How to propagate succulents?

by Joyce

Can someone tell me how to propagate succulents? I just icon looooooveicon my succulents and I just found out that I can grow new ones from the old ones. That is SOOOO cool! Just one problem: I tried it and it didn't work icon . So I'm reaching out to my Hometalk friends for advice regarding the proper method of growing succulents from cuttings. Has anyone here had success that can share their secret method with me?

q how to propogate succulents
  31 answers
  • Janet Janet on Dec 16, 2018

    If the leaves came off clean and not broken at the base or shriveled up, just lay them on a layer of succulent potting mix in a shallow pan. I use a plastic plate. In a few weeks you will see tiny roots at the end. You should also spray them with water every week or so but not really that important. I have left mine unattended for longer than a week and they did fine. If you look at any succulents growing in an outside garden you will see when their leaves fall they propagate themselves. Same principle. There are also youtube videos of how to do this.

  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Mar 31, 2017
    VERY EASILY. If it's aloe vera, start out with one big plant from the store & set it in the morning sun for a few days until it gets used to being at your house instead of the store. Only water it if it's bone dry when you stick your finger into the soil. After some time, you will notice new ""babies"" coming up from the base of the ""mama"" plant. Wait till they reach about 4 inches, then reach down into the soil till you get to the root which attaches to the ""mama"" plant & pinch it off. Immediately, plant it into a new pot but don't water it. Let it set in the new pot (planted normally) for about a week, then water it a little but not a whole lot. Once the ""mama"" plant reaches over 10 inches, it will produce multiple ""babies"" at a time. Just continue the process & before long, you will have a crop of new ones. If it's cacti, cut off a piece of it at the 2nd joint & let it sit undisturbed for about a week laying flat so the cut part will dry up & crust over. It will accept water now. In a pot, plant the cutting so that the soil comes half way up the cutting. Water it real good & let it drain. Only water it when bone dry using the finger test again. Let it sit in its new pot about a week to get used to it, then place it in the morning sun. A prickly pear has multiple ""leaves"" & can be cut numerous times. I have one that's about 5 feet across & stands about 5 feet tall. I can get about 20-30 cuttings off of it. Each cutting makes a new plant & those plants will grow rapidly to make more. They're very common in the southern states. Any cacti can be cut off at the 2nd joint from the main plant. It hasta dry out before repotting. ONLY cut them off in the Spring. If you cut them off during its blooming cycle, you may kill it. If you cut it back during the Fall, it's getting ready for its winter cycle & you could damage it because of the weather. It hasta be hot enough to sustain it while it heals from the cuttings. They love water during the hotter months of summer. No need to water them during the winter months. Rain will sustain them enough. If you want, you could mulch the bed underneath it but it's still ok if you don't. I don't with mine. Just remember, cut at the 2nd joint, let the cut part dry out completely, plant half way down into the soil, water lightly if it's been a while since last watering & put them in the morning sun until they get used to being outside. You can put them in all day sun later but just watch how much they need to drink by the finger test. I have raised aloe & cacti for some years now & it's not that difficult. GOOD LUCK! :) P.S. You don't really need any special soil for them either. They do very good in just plain dirt & some peat moss thrown in for aeration . When planting in the yard, you don't even need the peat moss (just in pots).

  • Dana Baier Dana Baier on Jun 17, 2017

    The fun thing about succulents is they don't need much in order to propagate! I've always just picked a piece off of whatever plant I want & stick it in soil! Sometimes I might add a small amount of transfer solution if I have any on hand! Good luck & have fun!

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Dec 16, 2018

    Joyce, I've had success, too, with just sticking a cutting in dirt. I've propagated a variety of succulents by just clipping and planting as described by other posters. I have a pretty brown thumb, but I can grow succulents. Lol... I usually take advantage of the mother plant and propagate in the same soil next to the mother. If you have a friend or neighbor that has a succulent ground cover such as sedum, ask them if you can have trimmings. I've done this and planted several plugs. Before long it's a ground cover again. Most sedums have to be cut back regularly to keep them under control, so you'd be doing your neighbor a favor. When the cutting has obviously begun to grow, I move it to it's own pot.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Dec 16, 2018

    I agree with Laura, most will put on roots from a leaf that is planted into the soil. I wish all plants were that easy!

  • They grow like weeds for me and I literally do nothing. Most will root themselves. Where I volunteer, the gardeners are ever so sloppy and when they break off a piece and leave it to perish, I scoop them up, take them home and add to my plant collection. Take the fallen niblets or cuttings, and stick the cut side down into fresh succulent soil, and they root on their own. Leaves or petals will also root on their own in the right conditions.

    The last two pieces that I grabbed started rooting within 5 days. However, not always the case. 10 days to two weeks is typical for most succulents. One can root in water. I have a few going now, but some I just stuck in a pot with whatever soil I had on hand and they just grow provided I water them enough. However, if you live in a hot zone, tender young plants can just fry, shrivel and die. I am in zone 9 where it gets blazing HOT. Just the other day it was 107°. They grow like weeds for me, but I have them on the north side of the house where they get dappled sunlight, or in areas that receive morning sun, and not the intense midday sun.

