How to grow succulents from cuttings? This is one of the most common questions I receive from my readers. This post is dedicated to answering the question.
Although succulents are easy to propagate, the process can turn into a disaster if it is not done correctly. Throughout the years of growing succulents, I had so many mistakes and failures that you might also have experienced.
There are many ways to start growing succulents. You can start with the seeds, leaves, stems, and cuttings.
However, any of these techniques may require a specific process that a grower should go through depending on where you start. In this post, I will only be focusing on the cuttings.
So how to grow succulents from cuttings? Growing succulents from cuttings may require a few steps:
- Picking the right cuttings
- Letting the cuttings callus
- Growing roots
- Watering and fertilizing
There are hundreds of succulent varieties you can choose from. They come in different textures, colors, sizes, and shapes.
You can have small ground-hugging to towering succulents that could grow for several feet. Fortunately, whatever variety you are picking, you’ll be delighted by the beauty of these plants.
Another good thing about growing succulents is that these plants can grow indoors and outdoors even in rocky gardens.
As long as they get the care and maintenance they need, they can survive virtually anywhere. In my case, however, I love to see them indoor planted in a container with a drainage hole.
You must have been excited at this point after knowing some unique characteristics of these plants. Now let’s talk about how you can grow succulents from cuttings.
Before diving into the process, I want to assure you that propagating succulent plants is easy. You just need to follow a few simple steps.
Of course, it is a lot simpler planting seeds. But propagating succulents from stems will definitely speed up the process of building your colorful indoor or outdoor succulent garden.
Here are the examples of easy propagation methods you can use:
This involves two simple processes of dividing the plants.
1.Removal of plantlet
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 which signal that they are capable of surviving without their mother plant.
2. Separate the root
This is another wonder of succulents. These plants can be multiplied by dividing roots that will result in having several clumps. These clumps can be planted 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 when directly planted.
Using the right kind of soil is critical at this period. In my case, I use the Hoffman Organic Succulent Soil Mix. I use this mix for years now. And so far, I did not encounter a considerable problem.
During this process, it is important that you provide the plants with shade. I usually place the plants indoor until they become ready to expose in an outside environment.
When the plants are ready, transfer them outside under shade. At this point, the plants should be able to gradually gain growth momentum.
Start from the cutting
This is another wonder of succulent plants. You can easily start a new pot of succulent using a cutting.
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. This whole process is successful and quick if you keep your cuttings dry.
There are two common methods being used in 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.
If you reach this section, you might already notice that growing succulents from cuttings is not that hard. The common theme is that cuttings (leaves and stems) are needed to be dried out.
As soon as the roots develop, the cuttings are ready to plant. The whole process is easy. Below are the basic steps in propagating succulents.
Growing succulents from cuttings
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
These are my recommended tools for easy succulent propagation. You can also improvise and use other household tools.
Now that you are equipped with the proper tools, the next step is to start the process. The following are the basic steps in successful succulent growing from cuttings.
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, cut your desired stem to propagate. Provide an inch space from the cut and the lower leaves.
Let the cutting callus
After having cuttings, lay them down on the flattened succulent soil mix. This is best done with fast-draining soil. 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.
Grow roots and plant
Let the cuttings set for a couple of days until the roots grow. As soon as the roots come out, you can plant the stems in the succulent soil mix. Water it with misting once a week.
Do not expose the newly planted succulents under direct sunlight. Wait until the roots are established before you transfer the plants outdoor.
Give water and fertilizer if needed
As the succulents gain their growth, they must have established roots too. You can water sparingly. It is very important to not overwater them.
Aside from giving enough and the right amount of water, succulents may need fertilizer at some point. The one that I am applying to my plants is the Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food (you can buy this on Amazon).
How long do succulents take 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 overwatering and sunburn. These happen when the plants are soaked in water in a considerable amount of time or exposed to the scourging sun.
As a grower, your first job is to find out the right care the plants need.
How fast do succulents grow?
This is a general question. There are so many varieties of succulents and all of them have a different growing pace. But generally, succulents grow slower than other ornamental plants.
