How to Propagate Succulents – What You Should Know

Succulents as a Low- Maintenance Plant

Succulents are drought-tolerant plants with water storage in their leaves, stems, and roots. How to propagate succulents is a process worth your time. While you can’t entirely ignore them, growing succulents require very little attention. Succulence, or the storing of water, gives them a meaty appearance.

Make an effort upfront to develop a low-maintenance arrangement. Ascertain that the plants have adequate drainage. Cactus soil is available for purchase, or you can mix sand or gravel into regular potting soil. Make sure your container has a hole at the bottom.

succulents in pots on shelf

The Two Ways of Dividing a Plant

Simply put, a succulent division is a process of dividing succulent plants into smaller, rooted sections. The sections are later planted to have more succulents. 

Dividing Succulents from Offsets

Other succulent kinds grow more like an oak tree, with a single set of roots supporting all of the top growth and branches. You can propagate succulents with this tree-like growth structure by cuttings or leaves, but only under special conditions can you divide them. 

When many of these plant types mature, they produce tiny plants at the mother plant’s base known as “pups” or “offsets”. 

These pups develop their root system over time, apart from the mother plants. The pups can then be separated from the mother plant while maintaining the root structure. The echeveria is an excellent example of a succulent growing in a “tree-like” pattern. You cannot divide a single echeveria rosette; however, puppies from the mother can.

Planting Succulents Close and Dividing Them

Close planting proximity is a reason for separating succulents. Succulents are frequently put two or even three plants into a single pot at the nursery. This is standard procedure when selling plants. When there aren’t enough larger plants available, the merchant may pot up groups of smaller plants to fill the advertised container size. 

The growth pattern of these aeonium kiwis is similar to that of a tree. You cannot separate an aeonium into two parts. However, because this container has three tiny plants, we can safely divide them. Although their roots will have begun to entwine, each plant has its root structure, which you can split without causing harm to any individual.

You may find something similar in your garden. For example, if you wanted to take the visual area of a single giant plant, you could plant two smaller plants. They’re simple to divide at a later time.

How to Propagate Succulents – Cutting Method

There are different ways how to propagate succulents. Let us look at the following;

  • Cut the Heads: Snip a leaf-covered portion of one of the stems at least 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) long with a sharp pair of scissors. This is where you’ll be cutting. Cut an inch from the best-looking group of leaves if your plant’s stems are looking bare and you can’t find 3 inches  (7.6 centimeters) of lush growth to work with.
  • Pluck Leaves: You can use individual leaves to propagate succulents. You can take leaves from either your clippings or the parent plant. Keep the fleshy leaf as close to the stem as possible. To remove it cleanly, carefully twist it. Any big, juicy leaves will quickly come off. Others you may have to persuade to go. Meristematic tissue, which resembles a potato eye, is left on the leaf’s stem. Tiny new roots and leaves will begin to sprout here.
  • Arrange and Water: Cut ends up, place cuttings and leaves in a dish filled with fast-draining soil towards indirect sunshine. Allow three days or until the ends have formed a callus. After that, sprinkle everything five to six times with a spray bottle until the soil is damp but not soaked. Repeat every four to five days or whenever the soil is dry. Your clippings will begin to produce tiny pink roots in three to four weeks. Be patient, keep an eye on everything, and keep watering.
  • Tend to the Pups: How long does it take to propagate succulents? You’ll notice young pups (small leaves) emerge from the parent leaves six or seven weeks after you start the propagation process. Also, the parents may appear faded. This is because they provide their water and nourishment to the pups.
  • It’s now time to transplant your cuttings and leaves to separate containers with at least four inches (10.1 centimeters) diameter. Sit back and watch your garden grow as you cover the new roots with 12 inches (30.4 centimeters) of soil.
Miniature succulent plants

Watering and Feeding Growing Succulents


Fertilizer requirements on how to plant propagate succulents differ from those of other plants in watering, soil, and light. Feeding is relatively limited in the range of natural environments from which these plants grow. Succulents don’t require a lot of fertilizer. As a result, limit fertilizing domesticated cacti and succulents to mimic their natural conditions. 

When should you feed your succulents? According to some experts, feeding succulents and cacti should be limited to once a year in most circumstances. Too much fertilizer weakens succulent plants, and any additional growth will most likely be weak and spindly, fostering the dreaded etiolating that we all strive to avoid. 

Other experts point out that nursery feed with every watering during the growth period, using a technique known as fertigation, in which a small amount of food is mixed in with the watering system. Some suggest a monthly feeding regimen.

Keep this information in mind when learning when to feed cacti and succulents. Feeding your succulent plants immediately before and during their growing season is the aim. Early spring to late summer, according to experts. If you have a winter-growing plant, nourish it throughout that season, and you will have the succulent growing tall. 

