The exotic-looking succulents can be transplanted easily in different garden settings. These are the easiest-to-grow plants from leaves, cuttings and root division and come in a wide array of shapes, colors and sizes.
Succulents are easy to care for but it does not mean that you can just forget about them. In the following comprehensive guide, we will help you learn all about transplanting succulents the right way.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- How To Transplant Succulents?
- How To Ensure The Ideal Time to Transplant Succent?
How To Transplant Succulents?
To transplant your succent id an easy process that one could do every two to three years, the way to transplant is would be to being by removing the succent first, ensuring the right potting soil, distributing the rolls, repotting it. Furthermore, giving the right fertilizers and the right care.
1. Remove the Succulent
Removing the succulent gently from the current pot, brush off the excess soil from around its roots and loosen up the roots a bit. But be careful not to break them in the process. Before planting the succulents in a moist soil, let their roots heal and dry out for a day or two.
Remove the dead and damaged roots if any as they are going to rot and would not help in the process of growth. Letting the succulent and its roots dry out helps prevent the problem of root rot and other fungal diseases. Most succulents have a shallow root system which makes it easy to dig them and transplant them to new locations.
2. Potting Soil
Plant you succulents in a well-draining potting mix with lots of perlite and sand and other coarse materials, because this soil is where they will thrive. Adding coarse grit and sand provides the soil with excellent drainage. To prepare your soil, mix equal parts of sand, perlite, bark chips and organic compost.
Fill in the succulent planter with this soil to about three-fourth height of the pot leaving the top few inches. The top part of the soil is where the succulent will be placed.
If you suspect a root health issue or any other soil problems, remove the succulent from the soil and replace its soil medium. Shifting the succulent to a bigger pot is optional but in some cases, succulents need up-potting once every two years or so.
If you are wondering how to determine whether a succulent needs to be up-potted, look at the crown of the foliage which is the widest part of the plant. If it overlaps the pot edges, it means you can shift it to a bigger pot.
Soil drying out too fast is another issue that indicates the plant needs to go into a bigger pot. If water does not come out of the bottom drainage holes after watering, your succulent stands at a risk of developing root rot.
3. Distribute the Roots
Transplant shock due to transplanting is common in most succulents. The shock can cause damage to the plant roots which can lead to stagnant growth. Make sure you disturb the roots as little as possible. The concept of doing so is to keep the root ball intact while moving the succulent.
After transplanting, the plant might appear dull, yellow and droopy for a week or two, but it is normal. In a few weeks, it will come back to normal and grow healthily. Just make sure to keep the plant hydrated for the first few days to prevent shock.
4. Choose the Right Pot
Many succulent varieties and cacti need to be repotted in bigger pots. When their roots outgrow the current planter, the growth will slow down due to lack of enough space for root development. The roots start turning on themselves leading to the formation of a root ball.
It is at this point that you need a bigger pot to plant your succulents. Pot size is extremely important for a plant’s health. Ideally, it should be one size bigger than the previous one. You do not want it to be too big for the plant as it increases the chances of root rot due to wet feet.
The bigger the pot, the more soil you will need to put in. And that is not good for succulents because you risk the plant sitting in moist soil for too long. Make sure any planter you choose for your succulents, it has sufficient drainage holes. Having drainage holes allows for water to drain out of the pot.
You can grow your succulents in plastic pots but if you are new to succulents and gardening in general, we would suggest you go for terracotta or clay pots. Terracotta pots are slightly more expensive than plastic ones but they help absorb excess moisture from the soil and prevent overwatering-related problems.
Terracotta pots dry out faster than plastic ones making the soil more breathable and airy. Even in slightly compact and tight soil mediums, terracotta pots work well if you let the soil dry out significantly in between waterings.
Most commercial nurseries use plastic pots as they are more economical and lighter than terracotta pots. Also, clay pots are fragile and difficult to move. But you can choose the one that suits your needs. Just be mindful while watering.
5. Repot Succulents
In the new potting soil, plant them at the same soil depth and firm the soil around the roots. Do not water the succulents immediately after transplanting as they do not like wet feet. Wait for a few days so that the roots can heal from the transplant shock. Use a good-quality cactus or succulent mix to avoid the problem of root rot.
Be gentle while handling the succulent roots at this point as damage and breakage of roots can cause your plant to either die or go into shock for a longer period. Make sure there are no air pockets left in the soil while transplanting.
A lot of times, the soil in which newly bought succulents come in may not be right for their growth. The soil either retains a lot of moisture or it is simply not the right mix suitable for succulents.
