3 Ways to Propagate Succulents From Leaf, Stem, or Branch Cuttings » The Horticulturist

Did you know that you can grow new succulents from parts of your existing plants?

It’s incredibly easy to grow new succulents using the ones you already have. It can save you a ton of money.

Propagating succulents is incredibly easy, rewarding, and best of all, free.

There are three easy ways to propagate a succulent plant at home. We’ll tell you step by step how to do all three and you can decide which is best for you and your lovely plants.

1. Propagation by leaf cutting

3 ways to propagate succulents from leaf, stem or branch cuttings

Leaf trimming is one of the easiest ways to propagate succulents. If you’ve ever knocked your jade plant over when transplanting it, you know that those leaves come off quite easily. But did you know that you can plant them and thus make completely new plants?

Step 1:

Gently lift a leaf from your succulent with a twisting motion. You should get the whole leaf, including the little bump where it joins the stem. If the leaf splits in two, it will not be able to take root.

A perfect leaf will be U-shaped at the end attached to the plant. If your leaf is not perfect, you can always try planting it. We have had success growing new plants from less than perfect cuttings, but picking the best leaves will yield the best results.

2nd step:

3 ways to propagate succulents from leaf, stem or branch cuttings
Allow the leaves to dry and the ends to “cover”.

Lay the leaves on a paper towel or other dry surface for a few days to allow the ends to dry. If the tips are not dried and the scabs removed before planting, the leaf will absorb too much water and rot instead of grow.

Step 3:

3 ways to propagate succulents from leaf, stem or branch cuttings

Once the cut end has dried sufficiently, you can place the leaves in a shallow bed of soil. It is best to use a potting soil specially formulated for cacti or succulents. This type of soil does not retain moisture and gives developing plants a chance to take root without rotting.

Place the succulent leaves in a well-lit location but not in direct sunlight. Mist the leaves with water several times a week or water them lightly at soil level. Roots will start growing from the calloused end in a few weeks, followed by succulent young shoots.

Step 4:

3 ways to propagate succulents from leaf, stem or branch cuttings
Ready to repot in its own pot.

Carefully remove the original leaf when it dries out and the plant is at least half an inch tall. The plant can then be pulled out of the ground and replanted in its own pot. Make sure you don’t disturb the roots too much!

of them. Propagation by stem cutting

3 ways to propagate succulents from leaf, stem or branch cuttings

The stem of most succulents can be cut, the leaves removed and replanted. New plants will grow from the spaces where the leaves were. Stem cuttings work well for plants that have grown too long due to lack of sunlight.

Step 1:

Use very sharp, clean scissors or a knife to cut the main stem or branch of the succulent plant.

2nd step:

Remove the rosette at the top of the stem and add some soil to produce a new plant.

Step 3:

Carefully remove the leaves from the remaining stem and place it on a paper towel to dry for a few days. Once the leaf spots appear calloused, plant the base of the stem in potting soil and water lightly.

Continue to water every few days for several weeks. Young plants will begin to grow in the spaces where the leaves have been removed in just a few weeks.

3. Propagation by branch or stem cuttings

3 ways to propagate succulents from leaf, stem or branch cuttings

The last type of succulent plant propagation by planting branches and suckers.

An entire branch of a jade or other tree-like succulent can be removed and replanted to form a new jade plant. This is a great option if the original plant has been damaged or broken, or has simply outgrown your space.

Other succulents like aloe, hawthorn, and echeveria produce small suckers that can be removed and transplanted to form a new plant.

3 ways to propagate succulents from leaf, stem or branch cuttings

This type of succulent propagation is a little more risky because, if not done correctly, it could cause significant damage to the parent plant.

Step 1:

Use a very sharp, very clean pair of scissors or knife to cut off the branch or sucker from the parent plant.

2nd step:

Place the branch or sapling directly into the potting soil. For branches, remove a few leaves near the cut and push the branch deeper into the ground so it can support itself while it forms roots. For saplings, remove a few outer leaves if possible and plant the base of the sapling in the ground.

Step 3:

Water whenever the soil dries out. This new plant can stay in a pot for a year or more, as it will take time to develop roots.

Tips for success :

Use succulent or cactus potting soil (like this one) when propagating succulents. As desert plants, succulents have specific water needs and the base potting mix may contain too much water for its roots.

3 ways to propagate succulents from leaf, stem or branch cuttings

Keep succulents out of direct sunlight, as this can scorch their young leaves and inhibit their growth.

Always use clean, sharp scissors and knives when cutting succulents. Using dirty, dull or rusty tools can spread disease or damage plants.

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