Because most of us don’t have that kind of information about all of our plants, we address succulent and cactus fertilizer needs in broad terms, such as a spring feeding for all. 

Fertilizing succulents again in early summer may help them grow or look better if they aren’t doing well. If you decide to try a monthly feeding, do some study on the plants you’ve chosen to see if there’s any trustworthy information on which feeding schedule is ideal for them, or learn their growing season. 

There are a variety of succulent fertilizer products available. Some experts advise applying a weakened form of a high-phosphorous fertilizer, such as those used to promote summer flowers. Some people rely on compost tea (offered online). 

Most experts advise against using nitrogen-rich fertilizers and compost, while a minority recommend using a balanced fertilizer once a month. 

Finally, in plants that have been in the same soil for a year or longer, add trace elements to the soil. If you keep in mind these guidelines, you’ll be able to create an appropriate feeding routine for your collection in no time.


The most important tip to remember while watering succulents is to wait until the soil in the container is completely dry before watering them. Then, let the soil completely dry out between watering to repeat. 

Do not water the soil unless it is crumbly, dry earth. Most houseplants, you see, require constant moisture in their soil. This isn’t your ordinary succulent. Its roots will decay if you keep the soil wet all the time. 

Consider the following points as you water your succulents:

  1. Seasons affect how to water propagate succulents: Most succulents multiply during the spring and summer, so you’ll need to water them more frequently. As they start to grow new stems, leaves, roots, and blossoms, they draw water from the earth at an astonishing rate. You can water them three times a week depending on light and temperature. 
  2. Succulents are dormant throughout the winter: Because the plants cease growing, you’ll only have to water them once or twice over the season. Overwatering a succulent in the winter is one of the quickest ways to destroy it. Instead, allow your succulent to rest amid the aridity of the desert.
  3. Measurement of the Container: Larger containers have more soil and keep moisture for longer, requiring less watering. Watering is needed more regularly because the soil dries out faster in small, shallow containers.
  4. Light Quantity: Succulents that are ten hours or more on direct sunlight require more water than those that receive less. Outdoor plants need more water than inside plants because they receive more sunlight and expose them to harsher circumstances.
  5. Humidity: Plants in high humidity and moderate temperatures require less frequent watering than plants in hot, dry areas because of retaining moisture for long. Do you have succulents on a patio that gets a lot of sun? You should water regularly. Is it on a deck, in the sun? You should water only once or twice a week.

Watering Instructions

Here’s how to water succulents now that you understand the elements that influence how often you should water them. There is a good and wrong way to do things. Succulents are desert plants that don’t get much rain in their natural habitats, but when it does, it pours Monsoon-like desert rainstorms, with sheets of water falling from the sky. 

Drench your succulent when watering it to make it look like it’s raining in the desert. Slowly pour water on it, and don’t stop until the water drains out the bottom drain hole. Regular, deep watering that soaks the soil to the bottom of the pot is better for succulents than regular, shallow watering that only wet the top inch or two (2.5 or 5 centimeters) of soil in the container.

Drench it when the soil around your succulents is completely dry. Drench the soil again when it has dried. Allow time to air dry, then drench it. Allow time to air dry and drench it again. You’ll have nicely watered succulents if you stick to that pattern.

The 3 Main Succulent Propagation Techniques

The three most common succulent propagation methods are soil, dry, and water. You can use these three methods to grow succulents from cuttings, leaves, or offsets. Of course, you require a mature succulent, not a juvenile succulent that is still growing and on its path to maturity.

How to propagate succulents in soil? The most prevalent succulent strategy is soil propagation. It’s popular and widely used simply because it’s the simplest, most effective, and natural method. This is because succulents grow in soil, and it is quite natural to water them immediately after planting.

Air propagation, often known as “dry propagation,” is likewise a basic and straightforward process. It isn’t as effective as soil propagation, but it does the job and is fantastic for succulent multiplication.

Water propagation: Another succulent propagation method is water propagation. It’s a brilliant approach that works, but it’s also perilous because the leaves or cuttings may not survive. This is because too much water soaking into the leaves or cutting causes them to become mushy.

All three primary ways are fantastic and successful. However, soil propagation is the best, most accessible, most prevalent, and most effective propagation strategy. It’s also a highly natural approach to propagating succulents, as most succulents and plants grow in this manner.

How to Propagate Succulents – From Leaves

The first action to propagating succulents from leaves is simply taking some leaves off the old succulent you have. You can use the leaves that get off your succulents. If you cannot get any leaves that fell off your succulents, or if they are too dry and withered up, then you will need to cut them on your own.

To remove them off yourself, you need to carefully grab the leaf, twist it, and get them off carefully. Don’t be afraid to take off the leaf, but if you don’t do it carefully, it will be a lousy leaf and won’t grow roots. You must get a very clean-cut and ensure that you get the whole leaf and that none of the leaves stays on the stem. 

