Succulent Propagation 101
Propagating succulents and just about any other plant is super easy! They just require a little love and care. We’re going to focus on succulents today because they’re my favorite and the easiest in my opinion. When picking leaves for propagating you want to pick the good ones! Don’t worry, whatever you trim from your mother plant will grow back. It’s kinda amazing, and one of the main reasons I became obsessed with succulents.
You want the leaves to callous over for a couple of days; you can place them in your window sill, or if I have a bunch, I just throw them all in a pot or bowl and forget about them for a few days.
Next, you can place them directly on top of some cactus/succulent soil, or you can plant them in the soil with the calloused end in the dirt. Just give the topsoil a few sprits every day or every other day depending on where you keep them. If you decide to propagate some leaves in the summer and you live in Northern California where it’s 100 degrees every day...spritz your leaves every day.
Then in a couple weeks or less, you’ll start to see some roots!!! You want to make sure that the roots don’t dry out at this point AND that you don’t over water them. If your leaves turn dark and mushy, that means you’re watering too much. If they get lighter and translucent, then you want to give them a little extra water!
In a couple more weeks a new plant will start to grow! At this point, I like to transfer them into their own pots. VERY GENTLY lift your new plant out of the soil at the base so you don’t tear the roots. Place it about a half inch into the soil, and continue to spritz every other day until they get a little bigger. Baby succulents need more water than adults, so until your new plant is established, you’re going to want to water (spritz with a water bottle) a few times a week. As easy as it can be, at this stage the baby succulents can be a little temperamental. You're going to want to watch them, and make sure they're getting enough sunlight. If they start growing long and skinny, they're probably not getting enough sunlight.
You can also regrow succulents (and every other plant!) from cuttings. I’ve been most successful with this method. Just take a cutting from your plant, then you’re going to want to pluck the bottom leaves (save these to propagate too - more plants!). You’ll want to let your cutting callous over before you plant it in some soil, or you can just place it on top of the soil too while it roots. You can literally do nothing, and roots will start to grow, or you can spritz the stem occasionally to speed up the process.
Now, water propagation! This method doesn’t make any sense to me, but it works! Everything you read about succulents will tell you not to over water, don’t let you plant sit in water, drainage drainage drainage....but this works. I’ve tried it, and I have three new adult plants from this method.
Place your stems in a shallow jar, cup, whatever you have or prefer, as long as the leaves are above the water you’re fine. All you have to do is replace the water if you notice it getting a little foggy every few days. In a few weeks, you’ll have roots galore. Next all you have to do is plant it in some soil. You’ve successfully rooted, and are now growing a whole new plant!
You can also use this water method with pretty much any plant, the steps are the same. Check out my full blog post on Water Propagation here. Happy growing, and please ask me any questions you may have!