How To Divide A Succulent: Tips For Splitting Succulent Plants

Woman Putting Soil In Potted Succulent Plant
divide succulents
(Image credit: hedgehog94)

If you want succulents without shopping or shipping fees, consider splitting succulent plants. When your plants have outgrown their pots or put out lots of babies, it’s time to divide your succulents. Often, it’s easier to divide your plants than to repot a large, multi-stemmed specimen.

Division allows each repotted part to grow and fill another container. Plants grow more quickly during their growing season. Some succulents are spring and summer growers, but many, like aeoniums, are winter growers. Check for each plant.

Read on to learn more about dividing a succulent plant.

When Can I Divide Succulents?

While repotting and dividing a succulent is best done in spring, you can do it any time of year. Choose a nice day, if possible, so you can do it outside. Divide succulents that have grown pups or sprouted new foliage. Don’t attempt to split a single plant.

How to Divide a Succulent

Sterilize tools with alcohol before starting division or repotting. You may do this with a bottle of alcohol and cotton balls or alcohol wipes. Clean the blades to make sure you aren’t spreading fungus or bacteria.

Gently remove the succulent plant from its container. You may need to loosen the soil on the sides if it is tight in the pot. Do so with a clean tool. Turn the pot upside down, if needed, with your hand over the top to gently ease the plant out. Don’t remove the plant by grabbing it and pulling upward. Tilt the pot and be gentle.

Set the unpotted plant right side up and remove as much soil as possible, gently teasing out the roots. If the plant does not easily pull apart, cut through the roots and separate sections, starting at the top. Do it easily, but don’t worry if a few roots break off. They will heal quickly in dry soil. Therefore, wait to water after succulent plant division, usually a week or longer.

Center your plant parts into a new pot and add fresh, well-draining soil. If the top of the plant does not reach the top of the pot, put soil in the bottom to bring the plant level higher. Succulents usually look best planted higher than the rim. If you’re filling the pot, some succulent types look best hanging over the sides, especially trailing, cascading types.

Again, wait a week or two to water your new plantings. This allows roots to heal before taking up water and rotting. Enjoy your new plants.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.