Succulents should be transplanted annually to provide room to grow, according to The Succulent Plant Page. If the plant has spines or thorns, you can wrap it in newspaper or a rag for easier handling. It's important to use a pot that allows good drainage.
- Remove the plant from its old container
Hold the plant upside down, and tap to loosen it from the pot. Wrap newspaper or a rag around the plant, get a firm grip and pull it out of the container. If the plant is pot-bound, you might need to break the container.
- Trim dead roots
Clean off the old soil, and cut away dead roots, using a thin stick to poke away the soil and a sharp cutting tool. Avoid contact with the spines, as some are barbed and can break off in the skin. Other spines are toxic or irritating, explains the Cactus and Succulent Society of San Jose.
- Place the plant in a larger container
Choose a container with good drainage, and cover the holes with newspaper to prevent the soil from leaking out. Place the plant in the empty container, and surround it with fairly dry potting mix. Don't water the plant for the first week to allow the cut roots to heal without risk of bacterial or fungal infection.