Autumn care for aeoniums & other succulents (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Your Autumn Succulent Checklist

These seasonal succulent must-do's are for southern and coastal CA, from the Bay Area south. If you live beyond, please visit my site's Succulent Care By Season and Region page. 

Senecio and aeoniums

Blue Senecio mandraliscae and aeoniums, from my video: How to Fill Gaps in Your Succulent Garden

In Autumn...

It's garden clean-up time. Don't let dead branches and ratty overgrowth persist into spring. Envision new growth as you trim and tidy everything from ice plants to trees.

Treat agaves for snout weevil. This essential preventative needs doing in spring and fall and can save infested agaves. Don't assume yours won't need it; sadly, the weevil WILL find them. How and what to use.

Aeoniums are emerging from summer dormancy. Cut back leggy aeoniums, replant rosettes, and discard old plants roots and all. See how in my video: How to Refresh an Overgrown Succulent Garden (4:48).

Trim Senecio mandraliscae by several inches, and plant cuttings in gaps. Old stems branch where cut, which helps mass plantings grow fuller. See how in my video, How to Fill Gaps in Your Succulent Garden (2:21).

Groom echeverias. Remove old flower stalks and dry leaves under rosettes. Mealy bugs are active now; spray them with 70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.

Clean cochineal scale off paddle cactus (Opuntia sp.) Remove the fluffy white bumps with a soft-bristled shower brush dipped in dilute Safer soap.

Scale on Paddle Cactus, how to remove (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

See how I press my grandson into service removing scale from paddle cactus, in the video.

Apply a weed preventer (pre-emergent herbicide). This nontoxic, granulated powder stops seeds from germinating. Spread it before the first rainstorm wherever you don't want annual weeds. More.

Check your garden's run-off. Create channels that divert rain from succulents in low spots. If they sit where water collects, they may rot.

Treat agaves for snout weevil. This essential preventative needs doing in spring and fall. It also saves infested plants if caught early. What to use. 

Fertilize in-ground succulents with Ironite. Ideal for newly planted gardens, it boosts spring growth. Take care it doesn't stain hardscape.

Ant-infested succulent

Ants push soil up from below.

Check for ants in outdoor potted succulents, especially haworthias, gasterias and aloes. One tell-tale sign is soil in the crowns, pushed up from below. What to do.

Hose large succulents to remove fallen leaves and dirt and dust that inhibit photosynthesis. They'll welcome the extra water during Santa Ana winds. Btw, after replacing three garden hoses with these, I feel like I've finally entered the 21st century!

Wait to plant cuttings and new nursery plants until after the weather cools and the the winds die down.

Note: Some product links are affiliate. 

Related Info on This Site

Cochineal scale on Opuntia (paddle cactus) (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Cochineal Scale on Paddle Cactus, What To Do

White fuzzy lumps on paddle cactus are cochineal (coach-en-ee-al) scale, a parasite that pierces the plant’s skin and consumes its juices. It’s used to make carmine dye.

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Agave snout weevil damage (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Agave Snout Weevil Prevention and Treatment

Agave snout-nosed weevil is a half-inch-long black beetle with a downward-curving proboscis that enables it to pierce an agave’s core, where it lays its eggs. Grubs hatch, consume the agave’s heart, then burrow into the soil to pupate.

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Mycoplasma on crassula (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Succulent Pests and Problems Q&A Forum

Are pests or mysterious maladies causing problems with your succulents? This page is a forum for you to ask questions, leave comments and share what works for you. Others can see and benefit from the answers. Your own tried-and-true solutions are welcome, too! 

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  1. Steve on October 5, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    I really appreciate your info

  2. Marion Pauw on October 14, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Debra,

    Another option to prevent snout weevils and other pests is Neem oil. It’s organic and 100% safe for the environment!


    • Debra Lee Baldwin on October 15, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Marion — I’m a big fan of Safer products, which contain neem oil, but nowhere on their site does it say it’s effective against weevils. Have you had success combatting this particular pest with it?

  3. Martha Ochoa on December 18, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Dear Debra about Three Years ago I Was introduced to succulents. I lost so many I don’t know how to take care of them. Millie bug infestation was the worst I put alcohol like you instructed. They were too many I could not keep up and I found pest control needed to water every 30 days and guess what?Magic I started in August and I stop in November they are so beautiful no bugs at all.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on December 18, 2020 at 4:16 pm

      Hi Martha — What was the “pest control” you used? Thanks!

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