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GENERAL GARDENING

3 Easy Ways To Propagate Succulents From Leaf, Stem Or Branch Cuttings

Did you know you can grow brand new succulent plants from parts of your existing plants?

It’s incredibly easy to grow new succulents using the ones you already have. This can save you tons of time and money shopping for more at the garden center.

These new baby succulents make great gifts or party favors, or simply to add to your ever growing succulent collection.

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.

Propagation by Leaf Cutting

Leaf cutting is one of the most straight forward ways to propagate succulents. If you’ve ever bumped your jade plant while re-potting, you know those leaves pop off pretty easily. But did you know you can plant them and make whole new plants?

Step 1:

Gently pull a leaf from your succulent in a twisting motion. You need to get the entire leaf, including the little nub where it attaches to the stem. If the leaf is snapped in half it won’t be able to sprout roots.

A perfect leaf will be shaped like a U on the end that was attached to the plant. If your leaf isn’t perfect, you can still try planting it. We’ve successfully grown new plants from less than perfect cuttings, but choosing the best leaves will give the best results.

Step 2:

Set the leaves on a paper towel, or another dry surface for a few days to allow the ends to dry out. If the ends aren’t dried and scabbed over before planting, the leaf will take in too much water and rot instead of growing.

Step 3:

After the cut end has sufficiently calloused over, you can place your leaves into a shallow bed of soil. It’s best to use potting mix specifically formulated for cactus or succulents. This type of soil doesn’t retain moisture and gives the developing plants a chance to take hold without rotting.

Set the succulent leaves in a well lighted but not directly sunny spot. Mist the leaves with water a few times a week, or lightly water them at the soil level. Roots will begin to grow out of the calloused end within a few weeks, followed by young succulent shoots.

Step 4:

Carefully remove the original leaf when it dries up and the baby plant is at least half an inch tall. The baby plant can then be scooped out of the soil and re-planted in its own pot. Be sure not to disturb the roots too much!

Propagation by Stem Cutting

The stem of most succulents can be cut, the leaves removed, and the bottom can be replanted. New plants will grow from the spaces where the leaves used to be. Stem cuttings work well for plants that have grown too leggy from lack of sunlight, such as hens and chicks.

Step 1:

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

Step 2:

Remove the rosette on the top of the stem and set in some soil to produce a new plant.

Step 3:

Carefully remove the leaves from the remaining stem and set the stem on a paper towel to dry for a few days. Once the spots where the leaves were has calloused over, plant the base of the stem in potting soil and water lightly.

Continue watering every few days for several weeks. Baby plants will begin to grow out of the spaces where the leaves were removed in just a few weeks.

Propagation by Branch or Offshoot Cutting

The last type of succulent propagation is by re-planting branches and off-shoots.

A full 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 become damaged or broken, or simply grown too large for its space.

Other succulents such as aloe, hawthorne, and echeveria produce small offshoots that can be removed and repotted to form a new plant.

This type of succulent propagation is a little more risky because if not done correctly it could do major damage to the original plant.

Step 1:

Use a very sharp and very clean pair of scissors or a knife to cut the branch or offshoot away from the mother plant.

Step 2:

Place the branch or offshoot directly into potting soil. For branches, remove a few leaves close to the cut and push the branch deep down into the soil so it can support itself while it forms roots. For offshoots, remove a few outer leaves if possible and plant the base of the offshoot in the soil.

Step 3:

Water every time the soil becomes dry. This new plant can remain in one pot for a year or more as it will be slow to develop roots.

Tips for Success:

Use succulent or cactus soil when propagating succulents. As desert plants, succulents have specific water needs, and basic potting soil can retain too much water for their roots.

Keep your baby succulents out of direct sunlight as it can burn their tender leaves and inhibit growth.

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

Take your succulent addiction to a brand new level by multiplying the plants you already have for the ultimate succulent collection!

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