Succulent Propagation: A Grower’s Guide Part 1

Succulent Propagation: A Grower’s Guide Part 1

Succulents are a wonderful and wonderfully convenient option for indoor and outdoor planting. In many ways, succulents are a type of plant that keeps on giving. One way to get more out of your succulents is through propagation.

In a biological sense, propagation has to do with the production of a living organism from another living organism. When it comes to succulents, propagating involves utilizing a piece of a mature plant and then using that piece to grow a brand-new plant.

There Are More Than a Few Ways to Propagate

Generally speaking, there are 4 primary methods that will help you propagate succulents, which include

  • Leaf Cuttings
  • Offsets
  • Stem Cuttings
  • Seeds from Mature Plants

Propagation Via Leaf Cuttings

You can grow new succulents simply by removing actively growing, healthy leaves from mature succulent plants. Use this method especially if you have a succulent with plump, fleshy leaves such as Sedum and Echeveria.

In many cases, you can remove a succulent leaf by giving it a gentle tug. In other cases, you will have to apply a decent amount of pressure for leaf removal. If you cannot remove the leaf by hand you will have to use a sterilized knife to do so. Make sure to cut the leaf at the base of the plant in these cases.

Once the leaf is removed, set it in a warm location with plenty of sunlight. Keep the leaf on a windowsill, for instance, until it develops a callous. Once calloused, the leaf will be ready for planting. 

When planting, fill a planter with plenty of sandy soil that drains easily. Water the soil so that it is thoroughly wet, set the leaf on top of the soil, then set it in a brightly lit location, but not in direct sunlight. As your new succulent grows, use a spray bottle to moisten the leaf whenever the soil becomes dry. After a few short weeks, you will begin to see roots sprouting out of the base.

Offset Propagation

If you don’t know what an offset is, do not worry. Offsets are simply smaller succulents that end up growing near and around the base of a mature succulent plant. All you have to do is split the offset from the mature plant but be gentle and try your best to make sure to keep root structures as intact as possible. If the offset in question has developed its own root system, you can use a sterilized knife to cut the roots away.

Brush off any soil and allow your offset to sit on a windowsill to develop a callous. Prep your planter with that same sandy soil that drains well. Make a shallow hole in the soil, and simply set your offset succulent into the hole. You will end up caring for your offset succulent in the same way as described above.

Stay tuned for the other two methods for propagating succulents, which we’ll go over in our next article. If you have any questions about propagation or if you’d like to take a look at our wide variety of plants and succulents, contact The Green Goddess today. We have a long track record of helping people in Phoenix, AZ as well as our surrounding communities develop their green thumbs. We look forward to hearing from you!