    Do not over water. Mist when necessary. I have so many that need trimming I am going to give away cuttings for free in the spring to my neighbors. These sites will help!

    Happy gardening! 🍀

  • Carmen Carmen on Dec 19, 2018

    Try sticking your cuttings in 2 parts sand:1 part usual potting mix or garden soil, water and leave until dry before watering again.

  • Ginger Throckmorton Ginger Throckmorton on May 25, 2017
    Depending on the plant it could take a month or more. Keep them slightly damp and be patient. As long as your start is plump it's fine.

  • Deb Sarles Deb Sarles on Mar 30, 2017
    Jade plant is easy to grow as each cutting will grow new roots, so trimming often produces a full plant and many new plants. Don't overwater. Cut with sharp tool and use a sandy soil mix. Protect from freezing temps.

  • Eleanor S. Young Eleanor S. Young on Jun 17, 2017
    I did it the easy way, I pulled some from my daughters garden I placed them in a pot that was full of soil then kept it wet for a week and they are growing.

  • 1240839 1240839 on Mar 13, 2018
    Break off a piece, let it heal (dry out) for a couple of days, nestle in moist soil, keep moist until roots form. Sometimes one leaf is all you need to start new plants.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jun 11, 2018
    Sedum that I have sprinkled around are most easily effortlessly self rooting. I give the top a haircut and spinkle it on damp soil or in a flower pot.

  • Imp22013828 Imp22013828 on Mar 30, 2017
    In the garden dept. They should have available a rooting product that is a white powder. I can't remember the name of it. U dip the trim on the end to sprout roots . I mean the cut end and put into dirt or sand and wait. The store clerk can help in the garden dept.

  • Siropav Siropav on Mar 14, 2018

    Take a leaf off the original plant, let the cut end scab over. Place in damp cactus potting soil. Do not water more than once a week (roots will rot). It will take 1-2 months to form stable roots to be replanted. Good luck.

  • Maura White Maura White on Sep 29, 2020

    Depends on the succulents, but I have Hens and Chicks and they propagate quickly!! New "chicks" grow all of the time and I can just pick them out of the soil and replant in a new container. If the container is big enough, then that "chick" will turn into the "hen" and start growing new "chicks" in just weeks that you can then put in another container. It is the hardiest plant I've ever owned!

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 29, 2020

    You should see some tiny roots with a couple weeks. They do grow slowly, but they are fairly easy to propagate. Good luck!

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Sep 30, 2020

    Hi! Depending on what type, you should see roots after about a week. I usually wait two weeks to plant. Good luck and stay safe!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 30, 2020

    I just stick them in soil that is for succulents, well draining. I spray with a micro nutrient every 2 weeks and make sure water is never standing and the soil isn't too wet. After a few weeks, they really take off. All of mine are from cuttings.

    I usually see growth in a couple of weeks. All of mine are gifted from a friend who has a huge succulent pot. When it is too overgrown, she thins it out and gives to me. I then stick them in dirt that I have amended for succulents in pots and they root and grow rather quickly.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Sep 30, 2020

    With my succulents on a sunny south facing window I usually see little roots within less than two weeks. Then I set them on dirt for another week or two before planting them.

  • Maura White Maura White on Jul 26, 2020

    The succulent called Hens and Chicks has to be one of the easiest succulents to propagate! You literally just pull out a "chick" out of the ground, and put the main root stem in dirt and it grows so easily! It's like you can't kill this plant!!!!!

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Sep 28, 2019

    As far as growing outdoors, one good thing about succulents is that they grow on their own with little attention, as long as they are exposed to lots of sun, warm air, and little water.

    Simply cut off little 'sprouts' from the outer edges of the plant, place immediately in an indentation in the soil, and cover the bottom. This

    easy method is a fast way to multiply plants such as prickly pear cactus.

  • Kis6872901 Kis6872901 on Nov 28, 2021


  • Dee Dee on Nov 29, 2021

    All I have ever done with succulents was to break off some leaves and stick them in a pot. Do not water right away. Let the dirt and stem dry out a bit. You will have a full pot in no time.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 01, 2022

    Just take off some leaves and put them in spray damp soil.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Mar 22, 2022

    1. Remove Some Leaves or Behead. Randomly remove a few leaves from your succulent plant, twisting gently to remove the entire leaf without tearing. ...
    2. Callus Off. Set the cuttings aside in any type of container or tray. ...
    3. Grow Roots. Watch for the growth of roots over the next few weeks. ...
    4. Plant. ...
    5. Water and Feed.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on May 13, 2022

    I find small bits tossed out at plant sections in stores. Pick them up and just stick them in the soil. They grow really well in a broken down wheelbarrow of soil, so pretty.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 29, 2022

    Division or leaf cuttings.

  • Vickie Gold Vickie Gold on Aug 21, 2022

    I have propagated the Christmas cactus