How to Prune succulents?

Updated: September 16, 2022

How to Prune succulents?

One of the biggest reasons to prune succulents is to prevent the plant from stretching out, which it does when it receives too little light. The plant is beheaded from its top, in this case.

After all, pruning succulents may appear intimidating; who like to behead their favorite houseplants with a sharp tool. However, trimming is essential for letting the plant grow and thrive. It’s like our hair that needs a regular chop for healthy, shiny growth. The after-growth of pruning results in enhanced looks of your succulent. So, why not? Pruning also helps in the multiplication of the plant.

How to Prune succulents?

This blog will guide you through the ifs and buts of pruning succulents.

How to Cut Down Succulents?

You first need to understand the right time to give your succulent a nice trim. The best time is at the start of the growing season, usually the spring season. The reason is simple - during the dormant season, which is typically the winter season, the plant starts to get leggy. They grow unnecessarily tall, looking for the sunlight that, in turn, impacts their natural shape and size.

This means you need to prune the plant multiple times during the succulent’s lifespan.

Besides stretching and the plant becoming unnaturally long, there are other reasons behind pruning. Some of these are:

  • Some succulents  die just after blooming. In this case, you would need to prune the succulent flower stalk.
  • The plant has started to lean or overgrow or get crowded.
  • The plant has contracted an infection, and you need to prune the diseased parts.
  • The bottom leaves have begun to die and need to be removed.
  • For succulent and pencil cactus propagation.
  • When the health of the mother plant starts to decline due to offshoots around, pruning becomes a necessity.

How to Trim Overgrown Succulents?

Things to remember while you prune an overgrown houseplant:

  • In trimming a cactus, especially the padded type, you need to cut at the joints. Do not cut between the pads.
  • You should always wear proper clothes while pruning. Wear a thick pair of gloves, especially for thorny plants like cactus, poisonous milky sap flowing from the plant, or other potentially dangerous houseplants.
  • Succulents that branch like Echeveria or Aeonium are the best candidates for pruning. A leggy plant can be beheaded from the top and then replanted as a separate plant.
  • Always use a sharp tool like a gardening knife or a pair of shears for pruning succulents. Ensure it is spotlessly clean and does not have any rusted portions.
  • It is best to clean the tool with alcohol before starting. It sterilizes the tool and prevents the plant from getting infected, especially from mealybugs.
  • Also, when using the same shear to cut two or more plants, you must rub alcohol on the tool to prevent the spread of infection, if any.
  • When you are about to prune, look at the plant to choose the right location for cutting.
  • Include a bit of the stem so that the propagation does not end as a failure.
  • Keep the cut about one or two inches below a rosette. Keep the cut straight or at an angle.
  • If you are propagating your plant, ensure that you let the stem and the leaf dry entirely before planting in the soil.

The soil should be kept moist. Use a spray bottle to keep moistening the soil regularly. This is required to encourage healthy rooting. Also, place the new plant in a spot where it receives plenty of sunlight.

How to Prune succulents?


1. How to propagate pencil cactus?

The best way to propagate the cactus  plant is by cuttings. Take a sharp knife. Ensure it is sterilized. The cutting should be at least 10 to 12 cm long for healthy growth.

2. When to prune Haworthia flower stalk?

Once the bloom dies, it is essential to prune the flower stalk.

3. When to prune Echeveria flower stalk?

Echeveria blooms are colorful and stay around for some time. Once the flower starts to dull or die, you can cut the flower stalk.

4. When to cut a tiger jaw succulent bloom?

The flowers of the tiger jaw open with sunshine and close with sunset. When the flower starts to wilt, it is time to prune the flower stalk.

5. Should you cut flowers off succulents? What to do with a succulent flower stalk?

Yes, once the flower blooms, the stalk can be cut anytime.

6. Can you trim tall succulents?

Yes, you can use your sharp gardening tools to trim tall succulents.

7. How to trim succulent flowers?

Use sharp scissors or a pair of shears to trim succulent flowers.

8. How to grow succulent flowers?

Offer the plant enough sunlight and adequate water.

9. Do all succulents bloom?

No, not all succulents bloom.

10. How to prune flowering succulents?

Pruning is best advised in early spring. Use a sharp knife or other cutting tools to cut the succulents.

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