The ultimate guide to propagating succulents

If you’re a plant-lover like me, few things in life are more exciting than propagating a flourishing succulent plant. Propagating is just a fancy word for the method used to regenerate your succulents. These fleshy plants are one of the easiest types to regenerate — often, all you need is one plant, big or small, to produce countless babies.

Known for being low maintenance, cute and endlessly trending, succulents are the plants that keep on giving. New plants can grow easily from clippings or individual leaves and stems of your plant. Plus, propagation is needed when your succulent gets “leggy,” or grown out. You can tell your plant is getting stretched out when the gaps between the leaves get larger; this often times means they’re reaching hard for sunlight. This is a good reason to trim it back and take some cuttings to start some baby succulents.

According to Martha Stewart, the best time to propagate is in the spring or summer, when these plants are most likely to be thriving.

There are a few ways to propagate, each way is simple and effective.

Propagate From Cuttings

Using a clean, sharp blade, cut the stem of a place on your plant that is trying to grow out on its own. These stems often will deviate from the original shape of your succulent. Take your cutting, let it callous over the course of a few days, and place it in a container with succulent-specific soil. Gently cover it with the soil, without fully burying it. Just as you do with your full-grown succulents, don’t over-water these delicate babies.

Jade plant succulent

Propagate By Leaves

Propagating from individual leaves is my favorite method, because when done properly, each leaf will sprout a baby plant. Not to mention you don’t have to cut down your entire succulent to do this. The key to this method is to gently pluck the plump, healthy leaf right where the leaf meets the stem. Be sure not to break or rip it — otherwise, it won’t grow.

As with the stem cuttings, allow the leaves to callous over before placing them atop a bed of soil. Don’t submerge, and keep it damp. After three or so weeks, baby succulents will sprout, and eventually the mother leaf with dry up and fall off. This is an indicator that the baby plant needs to be potted.


Water Propagation

One more method is to simply place your cuttings or offsets (baby succulents that have grown from a mother plant with their own root system) in a glass or jar of water. The stems can be rested on the rim, allowing your plants to be suspended right above the surface of the water. Roots soon will grow and you can then plant them in soil.

Keep your growing succulents in well-lit, sunny areas, where the light isn’t too intense for new plants.

Happy propagating!