Succulents: Roots Pruning

Succulents: Roots Pruning

As I have previously mentioned elsewhere, just like any other plants, succulents do love their yearly maintenance too. I am not talking of removing the dead leaves or behead it. I mean changing the pots, new soils and pruning their roots.

It's getting warmer here which means it's a right time to upgrade or downgrade them to different pots but normally I change pots simply because I need to change to the new soils and prune their roots. Unless you bought the succulents from my store of which the roots have been pruned and sprayed with pesticides treatment (part of UK custom regulation) you can probably skip this step and check out how to propagate the roots here

You only prune the roots if you have the succulent in the same pot for more than a year especially if you have been growing them in small pots (as they are probably root bound by now). The whole point is to remove some of the dead roots or if your succies don't seem to be growing well. Succulents don't generally need any plant food or fertiliser (unless you are letting them to bloom), therefore root pruning might encourage to grow healthier to absorb the natural nutrients from the soil mix.

For example, if your succulents are not chubby and you have followed all the instructions (ie less watering frequency and water bath them) then I would say pruning the roots could be the last resort. Sometimes it's all because the existing roots are not absorbing the water well therefore by pruning the roots could encourage your succulent to grow new roots. 

I don't tend to repot them every year but I would remove the dead leaves (to prevent any bugs cling onto), clean & trim the roots. 

Before 

After 

As you can see from the photos, I didn't go too crazy about trimming the roots, some OCD succulent addict might even say I should trim more but for me this is more than enough.

Here are some of my tips: first of all I remove the soils and tiny roots via toothbrush then allocate the main roots (usually quite chubby) and trim off the small roots. That's it. You are then ready to repot your baby.

If you prune more than you should, like accidentally trim off some of the main root, don't panic, just place you succulent to dry and some sunny area for few days (the reason you do this is so that your succulent could recover) and repot them. I only usually start watering them after 10-14 days, if the don't perk up after watering then keep them dry for another week and water again. 

Another tip is use some Rootgrow or rooting powder if you would like them root better.

Presumably your succulent must be quite healthy to enable to you to do the pruning, I would suggest upgrading your potting mix to improve the porosity. Also I would need to note that your succulent might look little tired for few weeks as they are focusing on growing new roots but once they are settled, you can start to stress them.

Just drop me a message if you have any query. Til then, happy pruning!

 

 

 

 

2 comments

Hey,
I just got my succulents from a market and the soil was horrible, so I cleaned the old soil and repotted them.
Now should I watered them immediately or wait for a couple of days ?
Thanks

Felix

If a succulents roots are root bound should I cut some roots

Cesar

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