Everything About Propagating Succulents: 4 Basic Ways

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Propagating Succulents is the best way to multiply your favorite succulents. There are 4 Ways to do this, learn everything in detail in this article!

1. Propagating Succulents from Leaves

Propagating succulents from leaves is easy, but all leaves do not have the same potential of budding into an entire plant. Definitely, there are some tricks you need to learn before doing that.

1. Select Healthy Leaves

Your chances of success depend on the health of your starting inoculum. Ideally, you should handpick leaves that are green and plump, without any marks or discoloration.

2. Snip off Leaves

Hold a leaf firmly from where it is attached to the stem, twist it to and fro, carefully and gently remove it using your fingers. Or consider using a pair of scissors to eliminate chances of breakage. Must ensure to remove the leaf from the base else it will die.

3. Allow some Healing Time

Lay the collected leaves on a dry paper towel and let the wounds heal. Wait until they dry out from ends or for a week before transferring to the soil. Ensure they get indirect sunlight but shade and some warmth during this time.
If you like, skip the healing process, but leaves planted directly can rot and die!

4. Rooting

Moisten the cut ends of the leaves and dip them in rooting hormone. Shape up a small hole in the soil and place the dipped end of the leaf into it. Knead the soil around the rooting hormone to pack it up.

5. Scale it Up

Layer the leaves on a shallow tray containing succulent potting mix or moist sand. Ensure that the cut ends of the leaves are facing away from the soil. You can even make your own soil mix using this recipe here.

6. Nurture

Keep your leaf cuttings healthy by ensuring a constant supply of dry air, indirect light, and occasional watering. Mist daily till new roots sprout up and make sure the topsoil does not go dry. Learn how to care for an aloe plant here.

7. Have Patience

After four-five weeks, you will start to observe new roots from the cut ends of the leaves. Sprinkle drained soil over these roots to encourage the growth of a brand new succulent plant.

Propagating Succulents from Offsets (Division)

Snipping off the offsets boosts the health of the mother plant, helping it recycle nutrients and energy more effectively. In the long run, this contributes to more vigorous growth.

propagating succulents

Offsets are pups or daughter clones of the mother plant that can develop into whole plants when given the right set of conditions. You can propagate succulent offsets like aloe, cacti and hens and chicks. Here is how:

1. Prepare the Mother Plant

Water the topsoil every day to soften it up and ease the removal of offsets.

2. Prepare your Tool

Take a sharp knife and wash it in warm, soapy water. Later, dip it in a bleach solution, rinse off the acid remnants and wipe it dry.

3. Protect Yourself

Put on thick gloves to protect your hands from spines and soil microbes. Remove soil clumps from the offsets to check for root development. Offsets with independent root systems are the most successful.

4. Detach

Using a sharp knife, remove the stem connecting the offset to the main plant and gently work out the offset out of the soil mass, while keeping the roots intact.

5. Allow some Healing Time (Optional)

Lay out the offsets in a dry paper towel and let them form a protective callus. After 4-5 days, they will be ready for planting.

You can skip this step completely and plant the succulent offsets immediately, especially if you live in a hot climate. We saw success in both ways.

6. Rooting

Start these offsets in fast-draining succulent soil. Make your own substrate that contains coarse sand and commercial potting soil in equal proportions. Ensure a warm environment for stress-free survival.

Propagating Succulents from Stem Cuttings

Propagating Succulents from Cuttings

This method is suitable for succulents with branches or rosettes. Best time for propagation is during the active period of growth. For example, in the spring. In hot climates, after the end of the summer.

1. Select the Right Stem

Select a stem that is healthy, short, and green, to ensure it is capable of demonstrating active growth. Hold it gently close to the base and snip it off from the mother plant using an incision blade.

2. Let it Heal

Wait for four-five days or till the cut end of the stem calluses. Allow supply of warm air and avoid the direct sunlight during this process.

3. Transplant

Plant the healed stem in a planter containing the succulent potting mix. Wait for several days for roots to emerge. Give the emerging plant plenty of indirect light and water sparingly.

Propagating Rosette-Shaped Succulents

  • Using a sharp knife, cut off a rosette with a small stem to allow reestablishment.
  • Let it sit for four-five days and then proceed to repot.
  • The growing end of rosette’s stem will start producing new leaves; leave it intact and do not water until you find new growth appearing from it.

Also Read: 14 Succulents To Grow Indoors

Propagating Succulents from Seeds

Propagating Succulents from Seeds

Propagating succulents from seeds is undesirable because it is slow and tedious. Nevertheless, the results are rewarding. Seeds of mature succulents are present at the base of the fruit and can be plucked after flowering. Sometimes, seeds are no more than colored dust and can be quite difficult to propagate.

1. Prepare Your Planter

Immerse your seeds in lukewarm water for an hour to break down the hard seed coat. In the meantime, take cactus mix soil in a planter and water it uniformly. Spread the soaked seeds on the prepared soil with equal spacing between them

2. Protect New Growth

Layer the seeds with wet sand or sifted succulent soil as an added level of protection. Mist daily to keep the topsoil damp. Maintain a warm environment and never let the temperature go below 50 F (10 C). The optimum seed germination temperature is between 65-80 F (18-26 C).

Additionally, consider covering the planter with transparent plastic to mimic the greenhouse feel. Germination will occur in about three to six weeks or even more late (depending on the type of succulents). Once germinated, water the sprouts carefully and let the substrate to dry out between watering spells. To know more about the entire process in detail, must read this article.


Multiplying succulents is easy. Producing new succulent plants from offsets and cuttings is easiest of all these four methods. Here’re some of the most important succulent care tips for your help.

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  1. When growing succulents from seed, your 2 best friends are the ultraviolet light from direct outdoor sunshine and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Succulents are very prone to fungal damping off, where young seedlings suddenly rot right at the soil line. As they say, sunshine is the best disinfectant, but premoistening your soil with peroxide and using it when watering is a close second.


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