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Xeria e-Zine Q&A
April 15, 2022

Last emails question was about using crocks in the bottom of a pot when planting. I got a response with another idea, which is to use coffee filters (new, not used) to prevent soil from washing out. Great tip! You could go even more economical and simply use a piece of newspaper.

April 15 2022

This time, I'll try to answer the question; what is the best time to prune succulents?

I'm going to say, any time you want to take cuttings is a good time to prune, but this comes with some caveats. Such as, don't prune succulents if they're still in dormancy, as this can create open wounds that may start to rot.

So, ideally, your succulent plant of whatever genus and species will be actively growing, or just prior to that, and you can see where the growth will go. There's no point in pruning a plant if the new growth will just point inwards to the center of the plant.

Always attempt to direct it to an outward facing bud. Whenever you 'remove apical dominance' (chop its head off) you'll see growth coming from the next lower bud. Generally, buds lower down on the plant won't be able to shoot.

Of course, whatever time of year you decide to prune succulent plants, you'll use clean tools, and make sure to propagate the pieces you cut off! They'll grow quickly if they are properly calloused (left to dry out a bit) and then stuck into dry soil.

The tools you use have to be sharp so they don't damage the cut ends, and use a dip in rubbing alcohol to prevent transferring pathogens from one plant to another.

If you want to trim back a succulent groundcover such as Sedum, use a string trimmer or weed whacker. No need to worry about pathogens there, as the string is clean and constantly renewed in the machine.

I hope that's answered some of the questions you may have about your succulents. If you still need answers, you know what to do - simply reply to this email and ask me, or contact me (there's a link at the bottom of every page, in the footer, to the contact page.
Visit The Hot Stuff Blog for all the latest in newly published (or re-published) pages.
I hope you've enjoyed this issue of Xeria e-Zine! Any questions or suggestions are welcome. Don't forget, the Horticulturist is always in.

Happy Gardening,

Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist, Webmaster and Artisan

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