How to Propagate Succulents by Beheading


Succulents are well-known for their strong vitality and ease of propagation. Various methods of propagating succulents include leaf propagation, seed propagation, stem cutting propagation, offset propagation, and grafting. Among these methods, succulent beheading propagation is a popular and effective approach discussed in this article.

What is succulent beheading propagation


Succulent beheading propagation is a popular method for propagating succulent plants. It is how to cut off the top of the main stem, including a few leaves and a small section below the leaves, and succulent plant it in well-draining succulent soil. The succulent plant will develop new roots from the cut stem section and grow fresh leaves and shoots, resulting in a healthy and independent plant. This technique is a common and effective way to propagate succulents and can create cluster succulents from a single-parent plant.


Reasons why you should try succulent beheading propagation


Easy and simple: succulent beheading propagation is one of the easiest and simplest methods of propagating plants. You can easily do it at home without minimal equipment or professional guidance.

Quick results: succulent beheading propagation can produce new baby plants quickly. In just you could start seeing new growth in a few weeks, and within a few months, you can have a fully grown succulent plant.


Cost-effective: Propagating succulents through beheading can help you save money compared to buying new succulent plants from nurseries or succulent online shops. Moreover, it is a great way of multiplying your favorite plants without extra costs.

Healthier plants: Cutting a new succulent from an already established plant helps to maintain the genetic lineage of the mother plant, which provides a similar appearance to the new one.

Fun and exciting: succulent beheading propagation is a fun and exciting for plant lovers. Growing your succulent cuttings into new plants can provide a rewarding experience and help you develop a deeper understanding and love for plants.

Environmental benefits: Propagating plants by beheading is an eco-friendly way of growing plants. It reduces the need to extract new plants from their natural habitat and cuts back on the transportation and packaging of plants, which adds to their carbon footprint.

Must behead situations:

First, when the succulent becomes too tall and leggy, beheading the plant can encourage new growth and make the succulent more compact and attractive.

Second, a too large and heavy succulent top may cause the plant to tip over or become unstable. Beheading the plant and planting the top portion in a separate container can help redistribute the weight and stabilize the plant.

Thirdly, If a succulent plant becomes diseased or damaged, beheading the plant can help salvage the healthy portion and prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the plant.

Process of succulent beheading propagation







Succulent Selecting: Pick a succulent with several sets of leaves and choose a spot where at least one or two groups remain on the mother plant while at least three sets are brought away with its head. It would help if you also considered choosing the succulent whose roots start to rot.

Click here to learn why succulents get rotted.


Knife Cutting: Using your knife with a sharp and slight edge in case of hurting other leaves, make a clean cut across the stem about 2-3 inches below the rosette of leaves. Ensure that the cut is straight and not jagged or torn.

Tip: a 45° chamfer cutting is better in case of moisture residue.


Fish Twine Cutting: Fish twine is a good choice for a succulent with a compact shape and a short stalk, making it hard to cut without hurting healthy leaves! Hold the line with both hands and tighten around the same set of your succulent slowly.

Tip 1: Attaching items such as pens to both ends of the fishing line to create convenient handles is recommended.

Tip 2: Slow, Slow, Slow! Only with slow motion can you get an intact succulent head easily.


Leaves Removing: Remove the lower leaves from the cutting and keep only a few top leaves. It helps reduce water loss and costs less nutrition, encouraging root growth. Also, leaves picked can be used to do leaf propagation.

Click here to get the guide on succulent leaf propagation.


Drying Time: Place the succulent cutting on a clean surface and let it sit for 1-2 weeks until the cut end has calloused over. It helps to prevent rot and disease when the cutting is placed in water or soil.

Tip 1: Where you put the cutting should feature good ventilation and adequate indirect sunlight.

Tip 2: Check the wound——turning black, rotting, needs a second cut; turning white, healthy, follow the next step.


Further Caring


Steps to plant succulents in the soil after beheading:


  • 1. Allowing the cut end of the succulent to dry out is crucial as it helps to prevent the cut end from rotting when planted in soil.
  • 2. Choose a planter pot with well-draining soil. Succulents need soil that drains well, so choose a planter pot with drainage holes. You can use a pre-made succulent potting mix or make your own by mixing potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite.
  • 3. Place the soil in the pot and make a small hole for the cutting in the center with a garden tool.
  • 4. Gently place the cut end of the succulent in the hole and cover it with soil.
  • 5. Water the soil lightly to settle it around the succulent. Avoid overwatering, as succulents are susceptible to root rot.
  • 6. Place the pot in a bright, indirect light location. Avoid placing the pot in direct sunlight, as it may cause the succulent to become sunburned.
  • 7. Wait a few days before watering the succulent again. Succulents prefer to dry out between watering.
  • 8. The succulent should grow roots and new leaves after a few weeks. Once the roots are established, and the succulent plant has developed a few inches, you can transfer it to a larger pot with well-draining soil.


Steps to plant succulent in water after beheading:


  • 1. Allow the cut end of the succulent to dry out for 5-6 days. It helps to prevent the cut end from rotting in water.
  • 2. Fill a small hydroponic station with clean water. You'd better choose a container that is deep enough to submerge the cut end of the succulent.
  • 3. Place the cut end of the succulent in the water, ensuring it is fully submerged.
  • 4. Place the container in a bright, indirect light location. Please don't place the container in direct sunlight, as it may cause the water to heat up and damage the succulent.
  • 5. Change the water every few days to prevent bacteria and algae growth.
  • 6. After a few weeks, the succulent should start to grow roots. Once the roots grow at least an inch long, you can transfer the succulent to a pot with well-draining soil.
  • 7. Water the newly potted succulent sparingly and place it in a bright, indirect light location until it becomes established.

Caring Conditions:


Water Sparingly: Overwatering your succulent cutting can cause root rot. Watering sparingly helps to prevent excess moisture from pooling in the soil and drowns the cuttings.


Soil Condition: For succulents to develop strong roots, choosing soil that drains well is essential. A well-draining soil mix with more sand, perlite, or gravel and less peat soil is recommended to ensure that excess water doesn't accumulate and drown the cuttings. It is also vital to choose a soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0.


Indirect Sunlight: The cutting head is not strong enough to be exposed to direct sunlight, but adequate sunlight is needed for its growth. Therefore, a place with full indirect sunlight is recommended.

Temperature: Succulents thrive in warm, sunny conditions. Keep the cutting in a warm location with good airflow and away from drafty windows during the winter season. A temperature range of 60°F to 85°F works excellent for succulents.

Other tips


Choose the Right Time: Behead succulent job should be carried on during the succulents' growth season. Cutting in the dormancy period leads to withdrawing stalks.

Choose the Right Plant: Choose succulents with thriving roots, or the stalk withdrawal will make it challenging to grow roots.

Stop Watering Before Cutting: Reduce the amount and frequency of water and make the leaves less compact to avoid unnecessary shape hurting.

Cleaning Job: Remove all the dry foliage and flower stalk before cutting.


Safety Care: Be cautious about your fingers when you use a tense fish twine.



As a common method of propagating succulents, beheading is highly favored by enthusiasts due to its ease of execution. This technique offers several benefits, including simple tools and uncomplicated steps, making it a considerable horticultural activity with a lower input and higher output. Propagating succulents through beheading can be a fascinating experience and allow you to grow more succulent babies from a single plant.


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