Best Ways to Propagate New Succulents from Leaves and Cuttings

Creating a succulent garden is not that hard if you learn the suitable propagation method. In addition, succulent propagation is cheaper and easier to enrich your collection and have more plant mixes.

When you grow succulents, everything is unknown and challenging. However, you will love these beautiful chubby plants more once you learn to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings.

After reading this article, we guarantee you will be prepared for your propagation process and will create new plants with a passion.

Keep in mind that different climate regions will require other techniques, and do not give up if some of them are not successful for you.

We will present a few ways of growing succulent plants from cuttings and leaves and give you a chance to choose which one suits you best.

how to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

How to propagate succulents from leaves

Below, we will present what plants are suitable for propagation, how to take leaves for propagation, and what methods to try to grow new plants from leaves.

Start with choosing the right plant for propagation.

Some succulents cannot be propagated from leaves since their leaf body is not filled with water, and there are low chances of producing new plants. Some plants that never or rarely give new plants from leaves are Agave, Aloe, Haworthia, Aeonium, Greenovia, etc.

When propagating succulents from leaves, consider choosing plants with thick leaves filled with water because they are more likely to produce new plants.

Propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva
Learn how to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

Collecting leaf cuttings for propagation

Thanks to the growing process, you will not always have a chance to get new plants from the fallen leaves.

Collecting leaves is crucial for propagation, especially for young plants.

Always choose watered plants with full potential for growth because smashy and dry leaves will not produce plants.

Leaves should be adequately taken, gently removed, and paying attention to be picked from the stem without hurting them.

Do not expect good propagating results if the leaf is ripped in half or squeezed during collecting.

Collecting leaf cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

Choosing the correct propagation method

Succulent leaves can be propagated in many ways. Some of the most popular are: the bottle method, dry soil method, and mineral-perlite/pumice method.

If the climate you live in is pretty much humid, choose the dry or the mineral method. If not, you can also try the bottle method.

Bottle method

The collected succulent leaves are placed in holes on bottles filled half with water. Only the end of the leaf needs to be placed inside the hole.

Depending on the succulent species, you will notice the first white roots coming out and growing your new plant within one-two week.

Dry method – soil propagation

My personal favorite and probably most used way to grow succulents is from leaves.

Choosing suitable succulent soil is essential since your new plants will spend more time after the root system fully forms.

The easiest way to propagate succulents like this is to place your collected one at the top of the soil previously sprayed with water, wait a few weeks for roots to form, and then start watering.

It is crucial to place your propagation station in a bright light location to have healthy new plants like the mother plant.

dry soil to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

Mineral method – On perlite/pumice or stones

The mineral method is an easy and fast way to grow succulents because once the roots begin to grow, they will have nutrients to take and grow faster.

We can also call it air propagation since there is no ground where plant roots can attach.

This is not very used but is a successful way to grow succulents. Pay attention to the watering here. Your small creatures might need more water than the rest of your succulents since the mineral can quickly evaporate. The spray bottle is a good friend in these situations.

Mineral method to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

When is the best time to report your baby succulent?

After some time, your plant will reach an acceptable size to grow alone and can be moved to a separate pot.

To pick the right moment to repot your full-grown succulent in your pot, you must pay attention to the root system.

New succulent plants can be transported in another pot if their roots are strong enough to feed your plant and keep it stable alone.

The size of the newly grown succulent should not be smaller than a coin, and most succulents will thrive better if left to overgrown that size.

Baby succulent
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

After your baby plants are transported in another container, pay attention to the watering.

In the beginning plant, leaves cannot store enough water as adult forms so they will need more water often than the mature succulent plant.

The mother leaf should stay attached even if the baby’s succulents reach the proper size to grow individually. The succulent leaf will keep your plant nitrified even when there is not enough in the soil.

How to propagate succulents from cuttings?

Suppose you have many great mature succulents that need trimming. In that case, you have the material to start with propagating succulent cuttings.

Be informed that it is hard to stop once you learn how to do this and start with propagation. We do not take responsibility for your garden full of succulents.

