How to Trim Succulents Successfully (Guide)

How to Trim Succulents

Trimming your succulents sounds a little intimidating—who wants to take a sharp knife to their favorite plants? But your succulents can really benefit from a light trim every now and then, just like your hair!

Trimming down your succulents helps maintain their shape so that they don’t get too tall, leggy, or overgrown. If you want your succulents to look cute and compact, you’re going to have to get comfortable cutting into them!

But don’t worry—trimming your succulents is easier and less scary than you think, and we’re going to guide you through the whole process. Keep reading if you want to learn how to trim succulents!

How to trim your Succulent
Time for a trimming @concrete_gardens

When to Trim Your Succulents

The best time to trim your succulents is at the beginning of their growing season. Most succulents experience new growth in the spring, so ideally that’s when you should trim them.

Spring is the best time to prune your succulents, with a set of pruning shears like these, because they tend to get leggy and long during the winter. Succulents often start growing tall when they’re not getting enough sunlight. They reach and stretch towards the nearest light source to try to get closer. This causes them to lose their nice and compact shape. This tends to happen more frequently in the winter when the days are shorter and there’s not as much sunlight streaming through the windows.

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To fix this problem, you’ll actually have to behead your succulents! It sounds scary, but it’s super easy to do. Your succulent will be better off afterward! Here’s how to do it.

How to trim your Succulent
Sprouting succulent @iamursucculent

Beheading Succulents

Branching succulents like Echeveria, Crassula, Aeonium, or Graptopetalum tend to benefit the most from beheading. If you have an Echeveria that’s looking tall and overgrown, it’s time to break out the shears and cut off its head! Once you remove the top of your succulent, you can replant it in the soil and it won’t look so stretched out and leggy anymore.

Grab a sharp pair of shears or a gardening knife. You should also wear a pair of gloves—some succulents have thorns and others have milky sap that can be irritating to your skin. Better safe than sorry!

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Before you start, you should also have some rubbing alcohol on hand to sterilize your cutting tool. Rub your shears down with alcohol before you start cutting to prevent your plant from becoming infected. It’s advisable to also clean and sterilize your shears before using them on any of your other plants. If the first plant you cut is infected, you don’t want it to spread to the other plants in your collection!

We also found the rubbing alcohol helps with purging pesky mealybugs. Read our article, How to Get Rid of Mealybugs, to find out more.

How to Trim Succulents
Have you mastered trimming your succulents yet? @thesimplygoodlife

Now take a look at your plant and decide where you want to make your cut. The cut should be an inch or two below where the rosette or top growth of your succulent ends. You want to include a little bit of stem so your plant doesn’t topple over when you go to plant it, but not so much that your plant will stick too far out of the soil as it did before.

The cut on the stem should be straight across or at a slight angle. It’s been noted that cutting it at an angle decreases the chances of infection, but we’re not sure how scientifically accurate that is!

Keep the leftover stem instead of discarding it. If you replant it, it might just sprout some new growth!

Leave the stem and the top of your plant out to dry for a few days, and then plant them in some succulent soil. Use a spray bottle, like this one, to moist the dry soil near your plants with water. This will encourage them to root. Then after a few weeks when they take root, you can water them normally.

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To make sure that you develop promising water- scheduling to keep the soil with optimum moisture. You might want to refer to our article about watering succulents

Make sure you move them to a sunny spot once they’re rooted. You wouldn’t want them to start growing tall and stretching out again because you placed them somewhere without enough sunlight!


How to trim your Succulent
Helping them keep that compact shape @oursuccielife

Other Reasons to Trim Your Succulents

Another reason why you might want to trim your succulent is to redirect its new growth. You can train some succulents to grow the way you want just by trimming them. If you see a branch or bud that’s growing in the right direction, trim your succulent right above it and it should start growing that way. This technique is often used with woody succulents like jade plants to help shape them.

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You can also trim succulents, like jade plants, to keep them small. To do this, you should cut back the entire plant. You can remove up to a third of its size once a year in the spring. Cut all of its branches back to the size you want, making sure your cuts are near a leaf or lateral branch.

