Mastering the art of succulent propagation

Succulents are among the most popular plants for home decoration. They boast a stylish and minimalist look that seamlessly fits into any interior. Not only do they require minimal care, but they also thrive even in challenging conditions. The best part is that propagating succulents can be easily done at home, saving you both money and time spent on trips to the store.

Methods of propagation

There are several effective ways to propagate succulent plants, and with the right approach and conditions, each method is destined for success. Succulents can be propagated through:
  • By cuttings  and scions;
  • By leaves;
  • By seeds.

Propagation by cuttings and scions

Cuttings are the most popular method due to their simplicity. This method is suitable for any succulent plant and does not cause harm.
The first step is to select a good cutting. Choose a side shoot from the bottom of the plant, but not the lowest one.
Use sharp sterile tools to cut it off.
Since succulents retain water, the cuttings need to be dried for about 2-3 days. This step is crucial. If you skip it, the cutting may rot and die.
To promote root growth, you can either place the cuttings in water or in soil.

If you choose water, prepare a container with clean settled water. Place the cutting in the container, ensuring it doesn't touch the bottom.
Roots will typically appear after 2-3 weeks when the room has warm temperatures and bright light.
To expedite the process, you can create a mini-greenhouse by covering the container with clean polyethylene. Additionally, treat the stem with a growth stimulator when placing it in water.
When rooting a cutting in soil, the substrate should be sieved and sterilized by either baking it in the oven or frying it in a pan. Treat the cutting with a strengthening solution, place it in the soil, and water it with warm (not hot) water. The cutting should be buried in the soil to a depth of 0,5 to 1 inches (1,5 - 2,5 cm).

Propagation by leaves

Succulents are incredibly easy to propagate, and what's more, it is even less stressful for the parent plant.
Some varieties of succulents naturally shed their own leaves, making them ready for propagation. In such cases, the fallen leaf fragment can be simply inserted into the soil, even in the same pot where the mature succulent is growing. It is important to dry the leaves for about 2-3 days in this case as well.
Note: If your succulent has a large leaf, you can use a portion of it for propagation. To prevent the piece from rotting, it should also be dried before planting.

After approximately 2-3 weeks, the leaf will develop roots and can be transplanted into a separate container.
Occasionally, succulents initiate the propagation process themselves. The discarded leaf will root in the soil and begin forming its own roots. It is important to monitor this process and plant the offspring at a distance to prevent intertwining root systems.
Note: It is crucial to select healthy and robust leaves for rooting, avoiding old or diseased ones.

Propagation by seeds

Seed propagation is considered the most challenging method for propagating succulents. It is time-consuming and requires constant monitoring and the creation of complex planting conditions.
This method is more suitable for experienced growers, as it requires careful attention to seed selection, the design of a mini-greenhouse, and the care of the plants. The substrate used should not retain moisture, and high-quality drainage is essential.

Note: With seed propagation, it can take several months to up to six months for the plants to fully develop.
Before planting, the seeds should be allowed to dry for about a week. Once placed in the soil, they should be regularly watered and fertilized according to a schedule. The greenhouse roof can be raised when the sprouts reach a height of a couple or a few centimeters above the ground. The optimal soil for this method is a combination of soil and sand, heated in the oven, with a two-millimeter layer of sand placed on top.

Succulents offer 3 propagation methods. Whether you're a novice or an experienced grower, exploring different propagation techniques can be a rewarding and exciting journey. Remember to pay attention to the specific requirements of each method, such as proper drying, suitable planting conditions, and regular care.
If you still have questions about propagating your succulents, don't hesitate to reach out to your very own plant expert, Green Thumb Henry. But remember, we have full confidence that you will achieve success in your succulent propagation endeavors!