Cactus and Succulents forum→Topping Echeverias, where best to cut

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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 9, 2020 4:30 PM CST
My echiveria survived the winter indoors but theyre obviously pretty leggy by now. Im going to top them and root the cuttings, but they did so well this year im hoping I can also get new plants to branch from the base if I cut at the right location... usually the bottom is pretty much shot, no leaves left, so I just reroot the top and toss the bottom. but not this time. The stems are nearly a foot long and at least 8" is still leafed out. Where would you cut?

Bonus points if you can ID the green leafy succulent next to it.
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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 9, 2020 4:34 PM CST

Moderator

I'd cut here (remove the bottom few leaves from the cutting)

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The plant should grow more compact if you give it more light.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 9, 2020 4:52 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:

The plant should grow more compact if you give it more light.


Yeah yeah, Brats. Everybody wants the sunny window... they just have to share. Lol
we had frost last night, maybe agin tonight. I brought my jade out two weeks ago and now its wrapped in a flannel blanket. Weather man says next weekend itll be 80 and everyone will be happy outside.. except of course ill have to be careful of sunburn. then watch, it will rain for a week straight, lol.

Thanks baja, i was hoping youd be able to chime in. Do you think the base will send up new branches if I cut there? And do you think I should fertilize the base? (obviously not the top since it wont have roots)
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 9, 2020 6:20 PM CST

Moderator

It will almost certainly branch after you behead it. You can fertilize if you like but I would not see that as necessary or even particularly helpful if the plant is growing in decent (relatively fresh) soil. One of the nice things about Echeverias, sort of a side benefit of the sometimes unwelcome task of beheading and restarting them every few years, is that the head is going into new soil (or at least it would here) and thus gets to make a clean start in more ways than one.
Name: Charline
Toronto (Zone 5b)
Charlinex
May 9, 2020 7:38 PM CST
Echeveria 'Perle von Nurnberg'.
Name: Bob
The Kau Desert, Hawaii (Zone 12a)
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OrchidBob
May 10, 2020 7:27 PM CST
is the green leafy succulent a Peperomia?
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 20, 2020 12:24 PM CST
Isn't that a pizza topping?
Lol, 😘
thank you for the tip. There are a lot of varieties. If I ID this one I'll add it to the database
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 24, 2020 10:59 AM CST
After cutting the echiveria I realized the soil in this pot has kind of shriveled up over the course of the winter, pulling away from the sides of the pot by a good margin, like a dry sponge, so when I water it basically just runs off the top of the rootball, down the sides and out the bottom.

Do you think I should either try to fill in the gap with fresh soil or try to rehydrate it (Like leaving it out on a rainy day)? Or just leave it alone?

I'm sure the pot has sufficient drainage that a day or two of rain won't cause rot. It's lived outside for the last two summers and often got soaked... I'd only move it to shelter if we had consistently wet weather over multiple consecutive days
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - May 24, 2020 11:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 25, 2020 10:02 AM CST

Moderator

Sure, fill the gap, but don't raise the soil level in the pot. Try watering little by little (waiting 5-10 minutes in between) and allowing the soil to gradually rehydrate, then it won't reject more water quite as easily. Or leave the plant outside in the rain until it is good and wet (then take it back in).
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 25, 2020 10:19 AM (+)]
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Name: Bob
The Kau Desert, Hawaii (Zone 12a)
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OrchidBob
May 25, 2020 1:03 PM CST
In a recent post somebody mentioned submerging the pot in a bucket of water and holding it down until it did not want to float. This was their solution for rock hard dirt ball that repelled water.
Elsewhere I read that when the top of the dirt becomes solid, one can remove the top layer or score it with a knife to break it up. I experience this with my plants that have been in the same pot for too long. Re-potting is the correct solution but sometimes that seems excessive. And sometimes we just do not have the time. But mostly I think it looks fine in the pot it is in and will pot it up next year.
Drowning the pot sounds like an easy solution and I plan on trying it someday.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 29, 2020 8:13 PM CST
Im not gonna submerge it. That sounds like crazy talk for desert plants. I decided to leave it in a full saucer for 3-5 hours and although the substrate became very wet and drippy it didnt expand.

There is no reason to expect it to come back to previous dimensions if 6 hours of bottom water wont do it.

Because its now more compact than it used to be i mixed a substrate even more fast draining and shook it around the edges because its wet now and it will stay that way unless I take advantage of capillary action to pull water along the surface area of the substrate

The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jun 16, 2020 1:32 PM CST
Thanks for giving me the confidence to cut. I cut about a week after this post and I already have nice new rosette growth all over.

Now the issue is going to be how do I get the rosettes to grow big like thier mamma?

I know fast draining soil, full sun, which Ive got down, but I have a lot of rosettes that Ive cut off as pups last year but even with even with good light and tight growth they never get 5-6" across like the original. They stay silver dollar size. The only thing I can think of is that im crowding them or they need to be fertilized



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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Jun 16, 2020 4:43 PM CST

Moderator

Maybe they never developed much of a root system? Maybe you started too soon? Did you try unpotting them to see what was happening underground? I usually cut offsets when they are about half the size of the mother rosette. In the case of what you've got going there in the pictures, I would allow the earliest/biggest one to reach nearly full size before removing it.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jun 21, 2020 11:18 AM CST
I probably wont cut these growths off this year. The ones im talking about are little pups growing from the base of the plant. You can see some growing at the base of the plant here: theres not enough room in the pot. I figured cutting them off and giving them more room/ direct light would be best. Theyd have to get 6-8" long before they hit sun.


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The plural of anecdote is not data.

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