Propagating succulents is a great way to share plants with friends, or expand your own collection! Growing succulents from cuttings super easy too! In this post, I’ll give you tons of succulent propagation tips, and show you step-by-step how to grow succulents from leaves or stems.
Succulents are my favorite type of houseplant, and I have tons of different varieties in my collection. I’ve been growing them for many years, and have propagated every one I’ve ever grown. Succulent propagation from leaf or stem cuttings is super easy! If you’ve never tried propagating plants before, then this is the perfect plant to start with.
How Do Succulents Reproduce?
There are tons of different types of succulent plants, and a few different ways to propagate them. Many types of succulents can be propagated by leaf or stem cuttings, but others (like aloe vera plants) are easier to propagate by division. Some varieties can even be grown from seed.
In this post, I will focus on how to propagate succulents from leaves or stems. Whether you have succulent houseplants or outdoor succulents, you can follow the steps below.
When To Propagate Succulents
The best time to propagate succulents is during the humid summer months. They can be propagated at any time during the year, but rooting succulents is easiest when it’s warm and humid. If you want to experiment with propagating succulents in winter, then read this post… How To Propagate Succulents In Winter. Otherwise, follow the steps below to learn how to propagate succulent plants in the summer.
Before we jump into the steps for how to propagate succulents, you’ll need to get ready by collecting a few items first. Don’t worry, you don’t need a bunch of plant propagation supplies to get started, you just need a few things…
- Succulent plant cuttings or leaves
- Succulent potting soil (or mix your own using perlite, potting soil, and coarse sand)
- Plant rooting hormone
- Clean pots (I like to use 4″ pots)
- A clean pair of clippers or bonsai shears
See my detailed list of plant propagation supplies here.
How To Propagate Succulent Cuttings
The fastest way to grow a nice sized plant is to propagate succulent stem cuttings. Any size stem can be rooted, so be sure to keep your plant clippings when you’re trimming succulents, or if any of the branches break off. Otherwise, here’s how to take cuttings of succulents for propagating…
How To Take Cuttings From Succulents
If you want to try to propagate a succulent plant from the stem, decide where you want to make the cut. Try to take a 2-3 inch long stem cutting for easier propagation if you can.
Then use clean, sterile clippers or a sharp knife to make the cut. You can dip your clippers in rubbing alcohol or wash them with soapy water to sterilize them.
Preparing Succulent Cuttings For Propagation
After taking your stem cuttings, allow them to cure (dry out and callus over) for a few days before propagating them. This will help prevent rotting. The thicker the stem, the longer you should allow it to cure before attempting to root it.
How To Propagate Succulent Leaves
Growing succulents from a leaf is easy. But keep in mind that it will take longer to get a nice sized plant when starting succulents from leaves than it will from stem cuttings. It’s fun to experiment though, so I encourage you to give it a try! Here’s how to get started…
How To Take Succulent Leaf Cuttings
In order to be successful with propagating succulents from leaves, then it’s super important to remove the leaves correctly. The entire leaf must be cleanly broken off the plant or it won’t root. Sometimes the leaves will break off cleanly when you touch them, but others may take a bit more work to remove from the plant.
To take cuttings for succulent leaf propagation, hold the end of the leaf and gently wiggle it until it breaks off. If the succulent leaf broke in half when you tried to remove it, then discard that leaf and try again.
Preparing Succulent Leaves For Propagation
When growing succulents from leaf cuttings, you don’t need to worry about curing them, you can propagate them right away. It won’t hurt to allow them to cure for a day or two, but they will start to dry out pretty quickly once you remove them from the plant. So don’t wait too long to propagate succulent leaf cuttings, or they might not root.
Steps For Rooting Succulent Cuttings In Soil
Sometimes you might find a succulent growing roots from the stem, and you won’t need to do anything but plant it in dirt. But if you want to be sure that they will successfully grow roots, then use soil to propagate them. Here are the steps for how to root succulent cuttings in soil…
Step 1: Dust cuttings with rooting hormone – First, dust the ends of the stems or leaves with plant rooting hormone. The rooting hormone will help them root faster, but you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to. I find that using rooting hormone for succulents not only help them root faster, but I have more success with propagating succulents when I use it.
Step 2: Fill a container with dirt for succulent plants – Fill a container with the rooting mixture. All succulents will root (and grow) best in a light, sandy soil mix. You can purchase soil that’s specifically made for them, or make your own using a mix of coarse sand, potting soil and perlite.
Step 3: Place cuttings into the soil – For propagating succulents from stem cuttings, make a hole in the rooting mixture with a pencil or your finger, and gently place the stem into the hole so the rooting hormone won’t rub off. Then lightly pack the soil around the base of the cutting so it stays in place, and to ensure the soil comes in contact with the stem.
If you’re growing succulents from leaves, you can simply lay them on top of the soil, or stick them into the very top layer of soil. You can put several into one pot, or put them into individual pots if you prefer.
Step 4: Move your cuttings to a protected spot – Put the cuttings in a spot where they will be protected from full sun and rain. The key to successfully propagating succulents from cuttings is to keep the soil on the dry side, but the air around them humid.
If there isn’t much humidity in the air, lightly mist them daily using a plant sprayer/mister filled with water. The biggest mistake people make when propagating succulents is over watering them. If the soil is too wet, the cuttings will just rot. So do not water them until they have roots.
How Long Does It Take For Succulents To Root?
Succulent plant cuttings only take a few weeks to form new roots. They will root faster if the air is humid than they will in totally dry conditions. Once you start to see new growth on the top of the cuttings, that’s a good sign that they have started to grow roots.
Leaves laid on top of the soil will sprout roots on top of the soil, and start growing baby succulents at the base of the leaf. You can bury the exposed roots with a thin layer of soil if you want to, but don’t bury the succulent babies.
How To Care For Succulent Cuttings
The most important thing to remember about succulent cuttings care is to make sure you do not water the soil until after the roots have formed. Once the roots have formed, you can water them like you would any succulent plant.
They don’t need a lot of water, and over watering succulents is their number one killer. So be sure to allow the soil to dry out completely before watering succulent plants again. Learn all about taking care of succulents in my detailed succulent plant care guide.
Repotting Succulents Cuttings
You don’t have to worry about potting succulent cuttings as soon as they start to grow roots. They have shallow roots and can live in small pots for a long time. But when you do decide it’s time to pot them up, it’s super important to use the correct type of soil.
The best soil to grow succulents in is a sandy, fast draining mix that doesn’t not hold water. I recommend repotting succulent plants using a succulent potting soil mix or a gritty soil mix that’s specifically made for them. You can also mix your own soil to use for succulents with my DIY succulent soil recipe and instructions.
When potting up succulents, always be sure to use a pot that has drainage holes to avoid over watering. Also, if you do tend to over water plants, use clay a pot rather than plastic a one.
Look at all these cute little mini succulent plants I have now. And now that you know all about propagating succulents from leaf and stem cuttings, you’ll have tons of free succulent plants to share. They make great gifts! If you don’t have any plants of your own yet, see if you can score some free succulent cuttings from a friend!
If you want to learn how to propagate even more of your favorite plants, then my Plant Propagation eBook is for you! It will show you how to use simple plant propagation methods to propagate any plant that you want! Download your copy today.
Products I Recommend
- Plant Propagation Made Easy!
- Succulents Simplified
- Growing Succulents Indoors
- Winter Houseplant Care
- Houseplant Pest Control
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Share your tips for propagating succulents in the comments section below!