Quick Tips To Remember When Trimming Succulent

How to Trim a Succulent That's Too Tall? All You Need To Know While Pruning

The compactness of succulents is highly appealing. But, sometimes, the plan can stretch skyward and lose its charm. Trimming is a quick solution to reshape its attractiveness. Unfortunately, many owners are unaware of this and ask - can I cut a succulent that is too tall? 

You can trim a succulent when it becomes too tall. However, the pruning technique should be accurate. This article will share how you trim a succulent and other required information.

How To Trim A Succulent That's Too Tall


What Is The Best Time To Trim Succulents?

Spring and summer are the best time for trimming succulents because it is their growth seasons. During this time, the sun glows, and the weather remains warm. Such an atmosphere helps succulents quickly heal and grow their stems. 

That’s why you can expect a quick recovery and a better look after pruning succulents during the seasons. However, a few succulent species may have different trimming schedules. If you are unsure about the trimming time, seek guidance from a succulent expert in Menifee.


Signs Indicating a Succulent Has Grown Too Tall

The most common sign is that your succulent is too tall and falling over. But there are some other indications that the succulent needs trimming.  

a. Extended stems/leaning:

A healthy succulent should remain compact and look nice. Sometimes, these plants can be stretched and weak, indicating a struggling succulent. Like other trees, they also need sunlight. When these plants do not get sufficient sunlight, they grow longer to reach for more sunlight and become thinner.

b. Loss of color:

These plants are famous for their beautiful and colorful appearances. However, they can lose their color if they struggle with insufficient sunlight. Lack of natural light can make them fade and dull. It is a message from them to the owner saying, “We need more sunlight, please help!”.

c. Drooping leaves:

It is another sign your succulents are not getting sufficient food but growing. If the plant does not have sufficient sunlight to generate its food, the leaves can droop naturally due to a loss of energy. 

Note: These are the common signs the succulent needs pruning. But not all species are the same. Some succulents have naturally tall shapes and need no trimming. So, you must inspect the plant to ensure it is healthy and if it needs a clipping.


How to Trim Succulents: Steps to Follow

Succulent pruning is a sensitive task. It requires the use of appropriate tools and methods. If you are doing it for the first time, here is how to trim a succulent.


Tools needed to trim succulents:

A gardening knife or a pair of shears is the best option for pruning succulents.


The Succulent Trimming Process: 

  1. First, identify the part of a succulent that needs trimming. It can be dead leaves, overgrown stems, or a damaged part. You can also mark the parts touching the soil.
  2. When pruning succulents, clean cuts are mandatory to avoid harming the plant. Find the node before cutting, a spot where a leaf joins the stem. The cut has to be just above the node so the leaf can regrow.
  3. Never trim more than 1/3 part of the succulent. It can put stress on the plant that will hamper its recovery. With particular cutting techniques, you can also change the direction of regrowing in the case of some species.
  4. During pruning the succulent, remove dead and damaged leaves from the plant’s base as well. It will allow better airflow, disease prevention, and fantastic visual appeal.
  5. When the trimming is complete, let the plant heal. Keep your succulent away from direct sunlight for a few days. Also, do not water it until the cuts get dried.


Observation is crucial:

After trimming the succulent, check the plant’s response a few weeks later. A healthy succulent generally recovers the condition within two weeks. However, you may need professional advice if your succulent fails to recover.


Quick Tips to Remember When Trimming Succulents

For successful pruning without harming the succulent, remember the following points. 

  • Identify the best season for pruning succulents.
  • Research the succulent type you own and its unique requirements.
  • Use new and sharp tools while trimming leaves.
  • Avoid cutting the wrong spot. Cut just above a node.
  • Do not trim more than 1/3 of the plant.
  • Gently remove dead or damaged leaves from the base, too.
  • Do not water the plant within a few days of trimming.
  • Provide your succulent with bright, indirect sunlight and well-draining soil.
  • If possible, plant the trimmed leaves to propagate new succulents


Why Is My Succulent Growing Tall?

It is a frequent question of succulent owners. The reason for succulents growing tall is primarily related to insufficient sunlight. But, you will discover more causes below:

1. Insufficient sunlight:

Succulents require plenty of sunlight for healthy growth and energy production. When they lack natural light, they stretch out their leaves to reach sunlight. It is a typical biological process (photosynthesis) for any plant’s survival.

2. Natural growth pattern:

Succulent, too tall, and falling over is not an issue in all cases. Some variants of this plant are naturally tall due to their unique genetic characteristics. In that case, there is no worry about their straggly appearance. But remember that they may also tend to grow abnormally because of inadequate sunlight.

3. Use of fertilizer:

Though fertilizer is the nutrient source of succulents, their excessive and improper use can cause rapid growth of these plants. It can cause weak and tall stems.

4. Age of the plant:

The growth of succulents can happen naturally. Over time, the plant will form new growth layers, a native habit of any tree. The age-related growth is normal, but be careful about excessive stretching due to a lack of natural light and water.

5. Improper watering:

A wrong watering schedule can be stressful for the succulent. Both under watering and overwatering can cause abnormal growth of the plant. For example, some species of succulents will grow their stems and try to find new water sources during the water crisis.


Is It Necessary To Trim Your Succulent?

Pruning succulents is not only for their beautiful appearances. Instead, trimming stretched succulents has several advantages. Here are the reasons you should trim succulents when required.

i. Promoting growth:

When we trim a succulent's dead and damaged parts, the plant focuses on its healthy stems. Also, it prevents the succulent from diseases and pests. The practice energizes new and fit limbs, which promotes healthier plant growth.

ii. Increasing lifespan:

Trimming can be an excellent option to enhance the lifespan of succulents. The practice prevents overcrowding and allows better air circulation. Moreover, pruning damaged parts protects the plant from fungal infections and other diseases.

iii. Maintaining the form:

Pruning is a crucial task to maintain the beauty of succulents. The plant can lose its aesthetic due to the overgrown stems. Trimming is the proven process to keep it compact and attractive for a long time.

iv. Creating new plants:

Trimming is also necessary to grow new succulents. You need to trim healthy leaves from the mother succulents to propagate new plants. Therefore, pruning is not only relevant to their beautification but also to their reproduction.


Final Thought

This is the accurate process for pruning succulents too tall. If you follow each step carefully, your leggy succulent will again transform into an attractive masterpiece. Reach out to ASucca4u for any queries and caring suggestions about succulents. We offer more than that! If you are planning a thoughtful succulent gift for someone special, we have the best collection in Menifee, California. Contact us from any corner of the USA to receive special and carefully grown succulents at your door.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does trimming hurt succulents?

Trimming is healthy for succulents. But you should prune them in the right season so the plant can comfortably heal.

How long does it take for succulent leaves to grow back?

It can take around three weeks to grow back those leaves. Also, the plant generally achieves its attractive shape within one month.

What do I do if my succulent leaves fall off?

The leaves can fall off due to several reasons, including insufficient sunlight, overwatering, physical damage, and more. As a primary step, you can report the succulent and care for it following standard rules. 







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