How to Replant Succulents

Knowing when and how to replant succulents is one of the best ways to keep your plants looking healthy and fresh all year long.

The good news is that these hardy plants are easy to propagate thanks to their short, shallow roots that make it easy to acclimate quickly to almost any type of growing condition. They also have fat, fleshy stems, and puffy leaves that store water for long periods, ensuring the plant stays well-hydrated, even in the driest of climates.

So, if you’re looking for ways to replant your succulents to add more color and cheer to your home, keep reading.

Replanting Succulents in 5 Simple Steps

You won’t find another plant that’s as easy and efficient to replant as succulents. Let’s get started.

What You Need:

Gardening tools

How To:

Step 1: Remove Several Leaves from the Succulent

Randomly select a handful of leaves from all sides of the plant, then gently give each one a gentle twist. You want to remove the full leaf without tearing it, that’s why twisting it works better than pulling it out.

If you’re replanting a rugged, rigid type of succulent like the Christmas cactus, which is known for its flat stem segments, you may want to use your shears to remove individual leaves.

As for spindly or leggy plants, experts recommend using the ‘beheading’ technique. This is when you cut off the head of the lengthy stem, leaving an inch of stem still attached to the mother plant.

Step 2: Callus Off the Cuttings

After snipping off the leaves or beheading the plant, place the cuttings in a tray or any type of flat container. You’ll find that they’re not especially fussy. They’ll be perfectly happy without any water or potting medium for a couple of days.

After you let them dry out for a maximum of five days, you’ll notice that each leaf has formed a ‘callus’ at the tip where it was cut. This is their way of protecting their exposed soft tissue from bacterial or fungal growth.

Also Check: 13 Gorgeous Purple Succulents to Add Color to Your Home

Step 3: Grow New Roots

Over the next few weeks, the cuttings will begin growing roots.

Don’t worry if the cuttings start to wither. This is when they become food for the new, emerging plants.

Step 4: Plant the Cuttings

Now that the roots have formed, it’s time to put the succulents in a fresh potting mixture. Another option is to mix some sand with some perlite.

Prepare the brand-new planter by filling it a little more than halfway with the potting soil of your choice. Always make sure you pick a potting container that’s about two inches wider than the diameter of your succulent. This should give the plant more than enough room for the roots to grow and stabilize in the soil.

Or, if you have enough space in your garden, you can always find a suitable place in your yard and plant them outdoors.

Whether you plant them in the ground or a container, mound the soil to raise the cuttings. Next, gently press down on the soil to secure the roots in place.

Don’t water the plants just yet.

Step 5: Water and Feed

Watering plants

The next day after planting, water sparingly. Avoid watering them too frequently as it can lead to root rot and other diseases.

Tamp down the soil again to ensure the short roots are in place. Also, make sure you provide them with plenty of sunlight, otherwise, they’ll grow pale.

After a short while, they should start growing new leaves in a more compact growth, making for a more rigid, healthier plant.

At this time, you can buy succulent plant food to boost their growth. There are many brands on the market, but many horticulturists swear by Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food for its quick results and effectiveness.

Other Replanting Techniques

Check out these other techniques for replanting your succulents.

Place Cuttings Directly in the Soil

Instead of laying the cuttings in a tray and letting the tips dry off and callus, you can always place them right in the potting medium.

This enables the plants to grow roots straight into the soil. Plus, it’s a great time-saving technique for when you want to propagate many cuttings at once.

When this happens, make sure the soil remains completely dry until the roots begin to grow.

Root Separation

For this technique, you’ll need to use a trowel to gently dig up the whole plant. Next, spread the roots apart and separate individual clumps.

These clumps can be planted straight away in a mixture of sand and perlite in a well-draining container.

You can also use a potting medium specifically designed for indoor succulents, such as Hoffman Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix.

The next day after planting, give the succulents a little bit of water just to dampen the soil.

If you plan on planting them outdoors, choose a time in the morning or early evening when the sun isn’t directly overhead.

Once you find a suitable location to plant your new succulents, crumble up the soil and form a mound. Then, make a shallow hole in the soil and make sure there’s enough room for the root system to fit comfortably.

Nestle the plant into the depression and cover the roots completely with about an inch of soil. Press down gently to secure.

