Moving Succulents

Transplanting Them Safely

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Sometimes you inherit a garden that has succulents in - all in the wrong place, or they've done so well that they need splitting up and relocating.

Moving Succulents

Although generally slow growing, they do eventually outgrow their space and get crowded, either with their own chicks or pups, or because they're planted too close to their neighbors. 

The size of them as a plug or in a tiny pot is misleading - they can grow really fast when young. 

Then they start having babies, which spreads the clump even more.

Splitting them or propagating them is easy - fortunately, they're really easy to chop up into pieces and replant the roots, or even take cuttings.

Moving Succulents - plugs of Sempervivum

In a garden setting, this might look like you have a disaster on your hands for a short while until they recover, but in time, a season or so, they'll fill in and you won't be able to tell.

Depending on which type of succulent plants you have, and how long they've had to get established, moving them or splitting them up can be a simple process of dividing them, or a complete move.

Some plants have long beefy tap roots which reach deep into the ground. 

Generally, these also have finer feeder roots close to the surface of the soil, which means if you remove some of the tap root, they'll still be able to absorb moisture with the fine roots while the plant heals.

I've dug out the center of a big patch with a shovel, and moved it that way. 

As long as you get some roots, it will soon get established. 

The trick? 

Dig the hole where you'll put the new clump first.  Then add a shovel full of fresh soil to the existing patch, and in very little time they'll fill in the gap.

My favorite tool to dig them up? A trenching spade (affiliate link) gets into a small area and doesn't damage any neighboring plants.

Resist the urge to water your newly transplanted succulents.  The roots that have been damaged or cut off need to callous over before you water them, so they don't rot.