How To Propagate Succulents From Leaves

Taking an active, healthy leaf from a mature succulent plant and utilizing it to establish a new plant is known as “propagating with leaf cuttings.” Because the leaves of succulents with fleshy, plump leaves, like echeveria, are simple to snap off cleanly, this method of propagation works well with them.

While some leaves may simply pop off with a little tug, others could necessitate the use of a sharp knife. Take a healthy leaf from the plant’s base with clean hands or a sterile knife, making sure to remove the full, undamaged leaf.

After being removed, allow the leaf to recover for about four days in a warm, well-lit place so that the wound can callus over. When the leaf has calloused, prepare a fresh planter with soil, fill it with water, and set the callused leaf on top of the soil for multiplication.

When the earth is dry, spritz your leaves with a spray bottle. Keep them warm, in a room with lots of light, but out of direct sunlight. They must be kept warm and moist.

Little roots and leaves will start to emerge after around three weeks! A succulent may need a few months to grow large enough to be replanted (photos above are after about 8 weeks). When the leaf eventually gets brown and falls off, you’ll know it’s time. This indicates that the succulent no longer requires the leaf because it has consumed all of its nutrients.

Can a leaf be used to propagate succulents?

In the spring and summer, when leaves and stems are ready for active growth, it is simplest to propagate succulent leaves and cuttings. Most common succulents can be multiplied successfully from individual leaves or stem fragments.

  • For succulents with fleshy leaves, like jade plants or echeveria and sempervivum rosettes, leaf propagation works well. The leaf must remain intact for the root to take. To loosen the leaf, gently bounce it back and forth while holding it between your forefinger and thumb. After that, carefully separate the leaf from the parent plant, keeping the base in tact.
  • Succulents with distinct stems, including stacked crassulas and spreading or erect sedums, respond well to stem cuttings. Cutting succulents is analogous to propagating soft-stemmed plants. To cut stem tips, use a sharp knife, or take an entire stem to make many starts. Each cutting should be 2 to 3 inches long and have multiple leaves. Only the top two leaves should be kept.

What is the time required to grow succulents from leaves?

  • Leaf propagation: Typically, it takes 2 weeks for roots to develop through leaf propagation. New leaves will start to form in around 8 weeks and can optionally be transplanted to a tiny container.
  • Root formation typically takes 4 weeks, but it can occasionally take longer with stem proliferation.
  • Offset propagation: Once the pups have developed a calloused skin, the roots typically begin to grow after 4 to 10 weeks.
  • The process of propagating seeds takes the longest—cactus seeds can take anything from three weeks to a year to even begin to germinate. After that, the seedling takes a very long period to mature into a full-grown adult.

How do you get the roots of succulent leaves?

On succulent leaves and cuttings, new rosettes and roots take some time to form. The length of time will vary depending on the season, the location’s temperature, the type of succulent you are propagating, the air’s humidity, etc.

Don’t worry if you see a rosette developing on your leaf but no roots. This is typical. The leaf is giving the newborn succulent all the nutrition it requires to flourish. As it grows, it will begin to shed roots as it “looks” for water.

How can you root succulents the quickest?

So, you may be wondering how to quickly propagate succulents. I can relate to both the joy and frustration of watching a new plant develop.

Since I’ve been growing succulents for a few years, allow me to give you some advice on how to quickly propagate your succulents as well as some alternative techniques you can try.

Stem cuttings are the simplest and quickest method of propagating succulents. If the plant is a fresh cutting from the mother plant, it will already have a strong foundation from which to build its new root system. Another instance is when you cut off the succulent’s top portion because it has been stretched out significantly (etiolation), this stem will likewise give rise to numerous new plantlings (pups). Due to its existing root system, the plant will also have a great possibility of producing more offset and growing quickly.

Always check that the stem cuttings are a respectable size for the plant’s typical size.

According to my experience, I always want to make sure that the succulent has a lot of nodes where the leaves attach to the stem and a lot of leaves in its stem. Once the succulent is put in soil, these stem nodes will form roots, and the leaves will serve as the succulent’s water source until its root system matures.

Succulent leaves can they grow in water?

