Propogating Succulents

So you're thinking, "Yeah, sure, succulents are easy to propagate – but that's for someone with green thumbs, not someone with big brown ones like mine!"

Well, it's true. It really is easy.

Succulents are one of the easiest plant types to propagate. They've had to develop strong survival techniques because of their natural habitat. You can propagate succulents from cuttings or "off-sets" – little bunches that grow as clumps, usually around the base of the plant.

Place the cutting in a dry, airy, well-lit spot out of direct sun. An ideal spot is on a sheltered window-ledge. Leave for a week (two weeks if the cutting is particularly thick) to dry out the wound and reduce the chance of rotting. Once dry, place the cutting or leaf into a pot of 50/50 potting-mix and propogating course sand or dry gravel. Push cuttings or leaves into the mix so they support themselves. Off-sets with roots can proceed directly to this stage without drying. Keep the pot in bright light with a few hours of morning sun (no hot midday sun). Keep lightly moist, not wet. Every two weeks, move the plants into more sun. They'll form roots in six weeks and should by now be in full sun.

Things to consider

  • Don't use too rich a soil or potting mix – always use a porous soil that provides drainage and aeration such as propagating sand or gravel combined with potting mix.
  • Don't over-water cuttings and never put fresh cuttings into water – this will kill them.
  • If taking cuttings from the Euphorbia family of succulents, be very careful not to let the white, milky sap come in contact with your skin, eyes or mouth. The sap is very caustic and will burn, so gloves should be worn for safety.


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