Succulents are delightful plants to have indoors and outdoors. Baby succulents are great for gifts and favors at weddings and events. Fortunately for succulent fanatics, they transplant or replant easily, with resilient smaller root balls. With some consideration of the unique needs of the variety of succulent, moving from one container to another container shouldn’t be difficult.
As a general rule, spring and summer are the best months to transplant or repot. However, you should still be able to transplant successfully in the colder months. Remember that succulents do not like to have wet roots. General water care recommendations for your plant will apply to transferring to new containers. It is essential that succulents not be overwatered. Overwatering is the easiest way to kill a succulent.
Using the Right Soil
Succulent growers will tell you that using the right soil is important. You should avoid regular potting soil, although this is less critical if you are planting in a teeny 2- or 4-inch size container. If you must use regular potting soil, mix it with sand and perlite to create your own succulent formula. A fast-draining formula for succulents or cacti will contain forest products, sand and perlite to improve drainage. If you are planting in a larger pot or garden, unless you are a succulent expert and extremely familiar with the unique water needs of succulents, choose a container with a drain hole. If you don’t have a drain hole, put a layer of gravel or rocks at the bottom of the pot.
Transplanting Spiney / Needly Succulents
Succulents with spines or needle such as cacti, agave, aloe or yucca is easy, as long as you don’t get poked by the needles. Most succulents with spines or needles can do well with full sun all day and generally tolerate heat well. Experts recommend that vertical cacti should be planted in containers that have a diameter half the height of the plant, and round cacti should be potted in containers that have a diameter 2 inches greater than the diameter of the plant. Larger containers encourage growth.
Transplanting Fleshy Succulents
If you are growing the fleshier, shorter succulents such as pachyveria and sedum clavatum, and live in a desert where it’s especially hot, you may need some cover to prevent burning. For an easier transfer, water your succulents one to two days before transferring. This will make it a little easier to move plants from the container as the soil will be less crumbly. As you transfer the plants, squeeze the container gently and be careful not to pull on individual leaves. Be gentle as you move them out of their container and place into their new home. If you are moving from a square container to a round one, you may need to gently squeeze the root ball.
During the transplant process, you can take the opportunity to clean up the plant, remove dead outer / lower leaves. If you are into propagation, you can save healthy leaves and grow new plants from them. Soon you will have new plants to transfer!