Although succulents are easy to propagate (at least when compared to most other plants), the process can turn into a disaster once you do it wrong. Throughout the years of growing succulents, I made many mistakes, and learned from all of them. Hopefully now I can finally do it right and you can learn from me.
You can start the succulent propagation with seeds, leaves, stems, and cuttings. However, each of these methods has some specifications you should know in order to improve your chances of succeeding. In this post I will focus on propagation from cuttings. Here are the basic steps (we will elaborate on them soon):
- Picking the right cuttings
- Letting the cuttings callus
- Growing roots
- Watering and fertilizing
Dividing of plants is where it all starts
Remove the offsets from the main plant. The offsets are capable of surviving on their own after separation from their mother plant. These mini plants have grown roots that signal that they are capable of surviving without their mother plant.
The next step is separating the root. You can divide roots into several clumps that you can later plant individually. You can plant the clumps directly in the succulent soil mix. Unlike the propagated succulents, succulents’ separated roots are capable of surviving on their own in a soil.
Using the right kind of soil is critical at this point. In my case, I use the Hoffman Organic Succulent Soil Mix (click here to check this soil on Amazon). I use this mix for years now, and so far I did not encounter any problems. During this process it is important to provide the plants with shade. I usually place the plants indoors until they become ready for exposure in the direct sunlight.
Starting from the cuttings–the core of the method
The first step is to cut off a leaf or stem. Then let the cutting dry for a while. You’ll notice roots and shoots starting to grow shortly after you did this. If not, you can always apply a rooting hormone to speed up the process, and improve your chances of succeeding. This whole process is successful and quick if you keep your cuttings dry. We know two main methods when it comes to planting succulents using the cuttings:
- Using the leaf. To start with this process, you just need to remove some leaves from the established plants. Keep them dry. Once the roots grow, the leaves can be planted into respective pots.
- Using the stem. Aside from the leaves, you can also use the stems. You start by “beheading” the overgrown succulents. Cut the long stem and then dry it until the roots start to grow. This process will not only help you multiply your succulents but also help your plants too. The beheaded plants will grow new sets of stems and leaves that are more beautiful than the old ones.
By now you might already notice that growing succulents from cuttings is not that hard. The common theme is that cuttings (leaves and stems) need to dry out before you plant them. As soon as the roots develop, the cuttings are ready to be planted into the soil. The whole process is easy. Below are the basic steps in propagating succulents.
Growing succulents from cuttings – a simple guide
Growing succulents from cuttings may require some materials. This may include the following:
- Pruning shears (make sure it is sharp)
- Gloves for gardening
- A handy trowel
- Potting soil and medium for succulents
- Pots or containers with drainage holes
Of course you do not have to spend a hundred dollars to start. You can also improvise and use other household tools…. Anyway, once you have the proper tools ready,you can start the process. Let’s see the basic steps you need to follow to succeed in your propagation:
1. Secure the desired succulent cuttings
In this process, you can use either the leaves or the stems of the succulents. You can start by pruning the stem or gently removing the leaves that you want to grow. Just be careful not to tear the leaves.
Using the sharp pruning shears (check these pruning shears on Amazon), cut your desired stem to propagate. Provide an inch space from the cut and the lower leaves.
2. Let the cutting callus
After having cuttings, lay them down on the flattened succulent soil mix. This is best done with fast-draining soil (click here to check a great soil mix for succulents on Amazon). Avoid inserting the stem directly in the soil because this will kill the stem.
The part of the stem where the cut was made should be pointed downward. It is in this section that the roots will come out.
3. Grow roots and plant
Let the cuttings set for a couple of days until the roots grow. If you have problems with this step, you can always apply my recommended rooting hormone for succulents on the cuttings, to speed up the process and make sure you won’t wait for eternity :).
As soon as the roots come out, you can plant the stems in the succulent soil mix. Water it with misting once a week. Remember that roots may appear after a few days, but with some succulents and in certain conditions it may even take few weeks. Be patient and do not plant prematurely…
One more thing to remember: Do not expose the newly planted succulents to direct sunlight. Wait until the roots are established before you transfer the plants outdoors.
4. Water sparingly, consider mild fertilization
As the succulents start to grow, they are still super prone to over-watering. Keep it on your mind and water them just sparingly.
Aside from giving the right amount of water, succulents may need fertilizer at some point–especially if you grow one of those more demanding varieties. The one that I am applying to my plants is the Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food (check it on Amazon).
How long it takes succulents to grow from cuttings?
It takes about four weeks for succulents to grow from cuttings. But this is only possible if the plants are given enough amount of water and sunlight. The ability of succulents to grow easily with just minimal effort makes these plants one of the most beloved indoor and outdoor houseplants.
But despite the versatility, succulents do need special attention. They need water, sunlight, and nutrients. Two of the worst enemies of succulents are over-watering and sunburn. These happen when the plants are soaked in water in a considerable amount of time or exposed to the scourging sun. Make sure you avoid both of these things while propagating succulents from cuttings.
That’s it for today. If you want to learn more, make sure to read my complete guide on succulent growing. Thank you!