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Backyard Gardening: Succulent Propagation

Succulents are amazing plants. They are resilient, alien like little beings that also have many medicinal qualities. But, even if you’re not after their medicine, they are a beautiful plant to propagate and grow.

I was recently gifted a few succulents and was told to create cuttings to grow new plants. Now of course I just did as I was told not realizing that some succulents are easier to propagate than others and specific cuttings or parts of the plant are needed for propagation. So, with this blog I’m opting to direct you to that information here and then show you what I did with my cuttings.

Here’s what I did with my succulents….

Alright, so this is going to be a really simplistic version on what seems like a complicated science based on some of the articles I've read. So honestly, if you’re a pro with succulents you might want to quit reading now so you can avoid a heavy palm to the face.

Step One: Cuttings

Take whole succulent plants and make a clean cut at the stem, this will make several cuttings depending on the size of the original succulent. I made 3 – 4 from each plant.

Step Two: Callus Your Cuttings

Cuttings including the leaves from other types of succulents were placed on paper towel to start the callusing process. This allows the end to dry or callus so it’s easier for the roots to develop once they are placed in soil and avoid rotting. Leave them in an unlit/light sun area between 3 – 5 days or until you see the ends have dried.

Step Three: “Plant”

After your cuttings have callused, place cuttings on top of lightly moist soil and gently press down. As you can see from the picture below, the cuttings are on their sides, there is no need to submerge and part of the cutting in the soil. Sit them on top and wait.

Step Four: Check Your Cuttings

After a few days, check to see if your cuttings have developed roots! If not, then leave them be. The time in which the cuttings will develop roots will differ.

Step 5: Transplant

Once you have new growth (roots) and/or you can see developing babies, you can transplant them to a new place or if they are fine where they are, leave them to grow! Your succulents will root and start to grow new leaves in 6 – 7 weeks.

A note on soil:

  • Always allow the soil to dry out before watering as these plants thrive on less water.

  • Pay special attention to your watering if you have planted your succulents in a pot that does not allow for drainage, you do not want to over water!

  • Some growers suggest that a specially formulated soil for succulents/cacti works best because regular soil holds on to too much moisture. Regular soil has worked for me as long as I do not over water.

  • Using a spray bottle to water is best. You’ll have more control over how much water you dispense.

So there you have it, a very simplistic and budget wise guide to propagating your own succulents!

Go succulents!!!

For the love of plants,

Ninetta (Nina) Savino


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