Hello plant friends! I’m so excited for today’s post because I get to share this little project that I’ve been working on for about a month now!
I’m going to teach you guys how I propagate succulent cuttings from leafs into brand new, baby succulents! This is by far my favorite propagation project that I’ve ever done. To see these little babies start to form + grow roots from basically NOTHING has been freakin’ awesome.
Before we dive into the process, I want to give you guys a little back story. Succulents are AWESOME – they’re hardy, relatively easy to take care of + can grow roots in so many different forms. But don’t be fooled by the common notion that you “can’t kill a succulent” because you CAN. Over watering, lack of watering, improper soil or drainage can lead to: root rot, stem rot or even your succulent dying.
About a month ago, one of my succulents started to develop root rot. For those of you that live in the city, you know that it’s been cloudy and rainy here for legitimately TWO MONTHS. Because of this, my succulents weren’t getting the proper sunlight // heat that they crave! The lower level leaves started to shrivel up and drop off – which is totally normal when it happens every now and then, but this was layers + layers of leaves… I knew something wasn’t right. So, I took my plant out of it’s container, knocked off the dirt + saw that there were brown spots on the stem. I decided that I was going to rescue this succulent (how noble of me). So, I plucked off the leaves, trimmed the succulent back + decided that instead of throwing out the leaves, I was going to try to propagate them into brand new succulents.
Well, here we are almost a month later + we have GROWTH!! I can’t contain my excitement – I check on them morning and night, marveling at how far they have come. I’m so excited to share my method with you guys because this is seriously SO COOL to watch! Ready?! Let’s do this!
Terracotta Saucer Pan
Cactus // Succulent Soil
South Facing Window
STEP ONE: PLUCK THE PADS.
Warning, this must be done carefully. If you tear the leaves / pads off with too much force and they break unevenly, the leaf won’t root. Ensure that you get a clean break right from the stem of the plant.
This can be done by gently twisting off the leaves from left to right. Don’t just rip them off. Carefully pluck them so that you get an even break!
After you’ve plucked them off, let them scab over in indirect sunlight for 2-3 days. You don’t ever want to put a raw cutting directly in soil because they can rot. You’ll know that your succulent leaf has scabbed over when it becomes dry / somewhat rough.
STEP TWO: PREPARE YOUR SAUCER
You can really use anything: a box, saucer pan, tray – anything that’s relatively shallow but has enough depth that you can hold about an inch of soil. Fill your saucer with cactus and succulent soil. I love Espoma’s Organic Cactus Mix – it’s well draining + my succulents // cacti seem to love it so I keep purchasing it.
Spray the soil down with filtered tap water – I can’t stress this enough, especially if you live in any sort of city where the tap water is… questionable.
My policy is: if you wouldn’t drink it, neither should your plants.
Mix in a little bit of fertilizer – I use Miracle Gro Succulent Plant Food and this makes a world of a difference. Don’t over do it, one to two pumps is plenty. Spray a little bit more water over the fertilizer so that it can mix in.
STEP THREE: PLACE LEAVES IN SAUCER, LEAVE BE.
Now for the fun part. Place the dried leaves that have scabbed over into your saucer. You can arrange them in a fun way that looks beautiful but it’s also funcitonal. You want to give each leaf about a quarter of an inch to spread out. That way, when they DO start to root, they’ll have enough space for themselves.
After about one to two weeks you may start to notice roots popping out of the leaves. SO COOL! Shortly after, you’ll start to see new succulents forming at the base of the leaf where the roots are. Be patient, let them sit for as long as you can.
After a few more weeks, you’ll be able to plant your succulent into soil + voila… You’ve got yourself another plant! And for the leaf? I’ve read that you can just leave it on there until it dries up and falls off. Right now, the leaf is acting as the main source of water for the plant until the roots shoot out + it can grab water on it’s own. Eventually, the leaf will fall off!
I hope that you guys enjoyed this post. I’m SO EXCITED about my succulent babies growing – I’ll do an update post once they’re more full grown + I plant them in soil for good.