How To Propagate Succulents From Cuttings, Leaves or Pups

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.

snake plant propagation

Today I’m going to share some tips and tricks on how to propagate succulents with success! While every type of succulent has different things you need to know when it comes to propagation, this will give you a general guide on how to propagate succulents.

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

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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!

burro's tail succulent

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

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.

ruby necklace

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.

ric rac fishbone cactus

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

How to Propagate Succulents

Succulents are easy to propagate through stem cuttings and leaf cuttings, while some facilitate new growth by themselves by developing pups or baby plants. For all of these it’s best to start with healthy mature succulents rather than young ones.

Time of year is also important. While technically you can propagate at any time, you’re chance of success going up during their growing season (spring and summer months).

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.

jade plant stem clippings

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.

1. 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.

2. Let it callous over

The first step is to let your succulent cutting callous over. You may notice that the bottom where you cut your stem cutting is wet. That’s because succulents hold water in their leaves.

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 can plant it!

string of dolphins

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

Optional step: Use Rooting Hormone

The one option which you have is to use a rooting hormone! Carefully dip the base of the cutting into rooting hormone. Shake off the excess powder and it’s ready to go.

3. Plant Your Cutting

When it’s ready to plant, you’ll want to have succulent soil in a new pot with drainage holes. Be sure to have the soil moist prior to planting your new succulents.

After a couple of days, check the soil to see if the top of the soil is still wet. If not, give it a good watering.

snake plant propagation roots

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 to propagate your succulents!

Propagation Through Succulent Leaf Cuttings

jade plant leaves

These are leaves from a jade plants!

Using succulent leaves 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.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Remove a leaf

Most succulents will have delicate fleshy leaves that can be taken off with a gentle tug. You may need a sharp and sterilized cutting tool for other succulents.

Always be sure to choose healthy leaves to cut off from the mature plant.

succulent propagation through leaves

2. Set in soil

Once the leaf is safely removed, set it onto succulent soil. You can either do this in it’s own pot or in a new pot. I usually use small pots for my propagation efforts.

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 get root rot. I prefer to mist my leaves every few days or once a week using a spray bottle.

3. Pot your new plant

After a few weeks, you’ll begin to see baby succulents or roots growing from the calloused end of your succulent leaf.

Once it’s mature enough the leaf cutting will eventually fall off and you’ll be able to plant your new plant!

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.

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.

1. Allow the pup to grow big enough

Let the pup grow for about two to three weeks to start showing root formation.

2. Remove the pup

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.

aloe pups

3. Propagate it in water or soil

After removing the pup, propagate it in water or soil. If you’re choosing water propagation, place it in a propagation station, changing the water every week or two until roots appear. Once you see roots that are a few inches long, put it in a pot with fresh soil!

If you chose soil propagation, dip the ends in rooting hormone and place directly into fresh soil in a new pot. Put in a place with a good amount of indirect light (ideally not direct sunlight) and wait for roots to form.

You’ll know they’ve grown roots and have established themself once you tug on the them and you’re met with resistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to propagate a succulent?

The best way to propagate a succulent is typically splitting off a pup since the work is already done. Both stem and leaf cuttings. have an equal chance of producing fresh and healthy batches of succulents.

Can you put succulent cuttings straight into soil?

No, you can’t put succulent cuttings straight into soil. You need to let it sit out for 24 hours to allow to cut spot to callous over.

Is it better to propagate succulents in water or dirt?

It is typically best to propagate your succulents in dirt so you’re not at risk of your plant rotting.

What is the quickest way to propagate a succulent?

The quickest way to propagate a succuclent is through splitting off a pup.

Why is my succulent cutting not rooting?

If your succulent cutting isn’t rooting it could be because it didn’t callous over completely or you’re overwatering your new plant.
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.

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.

Is a Snake Plant a Succulent?

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

Conclusion

I hope this article helped you learn all about how to propagate succulents and are able to expand your own succulent collection.

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!

Author

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  • Jen

    Jen got her first plant in college from her mom and the rest, as they say, is history! She's owned hundreds of plants over the years and loves learning how to grow each one. She believes everyone needs to own at least one plant in their home and loves sharing her knowledge with others.

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