Looking for a way to multiply your succulent collection? Propagating is an easy and cost-effective way to make lots of succulent babies from the succulents you already have!
The type of plant you have will determine the method of propagation you should take. By far the easiest method is by offsets. Many succulents will produce baby offsets, or “pups,” that can be easily removed from the parent. Once the pup has grown for about 2-3 weeks and has adequate root development, cut it from the parent using sharp scissors or shears. Be gentle with the roots and allow the cut to dry out for 1-3 days before planting in soil. That’s it! It’s that easy!
Another method of succulent propagation is by taking leaves or cuttings from the parent plant. This can be a little trickier—but have no fear! We’ve got a step-by-step guide that will take you through everything you need to know.
STEP 1: TAKE A LEAF OR A CUTTING
Gently twist the leaf from the stem. For best results, the leaf will be pulled in its entirety, leaving nothing behind on the stem. For a cutting, use sharp, clean pruning shears to cut off part of the succulent at the stem right above a leaf. This can be an offshoot or the top of the succulent.
STEP 2: ALLOW THE LEAF OR CUTTING TO DRY OUT
For 1-3 days, let the open wound of your succulent leaf or cutting dry out so that it will form a scab. This is crucial, as the succulent can take in too much water from the soil and drown the first time you water it.
STEP 3: PLACE OR PLANT
Once the end of the leaf has scabbed over, lay it on the soil surface. The end should not touch the soil. For cuttings, plant them in soil once the ends have scabbed over. In time, the succulents will form roots and grow, grow, grow!
STEP 4: WATER THE LEAF OR CUTTING
For succulent leaves, spray them and the soil surface with a mister either once a day or every other day. Using a spray bottle will ensure they do not get too much water and die. For cuttings, water every time you notice the soil is dry. While succulents can generally go long periods without water, leaves and cuttings for propagation will need water almost daily.
STEP 5: BE PATIENT
Roots and new leaves on your succulent will generally take at least 2 weeks to develop, depending on the type of plant you have, the time of year you’re propagating it, and environmental factors like temperature and humidity. Just keep watering regularly and providing bright sunlight and pretty soon you’ll be blessed with little succulent babies!
The length of time it takes for your propagated succulents to reach maturity will vary, generally several months to a year. Don’t be surprised—or disappointed—if some of them don’t work out. It’s pretty typical for a few to pass in the process.
Last week, we scoured the racks of succulents in our greenhouse at 96th Street and made some adorable discoveries! Many of the succulents were propagating all by themselves!
These are our favorites:
This interesting-looking plant is called Burro’s Tail, which is in the Sedum genus. Sedums have fleshy leaves that store water for long periods. They also have a range of habits, forming large mounds, creeping groundcovers, or producing long trails.
Plants in the Pachyphytum genus have characteristically plump, fleshy leaves that resemble grapes or tubes. Also called Moonstones, Pachyphytums produce very small green-white or red bell-shaped flowers on the end of a long stalk during the spring or summer.
Plants in the Graptopetalum genus will often have dark, red-brown dots or lines on their leaves, but there are some varieties that do not. Graptopetalums are usually muted in color, ranging from off-white to creamy yellow, orange, or pink. Graptopetalum leaves resemble the rosette shape of Echeverias, but they are actually more closely related to Sedums.
Mother of Thousands
These beauties are the offspring of a Mother of Thousands plant, a type of Kalanchoe. Plants in the Kalanchoe genus are unique in that they bloom in response to short days and long nights, making them a favorite flowering plant in the winter.