Succulents are a plant beloved by many home plant enthusiasts, and even avid gardeners have taken a liking to them.
This is mainly due to a few key features of this type of plant that make them easy and fun to care for. These features include easy propagation, low cost, and low skill level requirements for propagation.
In this article, we’re going to help you learn how to propagate new succulents. Many novices in the past have failed, despite the relative ease with which one can propagate a succulent plant.
As such, we’re going to help you to succeed by filling in some gaps with some much needed tips and tricks for this process. Keep reading now to get all the details.
Choose the Right Succulent Suitable for Propagation
The first mistake many people make when trying to propagate a succulent is choosing the wrong species. Some succulent types are much easier to propagate than others, and you should probably stick to these if you want the easiest time propagating. When you have more experience, you can start to challenge some hard-to-propagate succulent plants.
Let’s start with the right leaf species. There are two species of succulent that should be used as your leaf specimen if you’re just starting out. The first species is the Echeveria succulent, and the second is Graptopetalum.
Belonging to the Crassulaceae family, Echeveria comes in green and blue shades that many find to be beautiful. Like most succulent plants, this one requires porous succulent soil to help wick moisture away from the roots.
You can either propagate this plant through offsets that grow from the main stem, or through leaf cutting. But carefully get leaves from the main plant, you can then plant these in new soil, and they can become their own separate plant. This is the same process for offsets that grow from the main stem, which can be planted as their own plants by carefully removing them from the rest of the dry or dead parts.
You can also propagate succulents by a process of cutting instead of leafing. This usually happens to Sedum, Senecio or Crassula succulents, those that are the easiest for beginners.
Also make sure to keep the plant watered a few days before attempting to propagate. It should be plenty hydrated to ensure the success of the propagation. You should also only take leaves or cuttings from succulent plants that are healthy with full and large leaves. Taking leaves or cuttings from a struggling plant could cause it irreparable harm.
The Right Way to Get Leaves or Cuttings
The two main ways you can propagate a new succulent from an existing plant is through its leaves or from cuttings.
You can do this by cutting individual leaves off the plant or by cutting entire stems, then planting them as their own plants. For this, you’ll want a knife or a scissor with a straight, sharp edge that has been sterilized.
Use either an open flame or a disinfectant on the blade to achieve sterilization, as this will reduce the risk of infection in the plant after cutting.Gathering leaves is a bit simpler in most cases, as many times you’ll be able to collect fallen leaves of the succulent or simply detach leaves that is already almost falling off. They can then be planted just like a cutting can be. To get a rich harvest, choosing healthy and complete succulent leaves is essential.
However, for best results these should not be planted right away. Let’s take a look at why that is now.
Waiting Until the Cuttings and Leaves Callus
So, why should you wait to plant leaves and cuttings callus when propagating a new succulent plant?
When a leaf drops or when you take a cutting from a succulent, you’ll notice that the area in which it was detached from the main plant becomes wet and sticky. This is essentially an “open wound” for the succulent plant, meaning it’s far more susceptible to contaminants and irritants entering.
If potted before the wound calluses over, the plant may become infected from bacteria or other contaminants in the new soil. Thankfully, they tend to callus over in just a day or two, after which they’ll be safe to plant.
Provide the Right Environment for the Succulent to Grow Up
As the new plant takes root, it is imperative that it does so in the right conditions. This means giving it the right succulent soil, water, sunlight, and type of pot.
The soil for your new succulent should be porous, allowing excess moisture to move away from the new roots. The plant should also be watered sparingly, according to the species that you are propagating. Most live succulents don’t need much water at all and will wilt and die if given too much. The same goes for the amount of sunlight, which will differ again between species.
Finally, you want to use the right kind of pot as well. This may seem strange, but the pot matters. You should use a planter pot that has proper drainage in the bottom, as collected moisture will damage your new succulent.
Try Not to Touch the Pups
The new pups of the succulent plant are delicate. The oils on your skin can actually cause them harm if handled too much. To check for the successful rooting of your succulent, simply pull the cutting out of the pot and check to see if roots have come yet. If they have, it will pull the surrounding soil out with it.
Propagation in Spring and Autumn
Depending on the species of succulent you are propagating, you may want to propagate in either the spring or autumn. This is because it’s a good idea to plant new cuttings right before the growing season. This is usually spring, but it may be autumn for some succulent types. Be sure to check when the growing season is for your particular species of succulent before propagating. Sticking to the growing season will help your new succulent grow faster and healthier.
If you don't have succulents, but you want to experience succulent propagation, you may check this collection we prepare for you. They are fresh succulent clippings the gardener cut from our quality succulents.