How do succulents reproduce? In this article, we will talk about succulent propagation and some tips on how you can do it successfully.
Just like any other plant, succulents are probably one of the most popular plants. Aside from requiring a little amount of care, succulents are also easy to reproduce.
There are many ways to propagate a succulent plant. Below are some examples of how you can easily propagate succulents.
Table of Contents
So, how do succulents reproduce?
1. Using Cuttings
One of the most common propagation processes is with the use of cuttings. The cutting method is used mostly on succulents with tall and well-developed stems. A well-sharpened blade is needed as a clean-cut will increase the chance of your succulent’s survival rate.
Aside from using a sharp blade, cutting succulents also requires a few techniques like looking for stems that are actively growing with roots popping outside. Cut the young and rooty stems.
After cutting, just allow the stem to develop some callus before planting. This process usually takes 3-5 days. This step is critical to prevent baby plants from acquiring fungal infections.
Once the callus is developed you can now safely place your cuttings in a shallow pot. Just to only bury the callused half of your cuttings and put it in a place with a little amount of sunlight.
There, you can water it regularly through spraying especially the rooty areas. It is very important to note that an excessive amount of water could harm your succulents while undergoing the propagating process.
A second popular method is called Leafing. It is known among gardeners or people who own plump and pulpy succulents. Leafing is where a few leaves of succulents are removed and planted.
Similar to the previous method, leafing also requires careful cutting techniques. In using leaves for propagating, the part where the leaves and the stem meet is the ideal place to make the cut. Use a clean and sharpened blade.
After cutting, place it in a shallow and soiled container then expose it to a minimum amount of sunlight while spraying it regularly with water to keep it moist.
There, a callus will surely develop and in a matter of 3-8 weeks, the core of mother leaf will fall and wilt. The buddings will then be visible. That’s the signal the plant is ready to be transferred to its permanent planter.
3. Stem Cuttings
The third method is called stem cutting. This method best works not only in succulents like the rosette-shape but also in branched plants or any plants that have long stems. When finding the proper stems to cut, it is better to choose the shorter ones as their small size because they are still actively growing. In this case, your plant will have a higher chance of surviving.
Of course, after cutting, callusing will take up to 4 days with this method but always keep in mind that the branch left after cutting shall remain planted to allow it to heal itself. As for your stem cuttings, the same steps from the cutting method shall be followed.
4. Using Seeds
Propagating succulents through seeds. Since succulents are also a flowering plant they produce seeds. These seeds can be at the flower’s base usually having an orange color. Once these seeds are accumulated it should be rinsed with warm water to get rid of the coating then it should be planted onto the prepared pot with the soil partly covering the seeds.
There, you can water your seeds from time to time with a spray bottle cautiously as young succulents require careful treatment.
Although these previous methods seem easy to do, they might not be applicable to all kinds of succulents like the offsets ones, specifically hens and chicks.
Direct cutting and leafing are not applicable to offsets as these types of succulents have their leaves and stem strongly connected to one another. The common way of propagating offsets is through the water.
Just like any other propagating method, it will start from performing a clean cut of your succulents followed by letting it produce callus. Then, instead of placing it on soil, place it in water in a glass or a jar.
Remember, cuttings from your offsets should not be fully soaked in water. Instead, the part where the cutting took place should only be dipped. Through this method sprouting of roots will happen overnight then it can be planted once those roots are fully developed.
After knowing the reproduction process of succulents it is also important to know a few things about how the famous breeds of succulents come to life.
Propagation is just one way of multiplying a plant, in this case, succulent using certain parts of the plant. But aside from propagation, breeding is another way of generating more plants.
How to breed succulents?
Succulents are part of a flora or plant kingdom which is known to reproduce asexually. Asexual reproduction is not about the combination of gametes but rather inheriting the genes of the parent to be able to grow.
Unlike the propagation process which only needs a single succulent, in cross-breeding, it requires two different kinds of succulents through division and separation of succulents’ parts which will later enable their reproduction.
But how do succulents multiply through breeding? Breeding is only possible through cross-pollination. Here are some steps towards successful cross-breeding:
- Step1: Pulling off a flower from the main plant.
- Step2: Get rid of the flower petals leaving the anther which is filled with pollen then pull the anther’s stamen.
- Step3: Rub the freshly removed pollen onto the flower of the plant you want to cross-pollinate with.
- Step4: Once the pollen was all well combined, secure it with a tape. This is very important especially if you want to place it outside to prevent the insects from intervening in the cross-pollination process.
- Step5: Lastly, once the cross-pollination is done, you can now collect the seeds and go forward with the planting process.
Just like the propagation method, breeding succulents take a lot of time and requires a lot of patience. Both propagating and breeding succulents are also prone to several possible problems such as:
- Hybridization – happens when other strains or species of plants mixed together to create a hybrid variety. However, during a cross-pollination process, it is possible that your newly produced succulents are weaker than the original variety.
- Succulents that are sterile are not capable of cross-breeding. The only way to breed and propagate them is through the stem and leaves cutting.
- It is also going to be a big challenge if the pollen of the two plants does not bloom at the same time. In this case, the pollination process will be even more challenging. The only way to do it is to control the environment.
Hybrid succulents also require extra care as it is needed to be kept away from insects or other animals that could possibly harm it or intervene in the breeding process. You should also be mindful of the proper cross-breeding as not all succulents are a perfect match for one another.
It is always advisable that you read some research or studies regarding the propagation and breeding of succulents first before you start your own project.
Final Thoughts on How Do Succulents Reproduce
There are many ways as far as growing succulents go. But reproducing succulents can be another story. The process can be hugely challenging and sometimes intimidating.
But the key is courage and determination. In my case, courage and determination really helped me discover the best ways of caring for my succulents.
You just need to be willing to explore and do some experiments for your plants. Don’t be afraid to fail because failure is always part of this process.
Me too, I have lost many of my plants before due to failure. But it did not hold me back from continually experimenting until I found what works for my succulents.
I hope this post helps you in growing your own succulents too. Happy planting!
For more info, feel free to visit the Succulent Guide page on this blog.