One amazing thing about growing succulents is that you can grow succulents for free! The succulents you purchased from your local nursery or even better online with 3 day shipping can produce more succulents for you for free!
This is the process of propagation, it is very common in the succulent world. Succulent propagation is very unique, and very exciting to watch and experience. Not only does it produce free new plants for you, but it also is very fun to do!
Succulents can be propagated from both leaves, offsets, and cuttings. Different types of succulents may vary, for example you can only propagate aeonium succulents from cuttings and not its leaves. Sedum and echeveria can be propagated from both leaves and cuttings.
By the end of this article you will know exactly how to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings successfully!
THE 3 MAIN SUCCULENT PROPAGATION TECHNIQUES:
There are 3 main succulent propagation techniques, those 3 techniques are soil propagation, dry propagation, and water propagation. You can propagate succulents from cuttings, leaves, or offsets using these 3 main techniques. Of course you will need a mature succulent, not a baby succulent that’s still growing and on it’s way to maturity.
Soil propagation: Soil propagation is the most common succulent technique out there. It’s very popular and common simply because it’s the easiest and most effective, and natural way. This is because it’s through soil and it’s very natural to grow succulents through soil and watering right away after planting.
Air propagation: Air propagation, also known as “dry propagation” is also very easy and simple to do. It’s not as effective as soil propagation, but it still works and is great for propagating succulents!
Water propagation: Water propagation is another succulent propagation technique. It’s a great technique and it does work, but it’s also very risky because there’s a chance that the leaves or cuttings won’t make it. This is due to too much water getting soaked up in the leaves or cuttings, making them mushy.
All of these 3 main techniques are amazing and effective, but we will mainly be focusing on soil propagation. Soil propagation is simply just the best, easiest, most common, and most effective propagation technique in my opinion. It’s also just a very natural way to propagate succulents because it’s how most succulents and plants grow!
HOW TO PROPAGATE SUCCULENTS FROM LEAVES
The first step to propagating succulents from leaves is to simply take some leaves off of your mature succulent you are growing! You can use the leaves that fall off your succulent! Isn’t that amazing?! If you don’t have any leaves that fell off your succulent, or if they are too dry and shriveled up then you will need to take them off yourself.
To take them off yourself you need to carefully grab the leaf, twist and pull the leaf off very slowly. Don’t be scared to take off the leaf, but if you don’t do it carefully then basically it will be a bad leaf and won’t be able to grow roots. It’s important that you get a very clean cut, and make sure that you get the whole leaf, and that none of the leaf stays on the stem. If you can’t get a clean cut, or if you are too nervous to do this then you can also get some trimmers and trim the leaves off. I usually use trimmers because they give me a really precise cut and I get a clean cut every single time.
After you get your leaves off the succulent it’s very important that you let the leaves sit out for about 2-4 days so they can form a callus. It’s very important that you let them sit out and form a callus, if there's no callus then there will be no propagation!
After your succulent leaves have formed a callus then it’s time to lay them on some fast/well draining succulent soil. Just simply grab the leaves and place them on top of the soil, spread them out about 1-2 inches apart from each other.
Place the leaves in full shade for about 1 week and then move them to full sun, but make sure they also get some partial shade as well. Water the leaves 1-2 days a week or when the soil looks or feels very dry. This will give the leaves the opportunity to grow roots and grow to be a mature plant! The roots will appear after 2-3 weeks and then the plant will start growing every single week and baby plants will appear in about 10 weeks.
These time frames aren’t guaranteed, so don’t get discouraged if your leaves haven’t rooted. All different succulents have different propagation time frames, these are just results that we usually see when we propagate succulents.
When to Plant
Once the plant reaches about 1 inch tall and there’s no leaf yet, then it’s time to plant it! To do this you will just need to grab a small shovel or dig it up with your hand. Go as deep as possible to avoid damaging the root system or stressing it out. Then plant the succulent in fast/well draining succulent soil.
PROPAGATING SUCCULENTS FROM CUTTINGS
Propagating succulents from succulent cuttings is by far the easiest and most common way to propagate succulents. It’s very easy to do, and it’s very quick, you will see very fast results. From experience, propagating succulents from cuttings is just so nice and easy. I love it!
Let’s say your succulent wasn’t getting enough sunlight, and it starts to grow tall or starts stretching. This is known as etiolation and it happens a lot. There’s no cure, so what can you do with a tall stretched out succulent? Well you can cut it off and propagate so it can look normal and healthy again! It’s seriously such a great idea to propagate succulents from cuttings when your succulent has experienced etiolation.
