Most succulents thrive with 4 hours of bright direct sun daily and grow well either indoors or outdoors. Pinching succulents is something that you need to do if you grow them in a container. As plants grow too crowded, pinch off pups to make more room and use in other containers.
Pinching your succulents provides an easy way to encourage new growth, tidy up your plant, and propagate new plants.
Pinching Offsets for Propagation
Examine your succulents for offsets that form around the parent plant. These may appear as smaller versions of the parent plant or simply as bulb-like growths that stick out underneath the parent.
Grab the offset of whatever size, and bend it backward until it snaps off from the parent plant. It does not matter how much or how little of the stem you get. Paddle Plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora) works well for offset propagation.
Set the offset aside to dry for a few days at room temperature until a callus forms over the end that you pinched off. Plant the offset and keep the soil damp until the offset forms new roots, about four weeks.
Pinching for Size
Pinch off 1, 2, or 3 stem segments from your Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera × buckleyi) to encourage additional branches.
Snap off parts of the stems from Blue Chalk Stick (Curio talinoides var. mandraliscae) to maintain a more compact shrubby shape and keep its branches flopping over and looking straggly.
Pinch off as many branches of Pencil Tree (Euphorbia tirucalli) as you need to so the plant stays within a given height or conforms to a given shape. Wear gloves when pinching this plant, as its sap can cause skin irritation and even temporary blindness.
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus