Propagating Succulents

If you’ve ever wished you could turn your few succulents into many, many more, this is the article for you! Propagating succulents is actually super easy. With these few simple steps, you’ll be a propagating wizard in no time.

What you’ll need for propagating succulents

  • Soil
    • Preferably a succulent/cacti mix with lots of perlite, but I’ve rooted succulents in heavy-clay soil from my backyard before
  • Container
    • Anything that will hold your soil and cuttings will work. I like wide containers that are shallow so that I don’t have to use a lot of soil and so that I can lay all of the cuttings in one tray. It’s beneficial for it to have drainage holes, but not necessary.
  • Spray bottle
  • Any succulent that you want to have more of

Steps for propagating succulents

First, break off leaves from the base. Make sure that you get a clean break at the end of the leaf as close to the stem as possible. You can also use a sharp, clean knife, scissors, or pruners to take them off. Furthermore, you can take stem cuttings of the plant and root those as well. Unless your succulent is very leggy, with stem cuttings you’ll need to take a few leaves off of the bottom of the stem. The points where these leaves attach to the stem are called “nodes.” New roots will form from these points.

Next , take your succulent leaves or cuttings and place them on top of your dry soil. If your soil isn’t dry, place the leaves on any dry surface (like newspaper or a table) to sit for a few days. This will allow time for the cut end to callus over, which will help prevent disease and rot. When I first started propagating succulents, I was confused as to what to look for to know that the end had callused over. Basically, the callus will be on the cut end, and look matte instead of shiny (like it did when it was first cut). The callus is usually slightly white in appearance.

callused end on succulent
cutting with a callused end

After the cuttings have callused, you will place them on top of moistened soil, or if they were already sitting on dry soil, you will mist the top of the soil heavily. After that, leave the cuttings alone. Don’t even think about them. I have learned that they root better without my intervention, so I will only mist the top about every 1 and a half to 2 weeks. I tend to stay towards the 2 week mark though, as it’s a lot easier to give these guys too much water rather than not enough.

There are a few succulents that can’t be rooted from cuttings, one being Haworthia, which has to be propagated from offsets. You can read more about that here.

Don’t give up hope

A leaf that didn’t look amazing, so I lifted it out to throw it away and saw these roots! This is why you must be patient.

Not seeing any signs of roots? Don’t worry! It takes time. Some of my cuttings have taken months to root before, so you must be patient! They’re plants, this is how they have evolved to continue their genetics! So trust that they will do what they need to.

If you’ve stuck the cutting into the dirt, rather than on top, it can be difficult to tell if roots are growing. Even if you’re curious as to if roots are growing, don’t move the cuttings! This can hurt the roots, and ruin all the work you’ve done. If the plant still looks healthy on top, it’s most likely rooting.

In time, all of your cuttings will root and begin to grow a new offset from the base of the cutting. Yay! More plants to care for and share!!

propagating succulents

Now go and get all the cuttings from your friends and salvage those broken-off leaves like a pro!

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