Cleaning up your succulents and propagating them

I will try and address two important issues involving succulents, 1) how to clean up your established succulent plants/gardens, and 2)how to propagate by cutting pups off the mother plants.

Here's a big established garden of Echeveria Agavoides Lipsticks with a number of things going on that I'll address.  See the dried flower bloom stalks on some of the rosettes?  When dry just cut them or gently pull them away and toss.  Generally you cannot use the flower blooms for propagation on Echeverias and most other succulents.

Snip and toss.  Look around for areas where you can see dead/dried leaves.  These can be cut away or gently pulled off.  This is very important!!!!! Succulents often will naturally lose their outer, older, lower leaves.  Sometimes they just shrivel up, sometimes they lose their color and just drop off.  This does not mean your succulent is dying or dead!  Sometimes we get scolded by customers that think their succulent is on death row because it has a few older dead leaves underneath, most of the time this is NATURAL!

What do you see?  Some dead leaves and some pups(smaller babies) trying to find light and make their way out into the world!  By removing the dead leaves it does a few things.  It allows pups to make their way out into the light, and it helps remove hiding places for critters etc.  

Now gently pull away any dead leaves.  You can use your fingers, tweezers, cutting tools etc.  You can also use your cutting tools to carefully cut out any pups which will allow you to plant them into new containers, and provide a better environment for new pups to get started.   

Cut and clear and clean!  Lots of older dead leaves in here, toss them.    Even the pups can have dead leaves on their bottoms, this is perfectly natural!  

Pull them gently away and toss!

A few things to discuss here....Echeverias can be propagated in a number of ways. Seeds if you have to, but they take a long time.  You can also use individual leafs/petals, see our Leaf starters link below.  A great way to propagate cheaply and smartly if you have small or minimal plants to work with.    The fastest way is to make full cuttings from pups or even the main head/rosette.  I'll do another Blog on this asap! 

A lot of these have very little red on their edges because they haven't been exposed to full sun yet.  The really light ones were stuck completely away from sunlight.  When making cuttings like this, you want to be very careful not to expose them now to  hot and direct sun as they can easily sunburn.  slowly introduce them AFTER they have rooted for best results.  

Lots of dead leaves on this container.


All done, you can barely notice but I was able to cut out 14 new rosettes which I'll repot in a week or two!  Hope you learned something new and never hesitate to email us questions.


Darren @
The Succulent Source




AgavoidesLip stick echeveria