Let us see how to prepare and what to do to become a successful propagation grower.

how to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

Collecting cuttings for propagation

Choosing cuttings for propagation is more manageable and almost always successful if done correctly.

Collecting cuttings is the first and most important step leading to propagating succulent cuttings.

You will need a sharp and sterile knife, razor blade, scissors, or even dental floss to cut part of the mature plant ready to go under the propagation process.

Cuttings propagating succulents should be done during the growing season when plants have active growth hormones and temperature allows them to grow roots quickly.

Stem cuttings should be dried out before being placed into well-drained soil to have time to form cutting callus. Cutting callus shows when it is time for your plant to be potted into the ground, callus is formed on the end of the cutting, and it feels granular and firm at a touch.

Since they will not have roots initially, waiting a few weeks for the first water is better. However, we know that succulents thrive in dry areas left without water for an extended period.

Cutting succulents
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

How to take care of your cutting

Please do not treat your cutting as a regular plant until it sprouts roots.

Once your baby plant has the primary organ to function, you must carefully choose a bright but not full sunspot since it can burn quickly.

Another thing is to pay attention not to transfer your baby succulents to their pot because the root system will take their nutrients, and they will not grow fast as expected.

Rooting powder is a good option for the first weeks of your cutting growth and should be used as mentioned in the instruction paper.

Taking care of succulents - how to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

Propagation successful rate

If you are new at this, do not stress out about the growth of your new baby plants. As a beginner, it is essential for you to feel how propagating succulents works, to find out more about the weather conditions and what your plants will love.

If in doubt, start with cuttings since it is a more effortless and better way to propagate a new plant successfully.

Propagation of succulents
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

Conclusion for leaves and cuttings propagation

  • Be patient. Your fleshy leaves and cuttings will need some time to bring new life.
  • Avoid direct sun. Your baby plants will need some time to adapt to the high sun exposure and, if not protected, might burn.
  • Go slow with the watering. Then, especially the first week or two give time for roots to form.
  • Use rooting hormone. It is affordable and easy to use for faster and better results. Roots grow quickly when you boost them with additional substance.
  • Succulent leaves should be placed on wet soil, but the cuttings must be dried out and placed in dry soil until the first roots form.
Leaves and cuttings propagation
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

Session of FAQ for readers eager to learn more

Here is a list of questions mostly asked from new parents and our answers. I hope you will find them helpful. Enjoy

Why do succulent leaves fall off?

There is no one correct answer since plants are living beings, and they can undergo different changes during one day, week, or month.

A few of the common reasons might be pests, mechanical damage, too much water or root rot, not enough sun or nutrients, and many more depending on where your succulent lives and its condition for life.

Leaves falling off
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

What is the easiest succulent to propagate?

In my opinion and experience, there is no more accessible plant to propagate than Kalanchoe daigremontiana – Mother of thousands, also known as Devil’s backbone.

The common name says everything. It is so easy that a tiny part of the leaves falling on the ground in a few days gives new life.

Other easy propagating plants are Crassula, Sempervivum, Sedum, Echeveria, and Graptopetallum – Ghost plant.

how to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

Can you put succulent cuttings straight into the soil?

Yes, you can, but the propagation might not be successful if you wait at least one day and then place the succulent cutting in the prepared ground.

Callus tissue is an essential part of growing roots. Therefore, it is recommended to leave your cutting rest a little bit before potting.

Cutting straight to soil
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

How long does it take to grow succulent from a leaf?

Many factors determine the length of getting new succulents from a leaf.

The season is an essential element that can guarantee a high success rate in the active period of mature plant growth.

Generally, a month or two is enough to get a baby plant that can live on its roots and grow into a beautiful and big succulent.

how long to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings
Photo credit: Silvana Koleva

Now that you learn how to propagate succulents from leaves and cuttings, please also check out our other articles:

Learn How to and When is the Best Time to Water Succulents

Let There Be Light! How Much Light Your Succulents Need To Grow

Soaking The Soil: How Often You Should Water Your Succulents

Morgan Daniels

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