In water, most succulents can be multiplied. If you have a succulent that is stretched out, you can take stem cuttings and root those, or you can create roots from healthy single leaves.

The most successful succulents are those with thick, meaty leaves, like the Echeveria plant. So when you first try your hand at succulent propagation, these are an excellent option.

It makes sense to multiply a few leaves at once. By doing this, you increase the likelihood that there will be survivors. While others may decay or just wilt and wither away, certain succulent leaves will only produce roots and no new plant.

Can succulent cuttings be planted directly in the ground?

What is there to love other than a succulent? Obviously, a full garden of succulents! Fortunately for us, it’s simple to propagate a variety of these resilient, vibrant plants at home. We can’t wait to see succulents growing all year long in containers around the house and garden; there are various easy ways to reproduce them.

Propagating by Division: Plants that have gotten too leggy perform best with this method, which produces new succulents from cuttings. Start by delicately removing any leaves that may be attached to the stem below the rosette; be sure to preserve the leaf’s base while you do so. After all the leaves have been eliminated, cut the rosette with shears, leaving a brief stem intact. The cuttings should be let to dry in an empty tray for a few days until the raw ends have calloused. The cuttings can then be rooted in either water or soil.

Soil: After the stems have calloused, set the cuttings on top of a shallow tray filled with well-draining cactus/succulent soil. From the base of the cuttings, roots and little plants will start to emerge in a few weeks. Once the roots start to show, water sparingly once a week; take care not to overwater. The parent leaf will eventually wither; carefully remove it while taking care not to harm the young roots. Your propagated succulents can be replanted once they have established roots. As soon as the plants are established, keep them out of direct sunlight.

Water: After the stem has calloused, place a cutting with the end barely visible above the water’s surface on the lip of a glass or jar filled with water. Pick a sunny location for your glass. The incision will eventually produce roots that extend toward the water. Once roots have sprouted, your new succulent can either be replanted in succulent potting soil or allowed to remain submerged in water as illustrated above.

Offsets are little plants that develop at the base of the main specimen, and many species of succulents, such as aloe, hens and chicks, and some cacti, will generate them. Check for root growth after an offset has developed for two to three weeks before carefully twisting, cutting, or using a sharp knife to separate it from the main stem. Be cautious to prevent destroying any already-formed roots. Follow the directions above for propagating in soil or water, letting the offsets dry, establish roots, and then repot when they have had time to callus any exposed regions. Removing offsets has the added benefit of enhancing the health of your current succulents and redirecting energy into the growth of the primary plant.

Why aren’t the leaves on my succulent growing?

You recently purchased some gorgeous succulent cuttings from a nursery in your neighborhood, or even better, online with free shipping. The cuttings you purchased are incredibly lovely, and you can’t wait to see them take root, develop, and flourish just as you anticipate!

Sadly, weeks have passed and your succulent cuttings haven’t even the least bit rooted! Now that the succulent cuttings appear dried up, wrinkled, or dying, you’re probably wondering why they aren’t taking root.

Be kind to yourself because this is something that occurs frequently. Rooting succulent cuttings is a challenge for many succulent growers, especially beginners. Especially if you recently purchased these cuttings and they aren’t rooted, it might be really discouraging.

Your succulent cuttings not rooting for a variety of reasons. It can be the result of overwatering, underwatering, insufficient sunlight, a lack of nutrients, improper soil use, or improper potting.

Not to worry! By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll understand exactly why your succulent cuttings aren’t rooted and how to fix the problem.

What succulent is the most straightforward to grow?

Having a collection of succulents might be most gratifying when you propagate them. You can increase the number of a popular plant in your yard through propagation, swap plants with friends, and even preserve a dying plant. Here are our top ten picks for beginner-friendly succulents.

Sedum rubrotinctum (Pork and Beans or Jelly Beans)

Bright crimson in direct sunlight; green in shadow. This resilient Sedum quickly fills in container gardens and rock gardens. Remove the leaves and place yourself on a damp, well-draining surface.

Echeveria ‘Lola’

one of the most productive Echeveria leaf plants. Both newcomers and seasoned collectors adore the flawlessly round rosette and the pearly pink leaves. They sprout quickly and have high numbers of successful propagation by leaves.

