents to get the job done.

The best way for beginners who want a simple guide on caring for succulents is by starting with small ones or potted plants without many stems or leaves before trying anything too complicated!

This will give anyone plenty of time to practice caring for their new plant until they feel confident about how to do it.

Remember to take things slow and be patient when growing succulents, and you will have a beautiful succulent garden in no time!

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