Top 3 Methods to Propagate Succulents

Succulents Propagate

Succulents are gorgeous houseplants that don't require much care. Because of this, they are popular among beginner gardeners or those who cannot dedicate a lot of time and effort to their houseplants.

Another great thing about succulents is that they can be propagated with a relative ease. You will generally need to invest some time and effort, but it should not be difficult to propagate succulents with a great success.

For the best results, it is best to propagate succulents in the spring or summer. Warmer weather and more light will help your new plants grow stronger. However, keep in mind that you should keep your succulents in an indirect light.

What are the Best Methods to Propagate Succulents?

Generally speaking, there are 3 effective ways to propagate succulents: propagation through division, with leaf cuttings, and using stem cuttings.

If you wish to propagate succulents in a quick and easy way, the division is probably the best method to use. Simply put, it means to separate the original plant into different plants. It is literally divided into new plants.

Probably the most popular method you can use for succulent propagation are leaf cuttings. It is also not a difficult way to go, and it is always highly satisfying to watch a new plant grow from a single leaf cutting.

Finally, you can also propagate your succulents with stem cuttings. This method is best for plants that grow woody or long roots.

Propagate Succulents with Division

As noted above, propagation through division is the quickest and easiest way. You will simply dividing the original plant into several new ones. Keep in mind that this method works best for the species of succulents that naturally grow in clumps, such as Agave, Haworthia, Aloe, Crassula and similar plants.

To propagate succulents using division, simply take the original plant from its pot. Make sure to gently massage its roots to loosen the soil. Once this is done, carefully divide the plant into several sections. Make sure not to use force. The plant should be easy to separate into divisions.

Once you have different sections, these are new plants that you will be growing. Simply repot each section into the separate pot. Make sure to use succulent soil and care for your new plants in the usual way.

Propagate Succulents using Leaf Cuttings

As noted above, this is the most popular method of succulent propagation. This is another easy way to go: you simply need to locate good leaves. You can collect them from the mother plant by simple plucking. Many times, the leaves fall on their own, when the plant is accidentally bumped or knocked off. You can use even these accidents to propagate succulents, as long as the leaf is viable. It means that it is healthy and with no signs of disease.

Once you have a leaf cutting, make sure to inspect it. It should not show any signs of rot or disease. Keep in mind that you should only propagate healthy and strong leaf cuttings.

The good news is that succulent leaf cuttings can root quickly on their own. You do not need to use any rooting hormone. This happens because the roots naturally grow as the cutting searches for moisture. However, the best way to speed up this process is through rooting in soil or using water.

To root with soil, simply fill up a pot with moist succulent soil. Ideally, the pot or a container should be shallow. Place a succulent leaf cutting on top of the soil. After this, make sure to move the container to a spot with bright yet indirect light.

Keep in mind that the soil needs to be kept consistently moist. Whenever it feels dry to the touch, make sure to dampen the soil. Depending on the circumstances, it can be every day or every few days, so make sure to check regularly.

The leaf cutting will need about a few weeks to establish its new roots. Once the cutting has established roots, simply move it into a new pot, if needed.

Another way to propagate succulents with leaf cuttings is to root them in water. This is a method ideal for those who cannot check the soil regularly to add moisture. In this method, you will fill a container halfway with water. Clear containers work the best, because they allow you to monitor the process and how rooting is going. Cover the top of the container with cling wrap and secure the wrap with an elastic band.

After this, poke holes on the top of the cling wrap. The holes need to be big enough that the leaf tips can fit into. Gently, insert the leaf cuttings into the container. Place the container in an area with bright yet indirect light.

Keep in mind that the cuttings do not need to actually touch the water. The presence of moisture will make the cutting develop roots. You should notice the roots shooting down toward the water after several weeks. Once the root system is about one to two inches in length, it means that the roots are strong enough, and you can transfer the new plants into a pot with succulent soil.

Propagate Succulents by Stem Cuttings

Finally, you might wish to propagate succulents using stem cuttings. This method works great for species that have long stems, such as Sedum, Kalanchoe, Echeveria, and similar ones.

To propagate using this method, simply cut part of the plant using a sterile knife or scissors. You should remove the lower leaves, but keep in mind that you can propagate them, too, using the above method.

Place the stem of the leaf into the potting mix, about half an inch deep. Do the same with the other leaf cuttings. After this, make sure to water well and let the cuttings soak in. Keep in mind that you need to water again once the soil is dry, which is about every two weeks.

Leaf cuttings will take about three months to grow their own rhizomes. Once this happens, you can transport them to a larger pot and let them grow further into strong plants. It is best to transplant them all together, because a group of leaf cuttings growing together looks better than a sole cutting in a pot. However, other than the visual appearance, there is no issue with growing a single leaf cutting in a container.

Photo credit: Living in Monrovia

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