Sedum nussbaumerianum

difficult in dry, warm areas with little water. Easy to grow from leaf or tip cuttings. Before planting in soil, wait for a scab to develop (this takes about a week). This species’ colors and leaf shapes vary widely.

Sempervivum arachnoideum (Cobweb Houseleek)

Fast-growing and yields more offsets than you could possibly use! Plant cuttings directly in damp soil after cutting propagation, and you’ll observe roots forming in approximately a week.

Graptopetalum paraguayense (Ghost Plant)

A stunning hanging rosette succulent that may change color depending on the environment to orange, bronze, pink, and purple. It is quite simple to spread by leaves; you might even notice one growing on its own.

Echeveria colorata

Initially slow, but well worth the wait. Echeveria colorata starts out by producing lovely leaf sprouts with scarlet tips. Before removing the mother leaf from the new plant, wait until it has totally died.

Echeveria lilacina (Ghost Echeveria)

We frequently see the succulent Echeveria lilacina multiplying by itself. By planting leaves gently in soil with their roots down and leaf up, you can prevent the fast curling that occurs with leaves.

Propagate succulent stems above water

Succulents can indeed be grown hydroponically, but you should use caution when doing so. Remove the lowest leaves from your mother plant by making a clean cut. After that, take a water jar and wrap it with plastic wrap. Make a few holes in it, and with the stem never actually touching the water, insert the exposed nodes about half an inch above the water. Whenever the water evaporates, top it off. Your roots should begin to expand in two to three weeks.

Propagate succulents on a wet paper towel

Leaving succulents on a paper towel is another approach to grow them. For a few days, let the ends of your succulent leaf cuttings dry out on a piece of paper towel on a tray. Spray water on the paper towel after a few days, then do it again after a few days. You should begin to notice roots and pups after a few weeks. Some gardeners will additionally cover the paper towel with a clear lid with holes or plastic wrap. You can eventually move your succulents into soil using both the jar and paper towel methods. Just remember that not all of your cuttings might grow successfully because the roots might be shocked by being transplanted into a different media.

Since succulents have so many fleshy leaves and may grow rapidly, you’ll always have room to experiment even if not all of your plants produce roots and pups. You’ll be able to share your succulents sooner than you think if you use leaf cuttings, new cactus soil, bright indirect light, and sporadic spritzes of water.

Prepare the Pot

Cuttings can be grown in a temporary pot while they develop roots, or you can just plant them in a permanent container. In either case, you’ll need a pot with a drainage hole that’s big enough to give each cutting 2 to 3 inches of space.

To shield your succulents from standing water and root rot, fill the container with a grittier, well-draining soil. Cactus/succulent potting soil is typically available at garden centers. Alternatively, you can create your own by mixing 3 parts potting soil with 2 parts coarse, salt-free sand and 1 part perlite or pumice.

Plant the Cuttings

Insert the cut end of a stem 1 to 2 inches into the ground. If the succulent has leaves, you might need to remove a few of them to reveal the stem’s base. The lowest leaves shouldn’t contact the soil; they should rest just above it. To help the cutting stand straight, softly compact the dirt around it.

Remove any necessary leaves from stemmed succulents to expose 1 to 2 inches of stem for planting.

Pick the Right Location

Choose an area with enough of airflow, bright indirect light (not direct outdoor sun), and succulents that are still young. Cuttings require sunshine to develop new roots, but direct sunlight might cause them to quickly dry up. On indoor succulents, good airflow helps avoid gnat and mealy insect infestations.

Water

Cuttings require constant hydration until they can form roots, unlike mature succulents. Water the soil just enough to prevent it from drying up, but not too much that there is standing water. Actual frequency varies depending on humidity and temperature but is often 2-4 times each week.

Care for Rooted Succulents

A very slight pull will reveal whether a cutting has roots after 4-6 weeks. Change to deeper, less frequent watering for succulents with roots. Water just once the soil is completely dry, which takes about 2-4 times each month. If necessary, repot the succulent and relocate it gradually to the right lighting. Don’t increase light exposure for 1-2 weeks to give the plant time to adjust. Maintain your succulent’s care, and in the upcoming months, keep an eye out for above-ground development.