How to Divide and Root Succulents

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It’s easy to divide and root succulents! With this step by step tutorial you’ll be propagating new succulents in no time!

How to Divide and Root Succulents

Hello.  My name is Melissa, and I’m a succulent-aholic. Maybe it stems (no pun intended) from my intense struggle with having a black thumb growing up, or maybe it’s just because they are so darn trendy, but growing succulents is one of my very favorite hobbies. 

I have them all over the house and my husband has implied that he may be ready to stage an intervention if I keep buying more at the store. The trick is on him though because succulents are super easy to divide and root new plants so quite honestly I can fill my home with succulents for years just with the plants I already have! Today I wanted to share a few tricks to help you divide and root succulents too!


Best husband ever just came home with this beauty for me! #gardening

A photo posted by Melissa (@thehappierhomemaker) on

As much as I tease, my latest venture into succulent division actually came about because my husband surprised me with this gorgeous succulent planter a few months ago.  I loved it but it was quickly outgrowing itself and the taller plants were about to overtake the smaller ones below.

A close up of succulent plants

See those poor guys getting buried? They needed some space! To split the planting I VERY gently grasped the plant I wanted to remove at the base and loosened the dirt with my other hand.  Then I again very gently wiggled it free from the soil, being sure to remove the root ball with it.

thinning succulents

I continued this with all the plants I wanted to remove and replanted them in a cactus/succulent specific potting soil. If you’re dividing a large plant just remember be gentle and make sure each section you divide has roots along with it.

repotting succulents

You can see that they had much more room to grow afterwards!

after thinning succulents

See all those leaves that fell off in the process? Those can be rooted to form new plants! Simply stick the base down in the soil and in about 4-6 weeks you’ll see that they form their own roots and eventually they will grow into their own full plants! BOOM-free succulents!!

rooting succulent plantings

How cool is that? Here are the plants now, about a month after I split the container up.

growing succulents

I’m thinking it’s almost time to repot that aeonium as well!

Have you tried to root or split succulents yet? Do you love them as much as I do?

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  1. I am new to succulents and I just bought a potted arrangement with different kinds all so close to each other that I want to repot each plant individual. How do I take them out of an overcrowding space without hurting each individual plant? Will their roots be tangled up with the plant it is touching’s roots? How do I split this overcrowded arrangement of different types of succulents safely?

  2. Hi! I have a succulent arrangement that I’ve had about a year now. Most of the succulents in the pot are tall plants that sprout straight up instead of flowering out. I want to re-pot them because they’re so long now and the container they’re in is no longer a good fit. However, they have lost most of their leaves, especially on the bottom 2/3 of the plant and I’m not sure just putting them in a new container would help the problem. Do I take a chance and cut the stems or should I re-plant the entire thing? They’re about 10-12 inches tall with leaves only on the top 1/3 of the stem.

    1. oh wow, I’m not completely sure Hannah, you may need to divide them and plant new babies. Once they get leggy like that I don’t think you can fix it. (I could be wrong, that’s my personal experience) ~Melissa

  3. I bought an Angel Wing succulent around a year ago and I’m planning on breaking it up. I know I can take pieces off of it and replant those, but I’d really like to separate the main plant. The cactus grew in two separate pieces, but they share the same root system and I’m terrified of killing it! Is it possible to break up the root system? Or should I just remove pieces and reroot those?

  4. How do you feel about watering after repotting succulents?. Some say definitely a must others say no, don’t? I’m confused. I just bought a few hundred dollars worth. I’m on a kick to beautify my deck. I have always had a black thumb, so I’m too suddenly obsessed with succulents. Also Like you I get super bummed about the wasted cash when plants die, so I give up on buying more. My head keeps saying don’t buy anymore until you see if you can not murder them first, but damn they’re so cute and cheap (until you add up the cost if all those $3, $6, and $8 pots you keep impulse buying). Anyhow my deck is full sun for the most part, on the so cal coast, so almost always wet in the mornings (if that matters).

    1. For me Robyn I err on the side of NOT watering too much in any situation. I think that’s where most people fail with succulents, they general thrive when neglected a bit! ~Melissa

  5. Thanks for this article. It was exactly what I was looking for. I’m hooked on succulents too, and since mine were overgrown in their pot, I was looking to remove a few or even divide one plant. I wish I could post photo for you 🙂

  6. What if the pieces that fell off while transplanting the mother had no roots. Just pain. Can those be rooted and survive?

    1. Yes! They won’t root 100% of the time but I usually just stick the broken end in soil and then gently loosen it after about two weeks and you should see small roots growing from the bottom…it takes a lot of patience but eventually it will grow into a new plant!

  7. Thank you for sharing these tips! I have had this random pot of succulents on my deck (left by the former tenants) for like 2 years, and I have no clue what to do with them! How they haven’t died yet is beyond me, lol! But I have been wanting to do something with them. 🙂

  8. How often do you water them? I had a cactus once, but it died. My grandmother had a hen and chick’s for 20 years or more, but I didn’t think to grab it when she died. I don’t know what happened to it.

    1. I water them once a week if they are inside, not at all if they are outside and can get rainfall. I used to have a problem killing them until I realized I was over-watering! They thrive on neglect!

    1. Yes Linda, it’s not a total requirement but when I can I try to use it. I usually buy Miracle-Gro and it’s marked on the bag. At my Home Depot it’s inside in the indoor plant section.

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