Succulents are some of the most popular plants due to their ability to survive without much care. If starting a garden seems like a daunting task, growing succulents from cuttings can be easy and fun. And the best part: they begin to grow at soon as two weeks!
Succulents retain water in their leaves, roots, and stems. Because of this, you don’t have to worry about keeping the cuttings hydrated. Although succulents can be grown at any point during the year, the best time to propagate succulent cuttings is during warm months to ensure that the mother plant has the best conditions possible to recover. Also, by propagating from an older, larger succulent, there is a higher chance that the mother plant and cuttings will survive.
The first step is to gather your succulent cuttings. There are two ways to do this: you can gather leaves or gather stems. To propagate using leaves, first find a healthy-looking leaf on the succulent. Next, pull off the leaf by pinching it by the base, rocking the leaf back and forth, and gently twisting it free from the stem. It is important to make sure that there are no remnants of the leaf on the stem of the plant, or the cutting probably won’t grow.
The other way to gather cuttings is through trimming the stem. This is typically done with succulents whose leaves spread out so that the stem is easily accessible. To remove a cutting, find a pair of sharp scissors or a sharp knife. You can either cut the succulent stem towards the top, or cut one of the offshoots. (Offshoots are the “branches” that grow from the stem of the plant and have their own set of leaves). For the best chances of survival, stem cuttings should be between 2-3 inches long.
After you have gathered your leaves, set them out to dry for one to three days, or until the end of the leaf that was attached to the stem scabs over. This time will vary depending on the climate, sunlight exposure, and heat.
The last step is to plant the leaves or cuttings. Begin by using planting containers or trays. Potting mixes designed for succulents are coarse and drain quickly, but regular soil works too. If using leaves, lay them on top of the soil facing upward, and make sure that the callused end touches the soil. For cuttings, plant the succulent in soil the soil like any other plant. Water the leaves and cutting everyday using a light amount of water until the top of the soil is moist. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a spray bottle or a plant mister.
Some plants grow faster than others. Remember to be patient, and soon you’ll be able to see your new succulents begin to take shape!