If the soil is too dry or too wet, it indicates your plant needs repotting. Getting rid of the old soil keeps plants happier in the long run. Readymade cacti or succulent mixes work well for succulent’s growth.
Repotting plants at the right time in fresh soil ensures that the plant receives an adequate amount of nutrition from the soil and there is no dearth of vitamins and minerals. Using the right and well-draining potting medium is essential, especially if you live in a humid region and you tend to overwater your plants.
Plants kept in tight and compact containers over longer periods face issues with limited leaf and stem growth. They are also more prone to catching infections and pest attacks. Shifting them to airy soil in bigger pots helps make the stems bushier by encouraging new leaf growth.
Repotting helps inspect the health of the plant more closely. While repotting and removing the plant from its old soil, you can check the root system and see if it is healthy. You can trim the dead and damaged roots and leaves.
It helps correct any problem that might occur to the plant. Checking the plant for pests and diseases becomes easier while repotting. Some common bugs such as aphids and mealybugs are quick to spread and might infect your succulents badly. Isolate and treat the plant immediately to protect your plant.
Soil quality degrades over time due to many reasons making the nutrients less available to the plant. Add fertilizer to your plant after transplanting and apply it once or twice in the active growing season.
Avoid overfeeding succulents as they do not have very high nutrient requirements. Salt build-up due to overfeeding can cause root burn. They need one or two feedings of a well-balanced fertilizer in a year.
7. Beginning Care
Do not water your succulents immediately after transplanting. Wait for at least a week or so before watering to prevent root rot. Giving the plant’s roots sufficient time to adjust to the new soil conditions is crucial for its long-term health.
If you water the plant immediately after repotting, the roots will sit in water and it becomes more difficult for the plant to recover from transplant shock. Let the succulent recover and keep it in partial shade for some time before hydrating the soil.
Instead of watering after transplanting, you should water your succulents a few days before starting repotting. Keep it semi-hydrated a few days beforehand so that it can tolerate dry soil conditions after repotting.
How To Ensure The Ideal Time to Transplant Succent?
Transplant your succulents once every two to three years to make sure that the plant grows healthy in a rich soil and has enough space for its roots to grow properly. Repot it in the growing season to minimize damage to roots and to improve the chances of survival.
– Season To Transplant
The ideal time to transplant the succulents is early spring or early fall just before their growing period begins. Transplanting at the right time gives succulents enough time to recover from transplant shock.
Transplanting succulents at the right time helps improve their overall health and well-being. Sometimes, there are problems going on underneath the soil that can affect your plant in the long term and can even kill it.
It is possible to check it only by removing the plant. While rinsing the soil off of your succulent plant, check for pests, diseases and rot and treat the issues as soon as you spot them.
Some succulent plants such as Crassula Ovata have small root systems that grow slowly. Having in mind this case, you do not need to repot them every two years. Instead notice your plant’s growth pattern to determine when it might need to be shifted to a bigger pot.
You should look for a few things to know if your succulent needs to be transplanted. Let us take a look at the signs that indicate you should repot your succulents to a new location.
– Outgrowing The Pot
Every plant needs to be planted in a bigger pot every two to three years in fertile soil to keep it healthy. You might see the roots poking out of the drainage holes when the plant gets too big for the existing container. To accommodate bigger plants with heavier tops spilling out of the pots, you need to provide more room for them to grow.
You would do your succulent a tremendous favor by planting it in fresh soil in a bigger pot. Although it is rare for most succulent roots to peep through the bottom drainage holes, it still makes sense to remove it from the soil every few years and check the roots for any other damage.
– Newly Bought Plants
Newly purchased succulents come in small, flimsy plastic containers and pots that are usually not big enough to sustain the plant’s growth for long. We recommend transplanting newly bought succulents within two weeks to prevent any hindrance in their growth.
Grow succulents in containers and soil mediums that are suited to the weather conditions in your region. Instead of blindly following random videos and posts from the Internet, do your own research and prepare your potting medium and grow the succulent properly.
– Succulent Looking Sick
Sometimes, despite keeping the plant in best appropriate growing conditions, the plant may start to look unhealthy with the leaves not remaining plump and shriveling with time. If you notice yellowing and shriveling of the foliage, consider changing the pot and soil in which the succulent is currently growing.
Ensure that the plant has pests and diseases and make sure you cut away the dead and damaged foliage and roots. High amount of humidity can cause the growth of fungus and pests like mealybugs. Plant them in fresh soil after removing the dead leaves. Plant them in fresh soil after removing the dead leaves.
