“Succulent Secrets Unveiled: Master the Art of Propagating from Leaves or Stems!”

  • By: admin
  • Date: July 2, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.
Spread the love
Lots of small cacti in pots on a blue wooden background

Are you a succulent enthusiast looking to expand your plant collection without spending a fortune? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will show you how to propagate succulents from leaves or stems, allowing you to grow new plants from the parent plants you already own. By following a few simple steps, you can master the art of succulent propagation and create a thriving succulent garden. Let’s get started!

What Is Propagation?

Propagation is a method used to reproduce plants, enabling you to grow an entirely new plant from an existing one. Succulents, in particular, are excellent candidates for propagation due to their ability to form new growth through their stems or leaves. Depending on the type of succulent you are working with, there are different propagation methods available.

How to Propagate Succulent Leaves

Succulent Plant Close-up Succulent Plant Close-up succulent stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Many succulents naturally multiply by dropping leaves, which then develop into new plantlets known as pups. To propagate succulents from leaves, follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose a Healthy Mother Plant

First and foremost, select a mother plant that is well hydrated and in good health. A cutting from a healthy plant is more likely to thrive during propagation.

Step 2: Select a Leaf for Propagation

Gently twist and pull a firm and healthy leaf from the succulent closest to its stem. Avoid using severely shriveled, yellowed, black, or brown leaves, as these may indicate overwatering, which is not ideal for successful propagation.

Step 3: Allow the Leaf to Callous

After removing the leaf, you may notice that the cut end is wet. This is because succulents store water in their stems and leaves to withstand drought. To prevent root rot, allow the cut end of the leaf to callous over for a minimum of two to five days before watering.

Step 4: Optional: Apply Rooting Hormone

While not necessary, you can expedite the propagation process by using rooting hormone. Dip the tip of the pup in rooting hormone powder after it has calloused and before placing it on soil.

Step 5: Plant the Leaf Cutting

Once the leaf cutting has calloused, place it on top of dampened cactus or succulent soil. Provide indirect sunlight to prevent leaf burn. After approximately two weeks, you should start to see roots or baby succulents forming from the cutting.

Step 6: Pot the New Plantlet

When the roots of the baby succulent have strengthened after a few weeks, the original leaf will naturally fall off. Replant the new plantlet in a well-draining container filled with succulent soil or well-draining potting soil.

How to Propagate Succulent Stems

Animal pest, vine weevil on Sempervium plants, closeup Damage of Sempervivum leaves done by the Cheilosia caerulescens fly, insect, or the Sempervivum Leaf Miner pest, which destroys almost the whole plant succulent stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

If you have succulents with multiple stems or branches, such as sedum, jade, haworthia, or aeoniums, you can propagate them by stem cuttings. Follow these steps for successful stem propagation:

Step 1: Select a Healthy Mother Plant

When propagating succulents, it is crucial to begin with a healthy mother plant. Look for a plant that exhibits overall vitality, with vibrant foliage and no signs of disease or pest infestation. Avoid selecting stems with shriveled or wilted leaves, as they may indicate underlying issues. Choose a plant that has been thriving and demonstrates robust growth.

Step 2: Cut the Stem

Using clean and sharp scissors or shears, carefully cut a stem from the mother plant. The stem should be healthy and have a good number of leaves. Aim to make a clean cut, avoiding any crushing or damage to the stem. It is generally recommended to cut the stem at a 45-degree angle to maximize the surface area available for rooting.

Step 3: Allow the Stem to Callous

After taking the stem cutting, it is important to allow it to callous before planting. This step involves letting the cut end of the stem dry out and form a protective layer over a few days. Placing the cutting in a dry and well-ventilated area can help expedite the callousing process. The callous serves as a barrier against potential infections and promotes successful rooting.

Step 4: Remove Lower Leaves

Once the stem has sufficiently calloused, remove the lower leaves from the stem. Trim the bottom two inches of the stem, carefully snipping off the leaves in that section. This step creates a clean area for the stem to be inserted into the soil without any interference from foliage. Removing the lower leaves also helps prevent rotting and promotes the growth of new roots from the cut end of the stem.

Step 5: Plant the Stem Cutting

Prepare a small container with well-draining succulent soil. Gently insert the calloused end of the stem cutting into the soil, ensuring it is stable and upright. Make sure to bury the trimmed section of the stem that had the lower leaves removed. It is essential to provide the propagated stem with bright, indirect sunlight to encourage healthy growth. However, direct sunlight can be too intense and may lead to sunburn or damage, so it’s important to provide shade or filter the light if necessary. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Overwatering can be detrimental to the delicate roots and may cause root rot.

Step 6: Repot the Succulent

After the stem cutting has developed roots, typically after a few inches of growth, it is ready to be transplanted into a larger pot. Choose a container with sufficient drainage holes and fill it with a well-draining succulent soil mix or a combination of generic potting soil and sand. Carefully remove the rooted cutting from the initial container, being mindful not to damage the delicate roots. Place the succulent into the new pot, ensuring that the roots are covered with soil and the stem remains stable. Provide the newly repotted succulent with the appropriate amount of sunlight, and water sparingly, and continue to monitor its growth and overall health.

Can You Propagate Succulents in Water?

Woman watering flowers Woman watering flowers succulent propagate stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

While many houseplants can be propagated in water, succulents are not the best candidates for water propagation. Succulents actually thrive when subjected to dryness, as it initiates the growth process for these plants. Instead of water propagation, follow the previously mentioned steps for leaf or stem propagation, which have proven to be more successful for succulents.

Succulent Care FAQs

What are the easiest succulents to propagate?

Several succulents are simple to propagate, including various sedum varieties (through stem or leaf propagation), aeonium (via stem propagation), echeveria (through leaf propagation), and graptoveria Fred Ives (via leaves or stems). Crassulas, such as jade and related plants, are also considered easy to propagate. Simply cut the stem, ensuring the top leaves or rosette stand upright in the soil.

Which succulents are difficult to propagate?

Succulents that grow from seeds, such as haworthias and lithops, are among the most challenging to propagate. These plants require specialized care and attention during the propagation process.

Do succulents prefer shallow or deep pots?

Succulents thrive in shallow pots rather than deep ones. Since succulents have shallow roots, a container that is wider than it is deep is ideal. Deep pots may hold too much moisture, potentially causing root rot.

How long does it take for succulent cuttings to root?

The time it takes for succulent cuttings to root varies depending on the succulent type. However, most succulent varieties root within two to three weeks.

Where should you cut succulents for propagation?

For stem propagation, new growth forms from meristematic tissue, usually in bands where leaves were once attached. These bands will eventually develop roots. In leaf propagation, growth tissue is located at the stem end. As the new plant gets established, it drains moisture and nutrients from the parent leaf, causing the leaf to wither gradually.

What should you do if your succulent cuttings are not rooting?

If your succulent cuttings are not rooting, several factors could be contributing to the issue. Succulent cuttings require less light and water compared to mature succulents. Avoid over-nurturing them. For leaf cuttings, replicate the environment by setting them out of direct sunlight on barely moist soil. For stem cuttings, provide easy-to-penetrate soil and occasional spritzing to keep the soil barely moist.

By following these guidelines for succulent propagation, you can expand your plant collection and enjoy the rewards of nurturing new plants from your existing ones. Experiment with different succulent varieties and propagation methods to discover your favorites. Happy propagating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

Does Ammonia Kill Grass? – Debunking the Myths

Next Post

Comprehensive Guide to Growing and Caring for Epiphyllum (Orchid Cacti)