How to Split Succulents: Removing and Multiplying Offsets

Does your succulent container look crowded and full? If so, you may want to learn how to split succulents so you can give them a much better and fresher look.

Succulents like Peperomia and Senecio have a cluster of independent root systems. To split them, gently pull them out of their pot and divide them into sections. For succulents with offsets, such as echeveria, simply cut the plantlets that sprung in the mother plant’s base.

In this article, we’ll share with you the step-by-step guide on how to split succulents. We’ll also share two other options for multiplying succulents as well as details regarding the best time to start splitting them.

Step 1: Prepare the Necessary Materials

In splitting big-sized succulents, you’ll need a knife or a pair of sharp shears and a spatula. Make sure to sanitize them with alcohol and wipe them with cotton before using them. This will ensure a clean cut and prevent bacteria and fungi from infecting the plant’s wound.

Aside from those tools, you’ll also need to prepare a tray with paper towels. This is where you’ll place the separated offsets. Then, don’t forget to prepare enough pots with holes at the bottom and a well-draining soil mix.

You’ll also need hand gloves and some rooting powder.

Also Check: How to Plant Succulents in Rocks: Indoor and Outdoor Succulent Displays

Step 2: Remove the Succulents From the Pot

To protect your hands from spiky succulents and from the sap that may irritate your skin, you should wear hand gloves.

Now, in removing the succulents from the pot, avoid pulling or touching the plant‘s leaves. Instead, reach for the base and gently pull it up from there.

You can pour water on the soil to soften it a little. You can also use a spatula to loosen the soil from the sides or turn the pot upside down to ease up the process.

Once you’ve successfully pulled out the plants, remove or shake away the soil. Pull out the dried leaves as well to get a clear view of the roots.

Step 3: Check the Roots

checking roots while repotting succulents

After shaking the soil off, you’ll be able to see the clustering of roots clearly.

Decide how many parts you’d like to divide the succulents into. Take note that each part should carry enough roots of its own for bigger success in propagating them.

For succulents with offsets or baby plants, pay attention to the offsets that can be pulled out from the mother plant.

Avoid splitting the newer offsets. Instead, opt for those that are at least half the size of the mother plant to ensure that they’ll survive.

Step 4: Cut the Roots

Now, use the sanitized knife or shears to cut those clusters and offsets you’ve identified.

Note that not all offsets will carry roots, and this is completely normal. Just cut their main stem from the mother succulent’s base.

Step 5: Dip the Offsets in Rooting Powder

Once you’ve split the offsets, you may want to dip them into some rooting powder. This isn’t necessary, but it’s preferred.

The powder will enhance the growth of the roots and increase the success rate of propagation.

Step 6: Let the Offsets Develop Callus

Place the divisions and/or offsets on the tray with paper towels. Keep them in a shady and airy place for 2-3 days or more and allow them to develop a callus.

Callusing is important as you don’t want to expose the freshly cut succulents in the dirt. This will give the plant enough protection from fungi and diseases.

Step 7: Plant the Offsets

Once you’ve successfully let the offsets callus, it’s time to give them a new home. Plant them in a pot with holes at the bottom and a soil mix that drains well.

If you plan to give them an individual container, then choose something slightly bigger than the offsets.

Step 8: Water as Needed

Succulents with gardening tools

It’s not advisable to immediately water the newly planted offsets. You’ll have to wait for 2-3 days or even an entire week before you water them. This gives the roots enough time to heal before they absorb water.

From then on, make sure to give them a drink only when the soil feels dry, as succulents aren’t too fond of sitting in moisture.

What Are the Other Ways to Split Succulents?

If you’re looking into propagating your succulents, splitting them from the roots isn’t the only option you can go for. You can actually multiply them through stem cuttings and leaf cuttings.

The good thing about these two options is you won’t have to disturb the mother succulent fully, especially if it’s not time yet to transplant it into a new container.

Split Succulents From Leaves

Not all succulents can be propagated from leaves, but if yours can, then it’s a great option to take.

You can opt for this method if you’ve accidentally knocked off some leaves from the succulent. This way, they won’t go to waste.

Two of the succulents that can be multiplied through leaves are Jade and Echeveria.

In propagating them, gently clip a leaf from the base and let it dry for a couple of days to form a callous.

Soon after, you can insert the base of the leaves on top of a well-draining soil mix. Then, place them somewhere they can get bright indirect light, and don’t water until their roots begin to form.

Split Succulents From Stems

Another popular option is stem cuttings. This method is good for succulents with distinct stem structures such as Crassulas and Serums.

Here, you’ll need to use a sanitized sharp knife to cut the tip of the stems. You can also cut a whole stem and divide them into parts. Each part should be 2-3 inches long and contain one or two leaves and nodes.

Once you have the stem cuttings, you can dip them into a rooting powder and allow them to make callous for a minimum of 2-5 days. This will prevent bacteria from entering the plant.

After that, bury the cuttings’ bottom half in a new and well-drained potting medium. Finally, place them near bright indirect sunlight to get enough energy to grow.

When Is the Best Time to Split Succulents?

Collection of Succulents

If your succulents have already outgrown their pots or have enough offsets, it’s a sign that you need to split them.

Don’t force multiplying them when the offsets are still too small and still struggling. Otherwise, you’ll risk not successfully propagating them.

The best time to split these parts from the mother plant is during the plant’s growing season—mostly in early spring or summer. This is because the high concentration of plant growth will help new roots to form quickly.

Read more: How to Plant Succulents in Glass Containers

Final Thoughts

Splitting from the roots is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to propagate succulents. You just have to unearth them from the pot and take away the offsets or plantlets from the mother plant. As much as possible, include some roots for quicker and greater success in propagating them.

It’s vital that you let the divisions dry and callous first for a couple of days before planting them in new pots. Once it’s time to plant them, make sure to use a container with holes and a well-drained soil mix.

Supplement them with their needed amount of water, nutrients, and sunlight and they’ll surely thrive in time. Voila, you can multiply these pricey and stunningly beautiful plants without spending much.