Sunday DIY: Propagating Succulents

by Elle

Hello All,

As promised, I am back with my adventures of being a succulent gardener. I have managed to be somewhat successful in propagating them. It helps that a friend’s mom gave me major pointers about growing them and the good old world wide web has manage to help me keep them alive and healthy. Whew! For a minute there, I thought I was going to completely give up on this gardening idea if my succulents did not survive.

Two months ago, I decided to venture into propagating them. Everything I have read so far says this is suppose to be easy. So there are three ways to propagate succulents:


1. leaves — This is by far the easiest and the least obtrusive to the plant. Simply twist a leave off, preferably the older ones at the bottom of the plant that are still healthy and not shriveling up. Let them callus over a couple of days then lay them on soil and viola, in a week or two you’ll see roots or new leaves depending on the kind of succulent you are trying to propagate. So far this has been the most successful for me.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERALeaf propagation method: above shows different leaves growing into new succulent plants.

2. cuttings — Sometimes the parent plant will grow little plants right on the main stem. Simply cut them off with gardening sheers. Let the cutting callus over and replant into new soil. The baby plant should start to establish roots in about one or two weeks.

imageAbove is a succulent cutting growing out roots.

3. dividing — By far, this propagation method is extremely bold and quiet dangerous for the parent plant. Cut the parent plant in half. Let both parts callus over. In this method, the top half can be replanted and will take root in about one to two weeks. The bottom half of the plant will regrow the top of the plant. I have not really had much luck with having both parts survive this process.

imageAbove is a succulent plant divided into three parts. So far, only the top portion has rotted. The bottom, has not yet grown leaves and the middle portion, is still in the process of rooting. Also pictured, are leaves from the plant rooting and growing small leaves.

Some tips to keep in mind when propagating succulents:

  • Rooting hormone is not necessary but it helps a little.
  • To prevent leaves from rotting it is important you allow the plant to callus over before placing them in soil.
  • Cactus soil is the most ideal type of soil for succulents. I like the one from Miracle Grow. It may be more expensive than other brands but the plants flourish in it.
  • Don’t over water your plant. Water once a week  and make sure it gets lots of sun. Succulents love the sun. Do not skimp on the Vitamin D.
  • Do not hover. Allow the plant to grow on its own.
  • Do not be discouraged when the baby plants do not survive. Propagating plants takes practice.

I am by no means a expert. I’m just sharing methods that has helped me survive as a gardener. Let me know what you think.



imageA couple of plants were successfully propagated from leaves. The first pot shows a plant that rooted from a leave and grew small leaves then the parent leaf dried and broke off. The second pot, shows this process.

imageDifferent succulent leaves in the process of rooting.