HOW TO PROPAGATE SUCCULENTS FROM CUTTINGS
The first step for propagating succulents from cuttings is to simply cut off a stem cutting! To do this you will need some trimmers so you can carefully get a clean cut. You can use you hand and snap off the cutting, but that’s very risky! You can get a very bad cut and get a very short cutting that won’t be plantable. Make sure to use your trimmers!
Cut off a cutting and then leave it in a safe area for about 2-4 days. You must let the cutting dry out and form a callus before planting. As we have mentioned, if your cutting doesn’t form a callus then it will not root and will most likely dry up and die. Make sure you let it sit out for 2-4 days or until a callus forms. A callus basically looks like scab, so if you’re wondering what a callus is look at the bottom of your cutting where you trimmed it. There will be no cut because it will be dried up, like a scab. That’s a callus and it’s very important that it forms before planting your cutting and beginning propagation.
After your callus forms then go ahead and plant the cutting in fast/well draining succulent soil. Water the cutting immediately and then move and grow it in full shade for about 1 week. After 1 week of full shade then move it to full sun and give it 6 hours of sunlight every single day.
You will start to see roots form in about 2 weeks, and you will also notice your cutting growing larger and healthier. You should have a great root system after about 6 weeks. After 6 weeks then go ahead and plant the succulent wherever you want it or leave it where it is! Up to you!
After planting then make sure to take care of this succulent like you would with any succulent. Water 1-2 days a week or when the soil looks or feels very dry. Use fast/well draining succulent soil and give it at least 6 hours of full sunlight every single day.
HOW TO PROPAGATE SUCCULENTS FROM OFFSETS
Propagating offsets is super easy! It’s the fastest and easiest way to propagate succulents all because they already have a root system! If you are lucky enough to have your succulent produce offsets, then you are ready!
You will just need to grab your trimmers and separate the offsets. Simply grab the main succulent and trim where you need to trim to separate the offset from the mature main succulent. It shouldn’t be a lot of trimming, it should be about 1-2 trims and it should separate them and set them free. You can also separate them by just gently pulling on both of them at the same time. This will allow them to separate just make sure you don’t pull too hard and that you are pulling both at the same time!
After you have your offset separated from the mature succulent plant then it’s time to plant already! You don’t have to wait for any callus to form because the offset already has a root system.
Plant the offset in fast/well draining succulent soil and water it immediately. Water 1-2 days a week or when the soil looks or feels very dry. Place and grow it in full sunlight for at least 6 hours every single day. Make sure to also give it partial shade so it can avoid sun damage and stay healthy.
For some reason some offsets don’t have a root system and they end up being like a regular succulent cutting. If this is the case then all you will need to do is propagate it like you are propagating succulent cuttings. You already know how to do this! Make sure that you follow the steps we listed when propagating succulent offsets without roots!
USE WELL-DRAINING SUCCULENT SOIL
When it comes to propagating succulents, it's best to use well-drained succulent soil. It's very important that you use well-drained succulent soil so the soil doesn't stay soaked with water for several days. If you overwater the succulent and the soil stays wet and not dry for several days, then mold and bacteria will grow and appear. The mold and bacteria will then attack the roots of the succulent giving it root rot. Root rot is known as the #1 most common reason why a succulent will die.
To avoid mold/bacteria and root rot, you must use well-drained succulent soil. Well-drained succulent soil will keep the soil dry at a very fast rate preventing mold/bacteria and root rot from appearing. Any succulent grower expert will tell you that you need well-drained succulent soil, it's definitely a requirement for growing this succulent and every single other succulent out there.
We use Ramsey Succulent Soil when propagating succulents. It is well-draining with sand and perlite and it’s loaded with nutrients, having seaweed fertilizer. Seaweed has 60 trace minerals and nutrients, so your succulents will propagate faster, stronger, and healthier when using Ramsey Succulent Soil.
Now you know how to propagate succulents from succulent cuttings, leaves, and offsets! This is very simple and easy to do, you will just need some patience and some love! Propagating succulents is truly amazing because you are literally watching nature grow from a tiny leaf or cutting into a mature beautiful succulent plant.
You now know how to propagate succulents! Best of luck propagating your succulents, we hope you grow some beautiful succulents. If you have any questions feel free to comment and we will help you out!
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