Wait a day or two, then lightly water the soil around the succulent.

Plantlet Removal

Remove the small offspring, or plantlets, that have popped up around the edges of the mother plant. They may be the smaller, cuter version, but they’re still fully-formed mini-plants with mature roots that can grow independently.

Some succulents drop their plantlets. Then, these simply take root wherever they fall, so you can just let them grow around the mother plant. You can also remove them and place them in a new pot or location in your garden to start a fresh batch of succulents.

Read more: Can You Save Overwatered Succulents?

Signs Your Succulent Needs Replanting

From the short blue rosettes of the echeveria to the 6-foot Agave americana that stretches outward, succulents are as varied and unique as they come.

Yet, they all have one thing in common: they’re low-maintenance. Yet, that doesn’t mean you just ignore them or forget all about them. They may be a hardy species, but they still love and care just as much as the next plant.

One of the ways you can show you care is by knowing when to replant them. On average, it’s recommended that you replant your succulents every two years.

Also, avoid repotting them during the cold months when the plant is dormant. Instead, it’s better to wait until right before their growing season, which is usually in early spring or early fall.

This helps give the plants a better chance of survival. Plus, it gives them time to recover from the repotting process and get used to their new environment.

1.   The Soil is Soggy

Even though succulents are easy to care for, they can’t deal with soggy soil. It infects the roots with fungal growths that weaken the roots and cause the plant to slowly wither away and die.

It also makes the plant vulnerable to insect infestations and bacterial infections.

If you notice any discoloration of the leaves, mold or mildew growths on the top layer of the soil, or slow growth, then it’s time to repot the plant.

Once the succulent has been repotted, let it dry out in the soil for a few days. Then, to avoid overwatering it, use a misting spray bottle and lightly mist the soil around the plant.

2.   The Root System Has Outgrown the Pot

Have you noticed new roots appearing above the surface of the potting mixture? How about through the drainage holes on the bottom?

This means your plant needs a larger pot to accommodate all those growing roots. You also need to provide it with nutrient-rich soil to help it thrive in its new home.

3.   The Plant Is Still in Its Original Container

Garden centers plant succulents in flimsy, generic plastic containers and mediocre potting mix to display them to the public. This setup is designed to last for only a short time.

So, as soon as you bring your new succulent home, transplant it to a new pot with drainage holes. Also, make sure you fill the new planter with a free-draining potting mixture that consists of bark and perlite made exclusively for succulents and cacti.

Tips to Keep Your Succulents Happy After Replanting

Now that you’ve successfully repotted your succulents, you have to know a few tricks to make sure they’re healthy and thriving.

Combine Succulents with Similar Needs

There are so many types of succulents that it’s not difficult to find a group that shares similar characteristics.

For example, if you want to plant your succulents on your porch, then you have to choose succulent varieties that thrive in the shade. The most common are the Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa), Baby Jade (Portulacaria afra), and Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis miller).

Portulacaria afra

On the other hand, if you want your plants to be in the full sun, choose a sun-loving variety like the Bear Paw (Cotyledons ladismithiensis), Blue Chalksticks (Senecio mandraliscae), and the Indian Tree Spurge (Euphorbia tirucalli).

As for indoor varieties, there are also plenty of options to choose from. The three most common names are the Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa), Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii), and Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata).

Create a Watering Schedule

You probably know by now that succulents hate soggy soil because they’re drought-tolerant. So, what’s the most efficient way to make sure your plant is getting the right amount of water without overwatering it?

According to experts, the best way is to write up a watering schedule where you water the plant deeply but infrequently.

Remember, a succulent that’s been underwatered can almost always recover and regain its vitality. However, an overwatered succulent will turn into a slushy mess that’s pretty much beyond repair.

So, start by watering them once every 2–3 weeks when the weather is cold. Then, as temperatures start rising again, work your way down to once a week, maybe twice a week if the weather is super blazing hot.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to replant succulents, it’s all uphill from here. Because these hardy, low-maintenance plants are easy to repot, you can add them to any space to give them a fresh and vibrant feel.

So, the next time you’re replanting, keep our handy tips, hacks, and inspirations in mind to make sure your succulents are healthy and happy.