Taking an active, healthy leaf from a mature succulent plant and utilising 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.
How is a propagated succulent kept alive?
It’s not quite as simple to grow succulents as everyone claims. Here are a few ideas that can guarantee your success.
Do you hang your head in shame if we claim that succulents are the easiest plants to grow? I promise you’re not alone. Succulents follow their own set of rules but are nonetheless quite simple to take care of because they are plants that have evolved to thrive in severe conditions and for extended periods without much water. To maintain your succulent kids healthy and living, use the advice in the following section.
How frequently should propagating succulents be watered?
Succulents may be multiplied, giving you more of what you love. In order to share succulents with friends or because your plants have grown lanky and unsightly, you may need to propagate succulents. Whatever your motivations, we have a tried-and-true method for propagating succulents successfully.
Easy Steps for Propagating a Succulent by Leaf Cutting
1. Cut the desired number of leaves off the stem of the succulent you want to multiply.
- Where the leaf meets the succulent stem, make a precise snap. Your propagation will go more quickly and easily as a result.
- For propagation, take many leaf cuttings (see #5).
2. Allow the succulent leaf’s broken end to callus over, mend, and/or dry out.
- While a week is a fantastic amount of time, you can get away with 2-3 days for small succulent leaves and 4-5 days for larger succulent leaves while you wait for the leaves to heal.
- The succulent leaves you want to multiply should be placed on a sunny window sill to dry. The sun’s rays expose the leaves, strengthening them with nutrients as well.
- When natural sunshine is unavailable, LED grow lights are a choice.
3. Place a succulent leaf directly on the soil in a container or on a tray of soil.
- You should touch the earth with the healed portion of the leaf you are propagating, but not bury it deeply. From there, the newly propagated succulent will grow, and in order to survive, it requires light and space to breathe.
- Although it would take a lot longer to spread, you could let the leaf develop without soil.
4. Provide water and light to your succulent leaf cuttings for successful propagation.
- Depending on the temperature and humidity in your home, water succulent leaf cuttings anywhere between two and four times per week. But don’t overwater. While keeping the soil from drying out, soil should be moist but not to the point of having any standing water.
- It’s ideal to have direct, bright light. Your leaf cuttings may become scorched by too much direct sunlight.
5. Produce several leaves.
- You’ll probably experience some casualties when propagating succulents. You have a better chance of successfully growing succulents if you follow the procedures of propagation with numerous leaf cuttings.
- Place a number of leaf cuttings on a tray or large pot filled with potting soil that is lightweight. Here, you can immediately see which leaf cuttings will begin to develop roots and young succulents and are good candidates for propagation and which leaves will begin to shrivel and turn black, making them unsuitable.
6. Be patient and give your leaf cuttings enough time to grow roots, produce offspring, and reproduce.
- Please take note that leaf cuttings that produce babies but no roots are preferable to leaf cuttings that produce babies but no roots.
- You can sigh with relief when you notice that the young succulents or pups are growing. When the pups or babies appear, you can tell that they are able to produce their own food through photosynthesis as well as their own leaf systems. A leaf cutting that only grows roots may never give birth to offspring or may take a very long time to do so.
- You can always pinch or clip off the mother plant leaf once the babies/pups have formed.
7. Plant your just multiplied succulents in pots.
- Allow your babies or puppies to establish strong roots so that you can repot them into any container you want. If you propagated them in your chosen pot, let them there to continue growing.
- While propagated succulents are still in their adolescent years, keep providing them with indirect strong light. Direct sunlight will be too harsh.
- Give your new succulents a nice soak once every two weeks to water them. Don’t overwater once more. Just keep in mind that succulents store water in their leaves and stems, and that too much water around their roots will result in death by root rot.
- Remove the leaf from the mother plant that was used to propagate the plant, if you haven’t done so before. It has probably already started to shrivel up. The mother leaf remnants will ultimately dry out and fall off if you cut it close to the new plant.
*Special remark Some succulents, such as hoya and kalanchoe, cannot be propagated via leaf cuttings but can instead be done using alternative techniques, such as stem cutting. Later, we’ll talk about those.
Folks, that’s all she wrote! Your succulents that you propagated should be well on their way to developing into mature plants. Good fortune!
Do succulents in cultivation require sunlight?
Gardeners deal with one of the biggest propagation mistakes: The growth of leaves requires a lot of intense, direct sunshine. That is not the case. Your leaves will scorch in the hot sun. Succulent leaf growth does not require a lot of sunlight. They will perform better if you place them in a light, airy area. Extreme heat or a lot of direct sunshine are not good for puppies.
Additionally, if the succulent does not exhibit new growth near to the leaf, the plant requires more light to grow.
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 centres. 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.
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.
Why are the succulents I propagated dying?
Cuttings from succulent stems won’t take root if
- Before being planted in soil, the cuttings weren’t given a chance to scab or dry out.
- Either the growing medium has insufficient drainage or the improper sort of soil was employed.
- Overwatering or an extended period of damp soil led to decay before roots could take root.
- The stems dried out and eventually died off due to underwatering or very dry soil.
- The soil dries out too quickly and burns stem cuttings before roots have a chance to form due to excessive heat or sun exposure.
- propagating in the incorrect time of year or when dormant.
The majority of people should typically start noticing rooting in three to six weeks. If by then you haven’t noticed any roots forming, it might be because of one or more of the aforementioned factors.
Are there Succulent Species that Won’t Propagate Through Stems?
Stem cuttings can be used to multiply the majority of succulents. There are some species that cannot be multiplied by stems, including:
- Hens with chicks, or Sempervivums
Instead of using leaf or stem cuttings for reproduction, the majority of the aforementioned species produce pups or offsets.
Does the length of the stem cuttings matter?
The stem cuttings’ length or size don’t really matter. Getting cuttings from a healthy plant and during its active growing season is very important. In this manner, you can be sure to achieve more success more quickly.
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.
Should I spray cuttings of succulents?
Because you probably already own one or many succulents, for many people, propagating them can be the simplest method to get started.
If a succulent is starting to get a little leggy, which means the succulent starts to grow long and the leaves become widely separated, remove the lower leaves. Make sure to completely separate the leaf from the stalk. It won’t establish new roots if you rip it.
The only thing left is a succulent perched atop a lengthy stem. To quickly get the succulent to root again, make a cut between the base of the succulent and the stem’s midpoint.
Then, it’s crucial that you allow the ends to callus over and dry out. Your cuttings may rot and perish if you plant them straight in the soil because they will absorb too much moisture. To allow ends to dry, Tiger advises finding a shaded, dry area on the patio or even indoors. Some people want to expose them to the sun, but he claims that doing so will just bake them. Be tolerant. This procedure can take a few days to more than a week.
When the cuttings are dry, set them on top of cactus or succulent soil that drains well and plant them in a position that gets a lot of indirect light. Only water if the leaves seem particularly dry.
Several weeks later, young plants begin to emerge. Using a spray bottle, spritz the plants once daily, being cautious not to drench the soil.
The leaf will ultimately fall off naturally, at which point you can pot up the young succulent.