Another reason why you might need to often trim your succulents is to remove any dead, diseased, or damaged parts. Succulents are pretty good at compartmentalizing the damage from diseases and keeping them from spreading, but you should still cut off any infected parts. You don’t want to risk it!

Removing dead leaves and plant matter from your succulents will let them stay healthy and help promote new growth. So make sure you remove them every fall and spring! Get a pair of precise tweezers, like these, to ensure you’re grabbing only what you need. These tweezer came in handy so many times for us here in the office, we saved so many succulents this way.

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How to trim your Succulent
Variation of succulents @vibeyourway

That’s all you need to know to trim your succulents, give them new growth, and keep them looking compact, cute and healthy!

If you need to trim your succulents this spring, use our advice, and let us know how it goes!

If you’re in search of what additional tools can be used when tending to your succulent babies, we have an article about the best gardening tools for succulents. Stock up on all the necessities, we just recently did from Prime Day.

By the way, we know Prime Day is over now but we still want to mention… This post is sponsored by Amazon Audible! They are offering all of our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of 2 FREE Ebooks when signing up for a free trial! You can sign up for a free trial here! What could be more relaxing than listening to your favorite book while tending to your succulents?


And if you have any more questions about trimming succulents, you can ask them in the Succulent City Plant Lounge. There are tons of other succulent lovers in there who can answer your questions and help you out!

If you liked this one, you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Happy planting!

The Ice Plant Succulent – (Corpuscularia Lehmannii)

Beautiful Ice Plant Succulent Corpuscularia Lehmannii

Here’s another awesome succulent you’d want to know about – the ice plant. It’s just one among the numerous adorable succulent plants. Talk about the shape, color, and ease of care – having the ice plant in your collection of houseplants can give your surroundings an aesthetic leap.

So today, you’ll get to know all that there is about the ice plant. It’s always a good thing to have some more information than only its name – especially on making sure that the ice plant doesn’t die as soon as it lands in your house. Get going below.

Beautiful Ice Plant Succulent Corpuscularia Lehmannii
A succulent in a white planter @insta_greentheory


The ice plant is a member of the very extensive Aizoaceae family that is made up of at least 135 genera and a total of 1900 plant species. Our darling here belongs to the genus known as Corpuscularia and the lehmannii species – can you guess the scientific name from this?

Other scientific names include Mesembranthemum sexpartitumDelosperma algoenseSchonlandia lehmanniiMesembranthemum lehmannii, and Delosperma lehmanii. But of course, you can go with an ice plant as it is easier to say and remember.

Corpuscularia lehmannii can attain a height of up to 12 in at maturity and spreads around for up to 12 in. The plant bears thick leaves that grow opposite each other in pairs. Their blue-green color makes them particularly impressive to look at.

In spring, yellow blooms appear.

The ice plant is clean from any harmful components. So if you’re keeping a few pets around or have kids, you don’t have to worry about any of them reacting because of coming in contact with the plant.

Where Does the Ice Plant Succulent Come From?

You have a home. So does this wonder of a plant.

The ice plant succulent is an African native. Can you think of a particular country? It’s a prominent home of more than a dozen succulents. That would be South Africa. And as with most succulents, the natural habitat has a huge influence on how you look out for your plant.

Of course, this habitat is largely water-deprived in addition to a couple of other suiting conditions. You’ll have to try to match these conditions for your plant to survive. We will get to look at this in detail later on.

Beautiful Ice Plant Succulent Corpuscularia Lehmannii
A potted succulent plant @terrassengarten

Getting your First Ice Plant Succulent

Obtaining the ice plant isn’t much of a problem (or any other succulent for that matter). In case you hadn’t noticed, succulents are the thing now. And that means owning one like the ice plant is easy.

For a start, asking around among your succulent-loving friends might do. They may have it in their collection. You can offer them a different plant they don’t own in exchange for this beauty right here.

Another option is straight up to purchase the ice plant from the various offline and online succulent stores.

For offline purchases, local nurseries and IKEA are great places to consider. Or if you’re part of succulents Facebook groups, you can be sure to strike some deals with those who reside nearby.

