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How to Pinch Succulents

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Most succulents thrive with 4 hours of bright, direct sun daily and grow well either indoors or out. Pinching succulents is something that you might do if you were growing them in a container. As plants grow to be too crowded, pinch off pups to make more room and use in other containers.

Pinching your succulent plants 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, also called pups, 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 from underneath the parent.

Grab the offset, of whatever size, and bend it backward until it snaps off from the parent plant. It doesn’t 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 form new roots, about four weeks.

Pinching for Size

Pinch off 1, 2 or 3 leaves from your Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) 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 from 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. Be sure to wear gloves when pinching this plant, as its sap can cause skin irritation and even temporary blindness.

Source: sfgate.com

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