Propagate succulents is the process of taking leaves or cuttings from a plant and growing them to increase their numbers. It is an economical way of multiplying succulent plants on your farm because the only requirements are soil, adult succulents, water, and a small container.
We are expounding on how to propagate succulent plants, and in this post, you learn a couple of tips and the process of growing succulents from cuttings and leaves.
Requirements for Succulent Propagation
While you don’t need a lot of tools for succulent plant propagation, you will need to collect a few items to get started. Here are the supplies you’ll need:
- Clean pots/container
- Clean pair of clippers
- Succulent plant leaves, stem or cuttings
- Cactus/Succulent soil or a DIY soil mix
Using Cuttings to Propagate your Succulent Plant
Using a succulent cutting is one of the simplest yet efficient ways of propagating the medium-sized plant. Since any stem size of a succulent plant can be rooted, remember to keep the offcuts when trimming or in case any branch breaks off.
To propagate a succulent plant, identify and decide which part you want to cut. You can either cut it off from the top of the plant or a new offshoot.
Use a clean, sharp knife or sterile clippers to cut the medium-sized. Wash the clippers with soapy water or did them in rubbing alcohol to sanitize them.
Take a stem cutting of 2–3 inches long to enhance easy propagation. Most often, you can break off a stem and use it to propagate your succulent plant.
After cutting, allow them to heal (dry and callus) at least a few days before you propagate them. Although this might take some time, it’s on to ensure the plant to dry, especially on the cut part. Failure to do all these may cause the plant to absorb excess water when it is watered and eventually drown and die.
Using Succulent Leaves to Propagate
Unfortunately, not all succulent plants can be propagated by leaves. Most species of the genus Sedum and Liliaceae can be propagated from leaves. Therefore, you need to identify plants that can be propagated by leaves and those that cannot.
To remove the leaves easily, use the fingers to pinch, then rotate clockwise and reverse around the stem to help you detach it without causing any damage to the plant as well as the leaf.
Most importantly, when detaching the leaf ensure that the stem end of your leaf is wholly intact. Damaging this part may prevent the leaf from curing or being able to callous over correctly, thus permitting water can also cause the leaf to rot.
In the following cases, you should get rid of the leaves instead of propagating them:
- Severely damaged or wrinkled succulent leaves
- Immature and too small succulent leaves.
- Leaves damaged on the stem end
- Leaves with insect or pest damage
Steps to Root Succulents in the Soil
1. Allow leaves to callous
After taking the leaf or the stem cutting, let it dry for about 1–3 days based on the extent of sunlight and heat to allow your leaf to scab over. There is no problem if you notice the cutting is starting to shrink.
2. Prepare the container and soil for propagation
Fill the pot or container with cactus or succulent soil. Moisten the soil evenly using a sprayer. Evenly moist means with no dry spots and the pot slightly heavier. There is no need for soaking the soil entirely because it may take a long time to dry and could rot the leaves.
3. Lay your cuttings on the soil
When the leaves have calloused, and the soil is ready, you may lay your succulent leaves out. Ensure they are spread and that the top side of the leaves is facing up. Put the tray in a warm, bright place with indirect sunlight.
Some experts recommend that the cut end of the leaf be put in the soil, but the majority of the leaves I tried with this method either rotted or only grew roots but did not grow into a new plant.
In a week or more, the leaves may start to root.
Watering Baby Succulent Plants
Note that these are not like the other plants, and also the baby succulents don’t require too much water. Just wet the leaves after every few days using sprayer bottle, for instance after every three days.
If you are using leaves, ensure the ends don’t touch the soil whatsoever and ensure they are watered whenever the soil gets dry.
Unlike the leaves, cuttings must be put in the soil because they are almost fully-grown and all they need is watering after they are planted, then they will begin growing roots.
Cuttings also need watering every time the soil dries out like with the leaves. Provided you have studied and mastered your watering pattern; the cuttings will start to develop new roots as well as leaves in a week.
You already have a succulent baby plant growing or even some roots developing nicely, so what next? I think it is best to wait for at least a month or until the plant sprouts several roots or grown into some tiny version of the succulent plant you got it from. At this time, the new succulent plant is ready for transplant.
Additionally, you may place some of your rooted succulent leaves inside a container with larger succulents. You can as well start a new pot with all the baby succulents in the same place as this helps the new plants not to get lost under the shades of bigger plants and you can also take caution when watering them.
Try it, and soon you will be addicted to propagate your succulents!