The online options are just unlimited. There are Mountain Crest Gardens, Leaf and Clay, Succulent box, Succulent Gardens, etc. Each of these places has a mode of operation that can be suitable for what you’re looking for. Succulent Gardens, for instance, lets you order a whole arrangement instead of just the plants.

That said, getting a single ice plant can be just the start of your collection. You can always add on as many babies as you can manage to care for by propagation.

Ice plant Propagation

You can propagate your ice plant through seeds or cuttings. Here’s a breakdown of how to go about the whole process for each.

1. Seeds

If you choose to go with this option, all you need is to sprinkle the seeds on a well-draining soil mix. The seeds need light to germinate, so covering them is out of the question.

The seeds can be kept inside or outside, depending on the USDA hardiness zone you fall in. For 9b through to 11, you can keep them outside. For hardiness zone 9a and below, let your seeds germinate inside but then make a point of providing them with enough light. 

2. Cuttings

You can make cuttings from your plant in spring, summer, or fall.

Cut off a part of the stem, allow it time to callous and insert it in a well-draining mix. Water only when the mix has dried out completely.

Also, be mindful of what you use to cut the stem, be it a pair of scissors or a knife. Any of these cutting tools should be sharp and sterilized for the best results with your cuttings.

Make sure to also check out our piece “5 Tips for Propagating Succulents” for more tips on propagating your succulents.

Beautiful Ice Plant Succulent Corpuscularia Lehmannii
A succulent planter held by hand @feffsplants

Caring For the Ice Plant

The fact that the ice plant is a succulent should give you a few pointers as far as nurturing it is concerned. Your attention to this plant will be minimal at most. The ice plant naturally grows in largely dry parts, remember. So it’s well set to face off those harsh conditions as it is the case with a majority of succulents.

Here’s a guideline on what you’re supposed to do if you want your plant to not only survive but also beam with life.

1. Temperature

Don’t be fooled by that name, ice plant. It certainly doesn’t imply this succulent can brave the cold temperatures.

On the contrary, the plant prefers higher readings typically between 25° F (-3.9° C) and 30° F (-1.10 °) on the lower side. In terms of USDA hardiness zones, that will be zones 9b to 11b.

In regions that have lower minimum readings, consider growing your plant in a container to bring the plant inside when it gets too cold outside.

2. Watering

Watering should be far apart to avert any possibility of root rot – typical succulent. Only water when the soil has entirely dried out. Usually, the top 2-3 inches of the mix is enough to gauge if it’s time to fetch the watering can or not.

Be sure to give the plant a healthy amount every time you water. What you should aim for is making sure the soil is completely soaked in water before you stop watering. This means your plant will take up enough water to see it through to the next “downpour”.

Don’t miss out on our ebook “The Correct Way to Water Succulents” to see a full guide we came up with to know when and how to water them correctly.

3. Soil requirements

Watering goes hand in hand with the type of soil you should use. A well-draining mix is ideal if you want to reap the benefits of watering your ice plant only occasionally.

Prolonged stays in wet soils have the same effect as watering your plant frequently. The ice plant will die off due to the infamous root rot.

So make a point of using a cacti/succulent mix that dries out faster in between waterings as compared to a regular potting mix. If you’re the DIY type, you can make the regular potting mix more porous by adding a bit of sand and perlite/pumice.

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Avoid overwatering your succulent with our guide “Overwatered Succulent Remedies“.

4. Lighting

Ice plants adore those rays, so full sun is a great addition to their growth needs. But if that’s not possible, partial shade is also totally okay.

As long as the light is there, they’ll be fine. So even if you’re growing your cupcake indoors, make a point of giving the ice plant enough access to the sun’s rays. The brightest window will do.


Beautiful Ice Plant Succulent Corpuscularia Lehmannii
Beautiful Ice Plant Closeup

Thank you for reading with us today! Enjoyed learning about the Ice Plant Succulent? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “Rare Succulents You Wish You Knew About“. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Check out related articles to improve your succulent maintenance knowledge like “5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents” or even “How Often To Water Cactus“.

Happy Planting! ?