– Leaning or Toppling Succulent
If you notice the succulent toppling over the pot and falling out of it, transfer it to a bigger pot. A heavy top can make your plant fall off and break from the middle. Plant it in a pot that can handle the bigger plant tops.
Fix the stretched out and lean succulents by either cutting the hanging and toppling stems or by replanting the succulent in a bigger pot. Remove the extra leaves from the stems to use the cutting for propagation.
– Succulent Producing Baby Plants
If your succulent has produced many offsets and baby plants that are called pups, it means that you should separate these from the mother plant and transplant them into a new soil medium.
If you do not separate the baby plants from the main plant, in some time, they will make the plant’s top heavy and it will topple over and some pups will break off. Sudden breakage may not enable root development in the baby plants.
– Do Succulents Transplant Well?
Transplanting your succulents is not only harmless but also has great benefits for their overall health. It allows you to look at a plant’s root and gauge its overall health. If something seems wrong, you can take appropriate steps and treat the problem before the plant dies.
Nonethless one of the most important points would be that you must keep in mind is not to soak the succulent in water for too long before transplanting. The soil should be humid and moist but not wet a few days before repotting. Wet feet at this point increases the chances of the plant going into shock.
– What To Do After Transplanting a Succulent?
Keep your transplanted succulent in a bright spot where it can receive fresh morning and evening sunlight. After so many repeated watering sessions, the coarse and airy soil used to plant the succulents becomes compact and hard. If ignored, it can cause the succulent roots to suffocate due to lesser oxygen being available to the plant.
It becomes essential to replace the soil or to replenish its nutrients regularly. Feed your succulent regularly and make sure that you loosen up the soil by adding materials like perlite and sand.
– How Do I Propagate Succulents?
Propagating succulents from both leaves and stem cuttings is quite easy and straightforward. Most of the commonly available succulents such as Crassula, Hoya and Kalanchoe are long-stemmed and can be grown from cuttings.
The stem cutting method is the simplest technique of propagation. Snip off the mature stems and let their cut ends heal and callus over for a day or two before planting them in fresh soil.
Plant them in freshly prepared, well-draining soil mix after a day or two. Do not water the repotted succulents immediately. Instead, wait for a day or two to prevent the roots from rotting. Make sure you always choose healthy and mature stems for stem cutting propagation.
Apart from stem cuttings and root division, succulents can also be easily propagated from leaf cuttings. Plants such as Sedum, Crassula and Opuntia are a few among the many whose leaves can be used for propagation.
All you have to do is break off a healthy and plump leaf and insert its stem-tip down in a coarse soil mix. Before planting in soil, let the leaves callus over to ensure successful leaf propagation. Keep the soil moist and within a few days, you will notice roots growing.
– Should I Transplant My Succulent in Dormancy?
A very straightforward answer to this question is no. Dormancy is the period when the succulent is not growing actively. Transplanting at this time can disrupt your succulent’s growth cycle and cause long term damage.
Most succulent varieties are dormant either in winter or summer. Transplant the summer-dormant succulents in fall and winter-dormant succulents in spring. Follow this rule and you shall never again fail at transplanting your succulents.
– Do Succulents Like To Be Crowded?
No, most succulents do not hate to be crowded. They do not mind being crowded in one container but transplanting allows the plant to encourage new growth in the form of baby plants. Moving two inches up in new containers works well for the overall health of succulents. Thin out the plants regularly to make space for more new growth.
Avoid growing your succulents in overcrowded pots. In general, look at your succulent’s health. If it does not appear healthy, apply your plant knowledge and search for the underlying cause and treat accordingly.
Transplanting and growing succulents can be tough sometimes. But with proper care, they are one of the easiest plants to have in dry areas.
Let us take a quick look at the care tips on transplanting them.
- To transplant your succulents, first remove them from the old soil, prepare a new soil medium and after checking the roots for pests and diseases, plant them in the new pot.
- The ideal time to repot most succulents is early spring when their new growth begins. Some of them can be transplanted in the fall too. But avoid transplanting in winters as they are dormant and hardly show any new growth and transplanting at the wrong time can kill your plant.
- Some signs that indicate that your succulent needs to be transplanted are if there are soil issues, pests, diseases or the plant has overgrown the container.
- Inspect the overall health of your succulent before replanting it in a new container. Avoid unnecessary repotting to prevent transplant shock and other root-related problems.
Now that you know all the recommended techniques to transplant succulents, how are you planning to implement these in your garden?