8 Most Common Succulent Propagation Mistakes

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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Avoid these Common Succulent Propagation Mistakes to ensure you are always cloning succulents successfully to add to your collection.

If you are already a proud parent of some lovely succulents and looking forward to multiplying them soon, then make sure you are not making these Common Succulent Propagation Mistakes!

Here are the best succulents that bear pups 

Common Succulent Propagation Mistakes

1. Watering them Instantly After Planting

Common Succulent Propagation Mistakes 2

While you are propagating succulents from leaves or cuttings, do not water them at the time of planting.

Just mist lightly using a spray bottle once you have planted them in the growing medium and keep them in an area that gets plenty of bright but indirect light.

Mist again only when the growing medium feels dry to touch. This will ensure they stay dry and free of rot and fungal issues.

Check out our article on how to water succulents in the right way here

2. Not Choosing the Right Leaf


For best propagating, it is important that you pick a healthy parent plant from which you will use the leaf to grow a new one.

  • Water the plant 2-3 days before you snip away the leaf for propagation.
  • Healthy succulents cannot be expected from broken or damaged leaves.
  • Always pick a healthy, plump, and large leaf for propagation. Smaller leaves do not carry much water or nutrients to support new plants.
  • It will be a good idea to propagate 3-5 leaves and cuttings in a pot to increase the chances of success. If one leaf/cutting fails to root, others will.
  • Do not take leaves that feel dry or look withered.

You also need to keep the fact in mind that not all succulents do well with leaf propagation. Aeonium and Sempervivum do not perform well when they are grown from leaves and do best when grown from cuttings.

Echeveria and Sedum are the best succulents to propagate from leaves.

Find out some rarest succulents here

3. Removing Pups Too Soon
Common Succulent Propagation Mistakes 3

When the pups appear, do not remove them immediately. Give them some time to grow and develop. This will increase the chances of successful propagation when you will plant them in a new pot.

Wait for 4-5 weeks, before you take them away to plant in a new pot.

Learn some top tricks to force succulents to grow more pups here

4. Not Waiting Till the Cuttings and Leaves Callus


Some gardeners do the mistake of potting up succulent cuttings and leaves immediately after taking them. Avoid doing this at all costs. Always allow the cuttings and leaves to rest for 2-4 days to form a callus.

If you are going to plant these without leaving them to callus, then it’ll increase the chances of rotting, eliminating the possibility of successful propagation.

Check out the most common succulent growing problems and their solutions here

5. Not Exposing to the Right Amount of Light


After propagating, it is essential that the succulents get indirect light. People often keep the succulent in a dark and shady spot, which contributes more to the less successful chances of propagation.

Find out some cold-hardy succulents here

6. Not Using the Right Propagation Medium


To ensure your succulents propagate in the best manner, it is essential to avoid planting them in regular garden soil. Pure coco peat/coir or peat moss would be the best to start these plants using cuttings or leaves.

You can also opt for cactus or succulent mix that are available in the market. Whatever growing medium you choose, make sure that it is not too nutrient-rich.

Check out the most common succulent growing mistakes here

7. Wrong Pot Size

shutterstock/TY Lim

Do not use an excessively large and deep container while propagating succulents. The container needs to be shallow with drainage holes.

Using trays, saucers, styrofoam, or plastic boxes are a good choice as long as they have a hole at the bottom to let the excess water out.

This will ensure that the growing medium stays dry and not overtly moist all the time, which may attract root rot and fungal issues.

Get some top tips to grow succulents here

8. Exposing Propagating Succulents to Nature

At the time of propagating succulents, make sure that they stay at a spot that gets filtered light. Exposing the growing plant to direct sunlight, rain, and frequent or sudden temperature fluctuations may kill it instantly.

Learn some incredible tips to grow bigger succulents faster here

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