How To Pinch Succulents | Its Easy |

Do you know how to pinch succulents? Oh well let me describe to you how to do it. Stay with me till the end to learn more about succulent pinching.

How To Pinch Succulents

What is succulent pinching (or plant pinching) ?

Pinching is a common name for cutting or pruning your succulent (or other plant) 

When you spot your succulents overgrown from their containers you can pinch them. In that circumstance, pinching  them back would be a great idea so that you could contain their growth.

One more reason for pinching back the succulents is to use for the propagation process. You could use the pinched cuttings later to make new plants and grow them separately. 

In addition to that you may have to consider pinching back the succulents which have faded blooms. Once the succulents carry faded flowers it would not look good as they used to be. So, pinching would be useful here as well.

Further when you use tools to pinch, you need to ensure that you are using  all sharp pairs of shears so that you can make clear cuts. Next ensure the tools which you are using are all clean. Ideally you need to disinfect the tools before you use them.

So once you pinch them, it would create  a greater potential for them to develop new growth faster and vigorously.  

Not only that it would help the plants to maintain their shapes as well. Besides, pinching would be quite effective when it comes to propagation as well.

How to pinch succulents ?

First of all, if you spot any worn-out plants in the container, you could consider pinching them. So, when you cut or pinch them, you need to cut them to the base of the plants. When you do this if you spot any worn-out plant parts you can get rid of them.

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Pinching for propagation

On the other hand, if you have succulents which are overgrowing from the planters and which look too big for the planters, pinching them would be a great idea. Simply you need to snip off the overgrown set of leaves from the succulents.

When you cut them , there will be a little bit of stem left on the cuttings which you could use for the propagation process. Succulents are a special set of plants as they can have root cells in the stems. Thus, you could find those very useful for the propagation process.  

So, what you could do ideally here is first allow those cuttings to wither for a two days’ time and then dip them in a rooting powder and plant them in a fresh succulent soil mix.

As the time passes, you could see them developing roots and growing out to be new plants in the respective containers.  

If you have tiny succulents to pinch, you could use smaller tools. If not, you may simply use your fingers and take them off. If there are fading , decaying tiny succulents this would be a fine way of pinching them back.

Pinching for size

You may simply pinch off a couple of leaves from your succulents so that it would encourage developing new branches etc.

In addition to that you may snip off parts of stems which will allow the plants to maintain a more compact shrubby shape. Moreover, it would avoid making the branches look floppy and straggly too.

In addition to that, you may pinch off the branches of succulents such as pencil trees which will allow the plants to stay within a specific height, that will help them to contain a given shape as well. If you do not consider pinching here, chances are that they can grow enormously.

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How To Pinch Succulents

Can you squeeze in succulents?

Yes and no. Sometimes with some plants you can use the squeeze test. But You have to be careful here. There are some poisonous succulents and you should not squeeze them with bare hands and without protective cloth.    

In this squeeze test you can find over-watered and under-watered succulents but slightly squeezing them.

Overwatered succulent leaves are mushy and you can feel the dampness in your fingers. But underwatered succulent leaves show no mushiness and show dryness and wrinkled texture. 

Most importantly you should not squeeze the leaves harder, by doing that you may hurt the sensitive leaves of succulents.

Keep in mind

When you pinch succulents you should use sterile tools to stop spreading infections. Apart from that you should use gloves and protective cloth when pinching poisonous succulents like fire sticks and thorny cactus. 

Also do not throw away diseased succulent plant parts everywhere. You should carefully discard them to avoid further diseases. 


To sum up, pinching would be useful on the succulents for various purposes. For example, you could do that to remove dead leaves, to propagate them or even to reshape them as well.

I hope this article cleared all your doubts you had on succulent pinching and that now you are much more confident in pinching the succulents.

Credit to : ehowgarden
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.