3 Easy Ways to Propagate Succulents So You Can Expand Your Collection for Free
Use these simple methods to turn your favorite varieties into even more plants.
Succulents are some of the easiest plants to propagate because they can sprout new shoots from their roots, stems, and even a single leaf. Plus, they can handle a little drying out during the process, should you forget to water them a time or two. So when you want to increase the number of succulent plants that you already have, you don't need to buy more. Instead, you can create them yourself by using one of these three easy propagation methods. It only takes a few materials to get started: In addition to your favorite succulent plants, you'll need a few small pots, perlite, potting mix made specifically for cacti and succulents, and a crafts knife. With a little patience, your propagated babies will soon start growing into beautiful new plants.
1. Sprouting New Succulents from Leaf Cuttings
Many types of succulents will grow tiny versions of the parent plant from its fallen or cut leaves. Try this method with varieties of Echeveria, Crassula, and Kalanchoe. Simply start by cutting off a few leaves from a grown succulent. From there, place the leaves in a pot filled with damp perlite. Roots and tiny new leaves will grow in a few weeks. Then, you can move these sprouted leaf cuttings out of the perlite and into their own pots filled with a cactus potting mix. Water them lightly until they feel well anchored in their new pots when you give the leaves a gentle upward tug. Continue to give your propagated succulents the same care you give its parent succulent.
2. Propagating Succulents from Stem Cuttings
When you need to rejuvenate a lanky, overgrown succulent like a Sempervivum, Graptopetalum, or Sedum whose stems have gotten long and bare, trim it back a little to encourage new growth to appear where you made the cuts. Then, instead of tossing the cut stems, you can turn them into new succulents. Make sure you have a piece of stem that has at least two nodes (the points at which new growth will appear, usually marked by a leaf scar and sometimes tiny buds). Set the cuttings aside for five to seven days so the cut end can form a dry callous before planting. Then, stick the stem cuttings into a pot of cactus soil mix and water just enough to keep the soil damp. New roots will begin growing from the nodes on the stem.
3. Dividing Succulent Pups
Many succulents like Aloe and Haworthia will grow offshoots called pups or daughter plants, which are smaller versions of the main plant. It's easy to separate these and move them into their own pots so they can continue growing without everything getting overcrowded. Just remove the whole plant from its container, then gently pull off pups, making sure to keep some of the roots attached to them. Then, place each pup in its own container filled with cactus potting mix and water just enough to keep the soil damp.
It's super simple (and affordable) to expand your collection of succulents. By propagating the varieties you have, you have a virtually limitless supply of new plants!