How to Propagate Succulents
Growing succulents from leaf cuttings is relatively straightforward: pinch off one from its parent plant, pulling gently.
Wait several days for the cut ends to dry and callous before propagating them in soil or cactus potting mix ($11 at Walmart).
Mist the leaves regularly with water and place them in bright, filtered light to stimulate root development. Roots will begin sprouting within weeks.
Succulents reproduce naturally by dropping leaves to form new plants, but you can also root succulents from leaf or stem cuttings. One common way is using a sharp, sterile knife to cut thin slices off the parent plant’s leaf where it connects to its main stem. Once cut off, callous the piece of leaf before placing it in a container with soil/potting mix/potting soil mixture, misting regularly with water once propagation occurs. Usually, once or twice weekly should suffice.
Roots will begin to form quickly in this environment, but you must remain patient as new growth may take several weeks or months. When signs do surface – stringy roots sprouting from beneath the leaf and fresh leaves beginning to grow from above it – that is a sure sign that it has successfully taken hold and established roots!
Once the roots have taken hold, it’s time to transplant your baby succulents. Carefully twist or allow its leaf to separate from its mother leaf before transplanting; be sure to provide ample water during its initial adjustment phase in its new home.
If your succulents have become leggy, propagation is an option by taking stem or offset cuttings or even growing from seeds, though this process can be long and frustrating.
When propagating stems or offsets, use small pots with drainage holes at their bases and cover the pebbles with store-bought or homemade potting soil to complete your planting medium.
Succulents thrive best in containers that allow adequate air circulation, so don’t overfill them, or they won’t grow properly. Over a few weeks, you should see new growth sprouting from its newly rooted succulent, and eventually, it can find its permanent home either outdoors or inside your home!
Succulents often produce branches or offshoots that can be cut and repotted to create new plants, with thick-stemmed succulents particularly suitable. Jade, Agave, Aloe, and Hawthorne are just a few examples of succulents that can be propagated using this method; use sharp scissors or a knife with a clean blade to cut from the parent plant. Some gardeners also dip cuttings in rooting hormone to encourage stronger roots to form in cuttings.
Step two requires carefully extracting the cutting from its source plant. For optimal results, choose leaves nearer to the top (newer growth). When removing your cuttings, gently wiggle and twist them off without tearing or breaking any part of them – failure can occur otherwise! Taking great care to avoid this is key when propagating succulents via leaf cuttings.
Once a cutting has been removed from its source plant, it should be allowed to callus over for several days to reduce fungus growth and maximize chances of rooting. Once ready for planting in soil, typically, roots will start appearing within weeks.
This technique can be applied to many succulent species, though rosette-forming ones such as aloe, agave, and crassula benefit most from being cut back regularly. Furthermore, this approach works great to restretch leggy succulents toward sunlight.
Like leaf propagation, this method requires only small amounts of potting mix to help cuttings retain water and nutrients and make sure they drain freely. Misting may be necessary whenever the soil dries out – mist as often as every two to four weeks for best results – depending on the succulent species and conditions. Once roots have fully developed, they can be repotted so the cutting can grow leaves independently!
Some succulent plants produce offshoots or pups that can be detached from their parent plant and grown into independent new specimens, similar to babies that share roots with their mother plant – this natural form of cloning. Many succulent species with rosette-type leaves, such as Hens & Chicks (lithops) or Ruffled Echeveria and certain Aloe or Haworthia varieties, can be propagated this way.
First, to propagate a succulent from an offshoot, ensure it’s big enough to separate from its parent plant and take away. When this has been accomplished, find where it attaches to the stem and cut it out with a sharp knife; try not to tear up its base as this will be where new growth emerges – otherwise, the cutting won’t root effectively!
An appropriately watered succulent will usually quickly form a callous over its cut ends. Once this occurs, it’s essential to allow time for this callus to form before watering again; doing so will prevent pathogens from entering and hindering root growth.
After your cutting or offshoot has formed calluses, they can be planted into the soil. A small amount of potting mix should be added to a planting container before placing your cutting in it. Keep the potting mix moist; too much moisture could lead to overwet soil conditions that hinder root formation.
Succulents can be propagated at any time of year, though spring and summer are typically best as this is when their roots and offshoots are actively growing and producing products and meats. Warmer weather and longer daylight hours encourage further leaf production as well. It is always wise to sterilize tools and work areas before beginning propagation work; my ebook, The Right Way to Propagate Succulents, contains more detailed information on propagating succulents! Get your copy today!
Most succulents can be propagated using leaf or stem cuttings; however, specific species, like Pothos (Potomac) and Philodendron x macrocarpum, require water propagation for growth. Hydroponic cultivation provides this option; pothos can be grown hydroponically until ready to plant out into their containers after several months in hydroponic cultivation. However, this may not be an ideal method due to rot-prone cuttings that could become too moist; when propagating succulents this way,, they must be allowed time in an empty tray before planting to their final containers.
Succulents can also be propagated with pups or suckers connected to their mother plant by delicate roots. Hens and chicks succulents make an excellent example of this type of propagation method, and propagation involves taking offspring off its mother plant and transplanting it in its container; this process should ideally occur as its mother is going dormant or beginning its new growth period.
Like stem or offset cuttings, pup cuttings tend to be straightforward to root. Though it may take more time than other methods of propagation, the critical factor when using any method of propagation is making sure the cutting has plump, firm leaves without breaking or damaging any parts of it from its mother plant.
Once a succulent cutting has been removed and placed into its container, a powdered rooting hormone should be dabbed over it to promote root development. After about one month of this treatment, its soil should dry out between watering sessions; water it occasionally to ensure it dries out entirely between treatments. After approximately one more month has passed, its pup should develop roots which should allow transplanting to its pot of well-draining soil with light watering requirements – give newly transplanted succulents a gentle tug check so as they settle in their new surroundings, depending on their species it may take several months for them to mature and adjust their new environment before blooming starts fully!