Can You Put Succulent Cuttings Straight into the Soil?

Can You Put Succulent Cuttings Straight into the Soil
Can You Put Succulent Cuttings Straight into the Soil

Can you put succulent cuttings straight into the soil? If you are planning to propagate a succulent from cutting, you might also ask the same question. In this post, I will share the steps in propagating succulents from cuttings.

One of the best parts of growing succulents is that, unlike other plants, they are super easy to propagate. You can just start a few mother plants and grow a whole succulent garden a few months later.

However, there are a few things you need to remember when propagating succulent plants. Because succulents are unique, they also have unique propagation needs you need to undergo to successfully plant them.

So, can you put succulent cuttings straight into soil? Unfortunately, you need to let the cuttings get calloused first before you can finally plant the cuttings into the soil. But don’t worry, the whole process is simple and only involves a few steps.

As promised, in this post I will share with you the simple succulent propagating method you should be using to successfully grow succulent plants from cuttings. Below are the steps you need to remember.

Propagating Succulents from Cuttings

As mentioned, succulent plants are easy to multiply. By propagation, you can easily start with cuttings and leaves to grow new plants of the same varieties. You can do it by doing the following steps:

1. Remove the leaves from the stem

The first step is to choose the right stem to propagate. Then remove all the leaves below the rosette. But make sure though that the base of the leaf is intact and healthy.

2. Allow the end of the cutting to callous

The next thing you need to do is to put the fresh cutting on the empty tray. Let it stay there for a couple of days and wait until the end of the cutting is calloused. This is a very important step. Do not put the cuttings directly into the soil.

3. Prepare a pot with a fast-draining soil

As you know, succulents do not grow well in compact or regular garden soil. This is because such type of soil absorbs or retains too much water which will in turn cause root rot.

To successfully propagate a new succulent plant from cutting, you need to use a fast-draining soil (click here to check my recommended soil on Amazon). Fill a tray with a well-draining soil and place the calloused cuttings on top of it.

Then, let the roots and sprouts grow around the base of the cuttings. Be patient because this process will take a few weeks before you see such amazing growth.

During this time, refrain from giving too much water. Minimal and less frequent watering is enough for the developing plant.

As you notice the parent leaf starts to wither, you can remove it. But make sure that you don’t disturb the newly developed roots and leaves. As the baby plants have become big enough, you can replant them in your desired pot or planter.

Succulents are sun-loving plants. But when they are young, avoid exposing them to direct sunlight. The scourging sun can definitely kill them.

Aside from cuttings, you can also propagate succulents using their offsets. There are succulent varieties that develop offsets. Examples of these are aloe vera, and hens and chicks.

Offsets are small plants that grow around the main plant. What you can do is to wait for the offsets to develop roots. As soon as you see some roots, that’s a sign that you can now take the offsets and allow them to callous.

The process in propagating offsets is pretty much the same as propagating cuttings. The good thing about replanting the offsets is not only you can grow more plants in no time but also helps the main plant to grow healthily.

How Long Does It Take for Succulent Cuttings to Root?

Well, the propagation process is different depending on the medium you are using. For instance, if you propagate a leaf, it will take about two weeks in general to root.

In about eight weeks, the leaves will start to develop making the baby plants ready to be repotted or transplanted.

If you are using a stem for propagation, on the other hand, it will take about 4 weeks for roots to develop. In some instances, though, it will be longer and takes more time.

Is It Better to Propagate in Water or Soil?

Both propagation techniques are good. However, in my opinion, propagating in the soil is better. The reason is that propagating succulents in the soil is pretty straight forward.

With soil, once the cutting or leaf is calloused, you can directly plant it in fast-draining soil. Then from that point, there is nothing you need to do. The newly developed succulent plant will just grow and thrive on its own.

Propagating in water, on the other hand, involves more work. This is because the roots developed in water cannot be planted directly into the soil. The roots are simply incapable of growing in the new medium.

What you need to do is to add a little amount of soil in the water to make the roots of the young succulents will sort of acclimating to the new growing medium.

As you can see, it involves more work and time.

Final Thoughts on Can You Put Succulent Cuttings Straight into Soil

The normal propagation process of succulents involves allowing the cutting to callous before it can be planted into the soil. Once the raw end of the cutting is calloused, it can be placed on top of the shallow fast-draining soil.

There, it takes a few weeks for the roots and leaves to grow. As the roots and the new plants get established, you can then replant them. By providing all the succulent needs such as light and water correctly, your plants will grow and thrive healthily.


I am a university teacher by profession, researcher, blogger, and gardener.

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