In North America, some varieties of succulents can cost a pretty penny depending on how rare they are. Most collectors will buy one of each type of succulent and simply propagate it when it becomes fully grown. This is their way of adding to their collection for free.
Most succulents are easy to take care of and propagate, but some are definitely easier than others. In this article, we will discuss the easiest succulents to propagate.
How to Propagate Succulents?
Do research about your plant.
Nowadays, identifying and reading up about the type of succulent you have will only take you a few minutes. Type your succulent’s name into any search engine and you can be well-informed about the do’s and don’ts of caring for the plant.
One such question you can get answers to is how to propagate your succulents. The internet is a vast library of knowledge, and most gardeners and succulent enthusiasts are very open to answering questions from beginners.
Join local Facebook groups with other plant collectors. Not only can they help in identifying your plant, but they will also be able to provide helpful tips and tricks.
Choose a full grown plant.
Even immature succulents will grow new plants from their fallen leaves, but it is always better to pick a bigger and more mature plant with large leaves and plenty of branches to choose from. The bigger the leaf you choose, the healthier the new plant will be.
Let the plant dry out.
This is not necessary, but the leaves are easier to remove from the stem if the plant is thirsty. An overwatered succulent’s leaves will fall off because it has too much water in it. These plump leaves will not grow new plants.
Remove only a few leaves.
Make sure you do not get too ahead of yourself and pick too many leaves off. A few leaves from the plant will do, about three or four. This is advisable because you do not want to stress out the original plant. Picking too many leaves only for the propagation not to work would be wasteful.
Propagate during the growing season.
This is where your research will come in handy. You should know when your plant’s growing season is. A plant’s growing season is when it grows the fastest. Some plants grow in the summer and are dormant in the winter, while other plants are the opposite.
When succulents are dormant, you will have a difficult time propagating.
Choose the bottom leaves.
The leaves at the bottom of the succulent are the most mature ones. This is most noticeable in plants that grow in a rosette formation, because the leaves at the bottom are the easiest to pull out whole. If you need to, remove the plant from the soil so it is easier to pull the leaves off whole. The ease with which the leaves are removed will depend on the type of plant. Make sure the leaves you pull off are not torn, broken, damaged, or still partially stuck to the stem.
Take the whole leaves you removed and place them on a towel or a tray to keep them dry. Place the towel or tray on a windowsill. The new plants will appear in a couple of weeks.
Plant your new plants when they are ready.
If there is an obvious new plant and some roots, you can plant it in a succulent soil mix and slowly introduce it to the sun. It is best to start with morning sun as this is the most gentle for young plants. Soon you can start watering your new succulents too. Just make sure their pots have drainage holes so they do not get overwatered.
The Easiest Succulents to Propagate
Sempervivum “Hens and chicks”
This is a cold-resistant succulent that is able to grow well outdoors, even in northern states. The main plant, or the “hen” will produce the new plants, or “chicks” by itself. When the new plants start growing roots, you can separate them from the main plant and put them in their own pot. Use a sharp knife to cut the new plant from the main plant.
This is probably the most popular succulent in the world. The plant can produce baby plants along its side, but it can also be propagated using its leaves. The leaf option is doable, but propagating it through its offshoots is much easier. You can check if a baby plant is ready to be removed from the main plant by removing the dirt and checking to see if the baby plant has formed its own roots. Transfer it to its own pot with succulent soil mix. Make sure the pot has drainage holes.
Kalanchoe “Mother of Thousands”
This succulent gets its name from the fact that it can actually make baby plants right on its leaves. This plant can reproduce very quickly and is a great choice for an indoor plant. When the baby plants are ready to grow on their own, they will simply fall off of the main plant. You can just pick them up and plant them in their own pot. This plant really is the perfect succulent for a beginner.
When the leaves of this succulent fall off, they will start to root and grow new plants themselves. You can help it along by taking the fallen leaves and placing them atop damp succulent soil. You can use leaves or cuttings to propagate this plant since they will both grow well.
String of Pearls
This succulent may be tricky to grow but it is fairly easy to propagate. When you propagate this plant, you cut off a four inch long strand and place the cut end directly into the soil. Do not expose the new plant to direct sunlight; instead, place it in a shaded area. Make sure you do not overwater it.
Sedum “Jelly Bean Plant”
Much like the burro’s tail, this succulent is easy to propagate. You simply need to remove some leaves and place them on top of damp succulent soil. The roots will form after a couple of weeks and soon enough, you will have new jelly bean plant babies.
Most succulents are simple to propagate, but some are much easier to propagate than others.
You need to choose a mature plant that has big leaves which you can remove easily from the bottom layers. Let the leaves dry out and wait for the roots and baby plants to come in before you can plant them in soil. Examples of easy succulents to propagate are the Sempervivum, aloe vera, kalanchoe, burro’s tail, string of pearls, and the jelly bean plant.
Image: istockphoto.com / PUGUN SJ