How to Tell if Succulent Leaf is Calloused?

How to Tell if Succulent Leaf is Calloused
How to Tell if Succulent Leaf is Calloused

How to tell if succulent leaf is calloused? If you are propagating succulents using leaves, then you might ask the same question. In this post, we will talk about, basically, propagating succulents from leaves.

The beauty about succulents is that they are easy to propagate and maintain. You can propagate from both stems and leaves. However, in this post, we will just talk about leaf propagation.

Well, obviously, the first step is to pick a leaf that you want to propagate and start the process. Then, let the leaf calloused before planting it to its permanent pot.

But how to tell if succulent leaf is calloused? You’ll know that the leaf is already calloused when the bottom where the cut was made becomes nice and dry instead of wet. It will look like sealed too.

During this process, the leaf should be kept out of the direct sunlight. Just leave it on top of a paper towel and it will do its thing for a few days.

Once calloused, you can lay the leaf on top of the fast-draining soil (check my favorite soil on Amazon).

In a few weeks, the leaf will develop roots and babies. As the roots established, you can plant it on a small pot first. At this point, watering should be controlled.

But once the roots become more established, you can mist them once every two days. However, this watering frequency can be arbitrary depending on the location. You need to adjust this as necessary depending on the temperatures of the immediate surroundings.

To make every clear, I have included in this post a few steps in propagating succulents from leaves. This step by step tips are helpful especially if you are a beginner. I hope this will do the same to you.

A Step by Step Guide on How to Propagate Succulents from Leaves

Although succulents are easy to propagate and maintain, many of my propagation attempts had failed before. This might also happen to many beginners.

Fortunately, in this post, I will share what I learned through the years of growing succulents. Following the simple steps will save you time and money.

It is important to remember though that the techniques may vary depending on the climate, surroundings, and of course, the type of succulents you’re dealing with.

But what exactly is propagation? If you are a seasoned succulent grower, you already know this. But if you are a beginner, you might be thinking what propagation is.

Well, I assumed that you are someone who is just embarking on the journey as a succulent grower. If I am right, then this section is for you.

Propagation is the process of multiplying plants, in this case, succulents using leaves or stems. Basically, you start with the parts of the succulents and grow a whole succulent garden later.

In this post though, let’s focus on the propagation process using leaves. Below are the simple steps you can follow to achieve a successful succulent leaf propagation.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the tips.

1. Tools Preparation

The first step is preparing the tools you’ll need throughout the propagation process. Fortunately, there is not much you need. All it takes are just the following:

That’s it. These tools and materials are what you need to start the succulent propagation process.

2. Remove Your Chosen Succulent Leaves from the Mother Plan

When choosing the succulent leaves for propagation, it is very important to pick the healthy ones. In most cases, the mature leaves are most preferable because they are more likely to succeed.

Once you’ve found the best leaf, remove it from the mother plant by twisting it back and forth between your fingers. Succulent leaves are easy to detach. However, do make sure that there is no damage. This is to make sure that you have a healthy leaf to start with.

Finally, and probably the most important thing to remember is that when removing the leaf, the end of the leaf stem should remain intact. Damaged leaf stem will hinder the leaf from successfully propagating.

If this section of the leaf is damaged, the leaf will unlikely to callous and be prone to rotting. This is because the water will be able to enter in the leaf system which will in turn initiate rotting.

3. Let the Succulent Leaf Callous

Now that you have a healthy leaf, the thing you can do is to allow the leaf to callous. You can do this by laying the leaf on top of the paper towel for a couple of days.

During this process, there is not much you can do. Just leave the leaf and wait the miracle to happen.

In most cases, succulent leaf would callous for 3-4 days. Again, you’ll know that the leaf is already calloused when the stem end becomes dry.

Make sure that you did not place the leaf in the direct sunlight. Instead, find a place that has an access to bright indirect light.

4. Wait for the Leaf to Grow Roots

Depending on the surroundings and variety of succulents you are propagating, it usually takes 4-5 weeks for the leaf to develop roots or pups.

I know that waiting can be the hardest part of the process. But there is nothing we can do about that. What you can do instead is provide what the leaf needs.

Check the soil regularly, I mean every day. Give it a mist if it is already dry. But again, do not soak it. Too much water will cause rotting in the leaf and the sprouting roots. A drier soil is actually better.

Also, do not move the leaf. It may have those tiny sprouting roots and disturbing them will actually delay the whole process.

It is better if the environment is warm. Warm areas allow the succulent leaf to propagate much quicker. So I suggest that you do the entire process outdoor.

I don’t recommend starting the leaf propagation in winter. During this time, the temperatures are low thus slowing the whole process.

When the leaf slowly shrivels or dies, that’s the sign that the roots are getting established. If you’re seeing roots and no pups, check the spot where your propagation set up located, it is highly possible that it’s getting not enough light.

In this case, you can relocate the set up. Find a spot that has just enough light.

5. Transplanting the Succulent Pups

Once the original leaf is shivered and rotten away, it means that the pup is ready to be transplanted. Now you can transfer the pup into the new pot with fast draining soil.

At this point, avoid exposing the pups in the direct and scourging sunlight. It can easily get sunburned.

What you can do instead is to gradually expose the young guy in the direct sunlight. This process is slow until the succulent is big and strong enough for direct sunlight exposure.

As the succulent becomes established, you can give it a straight 4-6 hours of sunlight exposure every day. Do this in the morning to prevent sunburn.

During summer when the outdoor environment is hot, it is better to protect your succulent by providing shed. Or, if you can, bring your succulent indoor to keep it safer.

Final Thought on How to Tell if Succulent Leaf is Calloused

You’ll know that the succulent leaf is already calloused when you see the end of the leaf stem becomes dry.

Succulent propagation using leaves may vary from one grower to another. All you need to do is to explore the best way possible.

The environment and the type of succulents you are dealing with are the determining factors of the process.

So explore and don’t be afraid to experiment.

I hope this helps.

To learn more about succulents, feel free to read my succulent guide.

Related Questions

Can you regrow a succulent from a leaf?

Succulent leaf can be used as propagation medium. The tips above are exactly the step by step procedure on how to propagate succulents using leaves.

How long does it take for succulents to root in water?

In most cases, succulents root in water from 2-6 weeks. But this is dependent on the climate and the temperature in the surroundings. During the whole process, always check the water level to allow the process to go smoothly.


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

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