A guide to propagating succulent leaves and stems (in water or soil)

While spring and summer are the best seasons for breeding, this can be done at any time as long as you give it good sunlight or a grow lamp.

Here’s everything to know about how to reproduce using the method you choose – because, after all, you can never get too much succulent.

How to prepare succulent leaves for reproduction.

We consulted a plant expert and author Reproduction 101, Summer Jeffrey, for her top promotion advice. Propagating from leaves is a little easier than using stems, she explained, although this method won’t work for all succulents.

For example, Aeoniums can only be propagated from stems. Jeffrey says that Echeveria, graptopetalum and pachyphytum are good beginner varieties to start with.

All you need for this method is the mother plant and, depending on where you plan to breed, either some soil and a cardboard egg tray or a glass of water. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Always start with healthy papers. Jeffrey noticed the use of one-inch-long tender leaves.
  2. Gently pull the leaf from the plant straight from the stem; It should come off easily. “When removing leaves, be careful not to damage the ends of the leaves,” she says. “The leaves should come off the stem cleanly with a wiggle from side to side.”
  3. Let the leaves rest in indirect sunlight for longer than three days before propagating in soil or water. This will give it time to “call”, which increases the likelihood of new roots growing.

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How to prepare succulent stems for propagation.

If you want to propagate any succulents or other succulent plants with a good stem, “when in doubt, propagate from healthy stems with multiple leaves,” Jeffrey says. She likes to use stems that are at least 2 to 3 inches long.

All you need for this method is sharp scissors, and the soil or water depends on where you plan to breed. Heres how to do it:

  1. Make sure your plant is healthy and moist before cutting. Water the succulents for one week before cutting them for best results.
  2. Use clean, sharp scissors to snip off a piece of the stem that is 2 to 3 inches long and has multiple leaves.
  3. Let the callus germinate in indirect sunlight for three to five days before propagating.

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To spread cuttings in the soil.

Once your leaves or stems are ready, you can choose to put them in soil or water to grow. Watering is usually a little faster for the roots to germinate, but either method can work well. Jeffrey recommends: “For particularly challenging cuttings, start with soil propagation.”

Here is the soil reproduction process:

  1. Prevent rotting by making sure there is a drainage hole in the pot.
  2. Fill your pot halfway with well-drained, rocky soil that can dry out completely between waterings. Jeffrey begins its propagation with a 4:1 mixture of soil: perlite.
  3. Place the cutting upright in the soil.
  4. Fill the remaining half of the pot with soil.
  5. Press the soil with your fingers so that the cutting is in an upright position.
  6. Water well.
  7. Place somewhere with moderate sunlight.
  8. Water the soil when it is completely dry to the touch to avoid overwatering.

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To spread the cuttings in the water.

Here’s how to reproduce in water:

  1. Fill a jar with tap water.
  2. Put the pieces directly into the water after they crack.
  3. Adjust as needed to keep leaves out of the water.
  4. Change the water weekly.
  5. Once you have a root about an inch long, you can remove it and let it dry for a day or two before planting in the soil using the above method.

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Best practices to consider.

When propagating succulents, it is important not to give up if you do not see results quickly. Patience and perseverance are key, it may take some trial and error to get your first successful plant. Remember not to overwater and avoid misting as the breed grows. Always watch out for spongy or dead leaves, and remove them as needed.

If you have some sad-looking leaves, Jeffrey suggests making a “second chance pile,” and leaving them somewhere with a little bit of sunlight, in case any leaves reappear and may sprout.

Just be careful – once you start breeding, you may not want to stop. Once you get used to it, it will be hard to resist the temptation to add another plant – easily and inexpensively – to your collection.

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