Succulent Pups
succulent pup
(Image credit: el cajon yacht club)

Succulent growers often become attached to their plants in an extreme way. The unusual, sometimes unique forms and colors intrigue some of us to begin collections. If you’re fairly new to growing succulent plants and wish to expand their numbers, consider succulent pups. What are succulent pups, you may ask? Read on to learn more.

How to Identify Pups on Succulents

There are many cute little names for succulents, especially new ones that grow on adult plants. We might call them babies and refer to the adult as the mom. Botanically, they’re referred to as offsets, as they grow from the mature plant. They are also called pups. This is just another name used to identify these young offsets.

Succulent offset info says “an offset is a small, virtually complete daughter plant that has been naturally and asexually produced on the mother plant. They are clones, meaning that they are genetically identical to the mother plant.” Since they are clones of the parent, this is one of the easiest ways to grow more succulents.

Tiny pups eventually grow from the healthy, properly positioned adult plant. Some types send out stems with pups growing on the ends. Others grow clumps on the sides of the plants, appearing to double, leading you to ask, “is my succulent growing pups?” Sometimes offsets grow underneath the plant and you might not notice them until they’ve grown. After a while, you’ll learn how to identify pups on succulents.

What to Do with Succulent Pups

There are options when you’re wondering what to do with succulent pups. You may allow them to continue to grow on the mother if there is enough room, or you may remove and replant them individually. Let them get the size of a quarter before removing though.

If you want to leave them attached and they’re in a crowded pot, repot the whole clump. Sources say pups growing in a crowded spot or container can morph into unusual appearing plants. Sometimes, the pups may even cascade over the sides of the pot.

Remove pups with a precise cut using sharp, clean pruners or scissors. Normally, I would recommend using a light touch, but after watching videos from the experts, that does not seem necessary– just another indication of how tough succulent plants can be.

You may let the cut end callous for a few days or dip in cinnamon and plant immediately. Repot the pups into dry succulent mix and water when the baby plant looks thirsty.

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.