How To Propagate Succulents

If you love succulents and have some in your home, there’s likely going to come a time when you need to propagate them! There’s a good chance they’re getting leggy or just too big for where you have them. Or maybe you just want to spread the succulent love to a friend! Whatever the reason, I’m here to help.

Today I’m going to share some tips and tricks on how to propagate succulents with success! Propagating a succulent means taking a part of a cutting from a mature, fully grown succulent and then using it to grow and breed more plants.

It is an affordable, easy, and reliable method to grow more plants of the same kind, retaining the desirable qualities of the parent plant.

Let’s learn.

How To Propagate Succulents

What are Succulents

Let’s start with a bit of history on succulents. Succulents are plants that can store water in their stems or leaves. They can survive on limited water sources, being able to draw in moisture from mist and dew. In fact, most succulents die because of too much water, not too little. I’m guilty of overwatering my succulent plants!

Succulents survive in dry climates, and because they do not require an abundance of water and sunlight to survive, they can be a great plants for first-time home gardeners (just be certain to not over water them!).

They do well outdoors, as they can survive drought-like conditions but are also popular indoor plants that need little attention. These low-maintenance plants thrive well in rich soil that retains moisture and a well-draining potting medium.

burro's tail succulent

(Love burro’s tail? Me too! Here’s all the care tips you need to know!)

You can adopt one of the various methods to grow more succulents. You can either take a stem cutting, leaf cutting, or use the plant seeds to grow more succulents. Succulent seeds grow slowly and take about six months to a year of germinating to reach transplant size.

Out of these methods, the first two are our favorite, and in this article, we comprehensively talk about them both.

How to Propagate Succulents

Succulents are easy to propagate through stem cutting and leaf cutting, while some facilitate new growth by themselves by developing a pup. Because there are different types of succulents available, the way you choose to propagate them differs. This is a simple guideline on succulent propagation to help get you started.

1. Propagation Through Stem Cutting

The most recommended and easy way to propagate a succulent is through stem cutting. Step cutting is a cost-effective, convenient way of cloning new succulents with all the mother plant’s major characteristics.

ruby necklace

How to Cut Your Stem

To propagate using this method, here’s what you need to do:

  • You’ll need a sharp pruning shears or razor blade or knife for the process.
  • Choose a healthy stem that is still in its growing stage. Ideally you’ll want a number of leaves still attached to the stem to ensure it still looks pretty!
  • Carefully cut the stem from the existing plant using your choice of tool.
  • If the item is damaged in the process, discard it and cut a new one.

After that, you have 2 options.

Option 1: Let it Callous Over

ric rac fishbone cactus

(Find more about this fun succulent – a fishbone cactus – here!)

The first option is to let your succulent cutting callous over. Let your cutting sit out so the cut end callouses over and shrivels up a bit. Usually this takes about 3-5 days. When it looks totally calloused over, you an plant it!

Option 2: Use Rooting Hormone

The other option which is a much faster option is to use a rooting hormone! In this case you need to carefully dip the base of the cutting into rooting hormone. Shake off the excess powder and it’s ready to go.

string of dolphins

(Find all the care tips you need for this fun string of fishhooks plant!)

Plant Your Cutting

When it’s ready to plant, you’ll want to have succulent soil in a fresh pot. Be sure to have the soil moist prior to planting your new succulents. After a couple of days, check the soil to see if it is still wet. If not, give it a good watering.

If it’s still wet, wait to let it dry out a bit. Too much water is never good for a succulents.

After a few weeks your baby succulents will start forming their own roots and begin to get firm in the soil. You did it!

Now on to another way

2. Propagation Through Succulent Leaf Cutting

This is another great way to multiply your succulent plants and get more plants. You can propagate succulents using the entire leaf that have fallen off the plants (a burro’s tail is a great example of this) or obtaining a leaf cutting.

succulent propagation through leaves

Here’s how to do it.

  • Most succulents will have delicate leaves that can be taken off with a gentle tug. You may need a sharp and sterilized cutting tool for other succulents.
  • Choose a healthy leaf to cut off from the succulent.
  • Use your hands or your tool to take the leaf completely off the plant. Avoid damaging the leaf in the process.
  • Once the leaf is safely removed, set it onto succulent soil in it’s own container.
  • There are different opinions on what to do next – some say to water your succulent leaf while others say to not water them at all or they could rot. I prefer to mist my leaves every few days or once a week using a spray bottle.
  • After a few weeks, you’ll begin to see baby succulents or roots growing from the calloused end of your succulent leaf.
  • Once they’re big enough you can remove the new plant from the leaf cutting and potted.

3. Propagation Through Pup Formation

aloe plant with pup

The pups, or the offsets, of a succulent, grow at the base of your existing plant, which is later cut off to propagate into a new plant. Cacti and aloe are some of the most common succulents that grow an offset.

After about 2 to 3 weeks, they develop roots, only to be later cut off and grown into a new plant. This is one of the easiest forms of propagating a succulent because the plant already does more than half of the work for you.

How To Divide A Pup From A Mother Plant

If your plant has grown a pup or an offset, it is your cue to take the pup off and grow it into a whole, new plant. Here is how you can do it.

aloe pups
  • The pup will grow and take about two to three weeks to start showing root formation.
  • Once you observe roots emerging from the offset, twist them, and then using a sharp knife, remove them from the main stem they grew on.
  • Make sure not to damage any new roots as they are extremely delicate.
  • After removing the pup, propagate it in water or soil.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Quickest Way To Propagate A Succulent?

If you see a pup developed on your succulent, most of the propagation work is already done. So it is one of the easiest and quickest ways to develop new succulent offspring.

Besides this, both stem and leaf cuttings have an equal chance of producing fresh and healthy batches of new succulents. The quickness and effectiveness of your results depend on how well you followed every step, how careful you were with the roots, the soil, the watering, and other essential factors required to grow a new succulent.

2. Why Is My Succulent Cutting Not Rooting?

You are supposed to let your cuttings dry up completely before you proceed to propagate them underwater or in soil. If you do not do this, your cuttings may not root and wither away. Overwatering your cuttings, especially when they are propagated with soil, can impede rooting in your cuttings.

Is a Snake Plant a Succulent?

(Is a snake plant a succulent? Find out here!)

Another reason why your succulent cutting might not be rooting is poor-quality soil. If your potting soil or mix lacks all the required nutrients or is of an incorrect type, the roots may not develop. Lastly, make sure the medium you are growing the succulent in facilitates proper drainage, so excess water does not retain in the medium.

3. How Much Should I Water Succulent Cuttings?

Until your cuttings start growing roots, they require very minimal water. In fact, too much watering can hamper the roots’ growth and can damage the plant in the long run.

Your growing medium should not have any stagnant water, but once you see the cuttings have started developing roots, make sure the roots remain moist at all times. Light sprays every now and then can lead to successful propagation. Once the new succulents grow, water them two to three times a week or as per the plant’s type and requirement.

Conclusion

I hope this article helped you learn all about how to propagate succulents. Succulents are one of the easiest plants to propagate. So get started and elevate your decor with these fascinating plants!

Did you know that some succulents are super tall? Find 15 tall succulents here!

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