If you can’t get a clean-cut or are too nervous about doing this, you can use some trimmers and trim the leaves off. Use trimmers because they give a precise and clean cut every time. After you acquire your leaves off the succulent, you must let the leaves stay out for about four days so they can achieve a callus. 

If they don’t develop a callus, then propagation will not happen.

After your succulent leaves have a callus, then it’s time to lay them on some fast/well-draining succulent soil. Pick the leaves and have them on the surface of the soil, spread them out within one to two inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) from each other.

Place the leaves in complete shade for one week and then move them to full sun, but make sure they get a little shade also. Water the leaves in a frequency of up to two days a week or when the soil looks or feels very dry. This will let the leaves grow roots and grow into a mature plant. 

The roots will appear after fourteen days, and then the plant will start progressing every week, and baby plants will appear in about ten weeks. 

These time frames differ from time to time, so don’t get discouraged if your leaves don’t progress similarly. In addition, all different succulents have their propagation time frames; these are results that you may see when you propagate succulents. 

Once the plant reaches about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) tall and there’s no leaf yet, then it’s time to plant it. You will need to use a small shovel or dig it up with your hand to do this. Go as deep as possible to avoid interfering with the root system or stressing it out. Then plant the succulent in fast/well-draining succulent soil.

Propagating Succulents – Via Offsets

It’s easy to propagate offsets. Because succulents already have a root system, it’s the quickest and most straightforward way to reproduce them. So you’re all set if you’ve got your succulent produce offsets.

Simply separate the offsets using your trimmers. To separate them from the mature main succulent, take the main succulent and trim where needed. It should only take a couple of trims to separate and release them. You can also gently pull both of them apart simultaneously to separate them. 

This will allow them to separate; be careful not to pull too hard or at the exact moment.

It’s time to start planting after you’ve removed your offset from the mature succulent plant. Since the offset already has a root system, you don’t need to wait for a callus to form. Instead, water the offset soon after planting it in fast/well-draining succulent soil—water once or twice a week, or if the soil seems or feels parched.

Every day, for at least six hours, place and grow it in full sunshine. Ensure it has some shade, so it doesn’t get sunburned and stays healthy. Some offsets, for whatever reason, lack a root structure and appear to be ordinary succulent cuttings. If this is the case, simply propagate it as you would succulent cuttings. This is something you’ve already figured out.

When propagating succulents offsets without roots, carefully follow the instructions you have.

Cactus and succulents collection

Ready? Set! Grow!

Succulents keep water in their leaves, stems, and roots. This makes them great for gardeners looking to add a little greenery without much effort because succulents require very minimal care when it comes to watering. However, suppose you’re planning to plant several different types of succulents together or get creative with your design ideas. 

In that case, one aspect of growing succulents can be tricky: propagation.

Though propagating succulents can be tricky, it’s not impossible. In fact, with a bit of know-how and some careful planning, you can have an army of succulent plants in no time. There are three main methods for propagating succulents: leaf cuttings, division, and rooting succulent offsets.

Leaf Cutting is the most common and easiest way to propagate succulents. Simply remove a healthy leaf from the mother plant and lay it flat on potting soil or sand. Make sure the cut end of the leaf is facing down and then water well. New roots will grow from the base of the leaf in a short time.

You can apply this method for plants that have grown too large or propagate multiple plants simultaneously. To divide a succulent, use a sharp knife to cut it into two or more pieces, ensuring each has at least one root attached.

When detaching the leaf from the succulent, you must make a clean break. That is, no plant matter should remain on the leaf or stem. You don’t need to coax Succulent leaves for them to fall off; therefore, this isn’t difficult to accomplish. Grab the leaf close to the root and gently wriggle it from side to side to ensure that you achieve a clean break. There shouldn’t be a lot of “pulling.”

The mother plant and the leaf have a wound now that you have part of it. You must allow it to “callus.” Simply have the leaf in a dry spot for a week, like a dish on the windowsill. During this time, avoid exposing it to water since this will slow or prevent the callus from forming and allow bacteria or fungi to infect the succulent.

Once it has calluses, restart watering and treating the mother plant as you normally would. At this time, the leaf requires no particular care. Again, wait until roots emerge before watering the leaf propagation. 

They can’t drink water without roots; therefore, it’s futile. You may place the leaf on the ground at any time, but do not attempt to bury it (or its roots). It will be handled by the succulent.

Attempt to keep the roots moist once they appear. Mist the leaf every few days using a spray bottle. Once you plant your succulents, remember one crucial point. Water them when they are completely dry. Most plants require moisture throughout. However, this does not apply to succulents. The soil should be dry, crumbly, or dirty before watering again.

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