In fact, some succulent varieties only grow for about a couple of inches. The variation may be caused by several factors.
During winter, for instance, succulents are not growing actively. Thus, the growth is slow during this season. It only catches up when warmer weather shows up again.
However, there are types of succulents that grow faster than the other varieties. Below is the list of fast and slow-growing succulents:
These succulents will be full-grown within the course of a month or sometimes less. These succulents are:
- Aeonium arboreum or Irish rose
- Echeveria sp. Or Hen and chicks
- Aloe vera
- Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi or Lavender scallops
- Crassula perforata or String of buttons
- Crassula sp. Or Jade plant
- Haworthia sp. Haworthia
- Sedum rubrotinctum or Jelly bean plant
- Schlumberger asp. Christmas cactus
Slow growing succulents
If you are looking for the slow-growing succulents, you might want to try the following succulent varieties:
- Lithops sp. or Living stones
- Tillandsia sp. or Air plants
- Ferocactus sp. or Barrel cactus
- Adromischus cristatus or Crinkle leaf plant
How big do succulents get?
This is a pretty general question because succulents have different varieties. Therefore, every type has its own usual length. Some stay small while others are feet high.
Some succulent types can reach up to 40 feet. However, height is not the only indicator of size though. Some varieties grow buds that will, in turn, grow into plants.
There are many techniques you can employ to keep your succulents in shape. One of which is pruning. Behead those that grow tall and use the cuttings to breed more succulents.
The best thing about succulents, as I mentioned earlier is that they are easy to propagate. Learning the steps mentioned above on how to grow succulents from cuttings allows you to make a new succulent garden in a short period of time.
How to care succulents?
The amount of care is one of the biggest factors that determine the growth of succulents. These plants grow well if you give them appropriate care.
In order to do so, the first thing you need to figure out is the nature of your succulents. The reason being is that not all succulents are created equal.
Although these plants only require minimal effort, it does not mean they don’t have demands. In fact, they have specific requirements for their healthy growth.
One of the most common requirements is sunlight. Succulents need at least 4-6 hours of sunlight exposure every day. However, too much of the sun can harm them.
During the summer, it is very important to provide shade for the plants. Although they are native to semi-desert areas, they cannot stand against the scourging sun.
Too little light, on the other hand, also detriments the succulents. Indoor succulents often suffer from having not enough light, especially during winter.
During the cold season, succulents need a light source. The best way to do it is by giving them an artificial light source. Personally, I use grow lights for my indoor succulents during winter. You can buy one of these on Amazon.
Apart from light, succulents also need water. But again, not too much of it. Succulents don’t like overwatering. In fact, it kills them.
So when watering succulents, it is very important to soak the soil and let it dry. One important note here – do not soak the whole plant. Only the soil.
The perfect watering method is the soak and dry. This way you can avoid over and underwater.
In the soak and dry method, you completely soak the soil then let it dry. The next watering will only occur if the soil is dry.
The amount and watering frequency are also dependent on many factors. The climate and immediate environments are some of them.
During summer, for instance, succulents need more water than during cold seasons. In hotter days, succulents need water at least once a week.
Outdoor succulents may need more water than the indoor ones. This is because they are exposed to dry air that speeds up the drying process of the soil.
The pots are also critical for succulents. Pots are not created equal too. But what I always recommend is the use of pots with drainage holes.
This will keep succulents safe from overwatering. You will have no problem applying the soak and dry method because the excess water will just drain through the drainage leaving nothing but moist soil.
Soil also plays a very important role in growing healthy succulents. For the best result, always use the perfect succulent soil mix that you can buy on Amazon or another supplier.
Succulents don’t grow well if planted in inappropriate soil. But will if planted in a fast-draining soil mix. This is what I am using for all my succulent plants.
Finally, before deciding which succulents are to be placed outside or inside, you need to make sure that the plants are suited to their respected environments.
This is because not all succulents are good outdoors and vice versa. One of the signs suggest where a certain variety of succulents should be planted is color.
Green succulents grow well indoors. While succulents with orange, purple or red are perfect for outdoors.
Making the right decision for your plants starts from choosing the right color.