Introduction: How to Prune and Take Cuttings From the Paddle Plant

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When I moved from Santa Barbara to Tucson, I left my beloved garden and all those fleshy succulents behind. The ones planted in the garden stayed, and those in pots were given away to friends and neighbors. A tear or 10 were shed but I did take cuttings of many of those plants to ease my pain and satisfy my horticultural itch. This is all about Paddle Plant propagation and how to prune and take cuttings of this fascinating succulent.

The Paddle Plants were part of this mixture of succulent cuttings and plants which was planted about a year and a half ago. My, how they’ve grown and spread! In the video, I said they had come from 2 or 3 cuttings but it looks like there’s only 1 Paddle Plant cutting when you click on the link.

Step 1: How to Propagate the Paddle Plant!

Paddle Plants, like most succulents that I know of, are so easy to propagate. You can use a knife or your pruners (I used both as you’ll see in the video) to cut those big ole stems. The knife can in handy for pruning in a tight spot where it would’ve been hard to fully open the pruners. I cut the stems as far back to the soil line as I could which exposed more babies at the base.

Step 2: 2 Important Things to Know Before Starting Any Kind of a Pruning Job:

Make sure the plant isn’t stressed (ie: dry) and that your pruners or cutting tools are clean and sharp. You want to make nice, precise cuts to the health of the plant aren’t compromised.

Wondering what that white powdery substance is on the blue pot? It’s not powdery mildew or residue from whiteflies or mealybugs. It’s not anything you’re doing wrong; this succulent is supposed to have it. This white protective coating covers the stems & knocks off when you’re pruning. My hands, tripod, camera, the pot & patio were covered with it!

Paddle Plants make a fine houseplant if you have enough light but I’ve never heard of 1 flowering indoors. The time for most succulents to flower in winter and spring and these are no different. A couple of people I know cut the flower stalks off before they fully develop. They say it keeps the plant more compact and looking better. On the other hand, if you cut them off, you don’t get as many babies.

Step 3: Paddle Plants Make Fine Houseplants!

Here are the cuttings after I cleaned them up. The 1 on the left already has small roots coming out at the base. I’m going to let them heal over (forming a scab so those big fleshy stems don’t mush out when planted) in my laundry room for 2 or 3 weeks & then I’ll be back to show you how to plant them.

I wanted to do this post to let you know that Paddle Plants get rangy and it’s nothing you’ve done. The plant grows this way and needs to be cut back. That’s means you get cuttings and more plants – not a bad thing at all!

Nell Foster