succulent cuttings

Succulent gardens are a hot trend right now, and for good reason. They’re low-maintenance, low water, and super attractive and exotic-looking! Once you start succulent gardening, you might find that the hobby becomes a bit addictive, and that means expensive. To save yourself the trouble of continually purchasing more and more succulents for your projects, you might be interested in learning how to propagate them from their own leaves and cuttings.

Research. Some succulents can be propagated from just a leaf, whereas others need a full cutting in order to grow. You can always experiment if you don’t mind some disappointments, but the easiest way to know the difference is to simply research. Learn the names of all your plants, and identify which ones can grow from a leaf versus the ones that require a full cutting.

Gather your leaves. To propagate succulents from leaves, gently twist the leaf off the stem. Leave nothing on the stem (and it’s fine to take a bit of stem, too). If you break off the leaf before the stem, it’s likely to die.

Take cuttings. If an entire cutting is required, use very sharp scissors, and cut the stem just above a leaf. You can take from the top of the plant or from an offshoot.

Dry your leaf or cutting. Leave the leaf or cutting to dry a bit (one to three days) so it can form a scab. Otherwise, when you try to propagate it, it will absorb too much water and essentially “drown” itself.

Propagate away! Set your scabbed leaves on top of the soil (not embedded into it) without the ends of the leaves actually touching the soil. Lightly water the soil each time it dries.

Cuttings do need to be planted into the soil. Water the soil when it’s dry.

Within two to three weeks you will see new rosettes or roots form. With succulents, expect some degree of failure. Not all cuttings or leaves will propagate, but with experience you will probably see a 50 percent success rate or greater. And of course, remember that succulents are slow-growing. It might be months or even a year before your new plants have reached full size, but that’s just more time to enjoy your new hobby!

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