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How to Propagate Succulents from Leaf Cuttings

Succulents have their own built in water-reservoirs, (their succulent leaves, stems or roots) which means that they are easy to grow new plants from.

Here I’ll explain the easiest plants to propagate – leaf succulents. These include echeveria, graptopetalum, pachyphytum, sedum and crassula.

  • make sure your plant is healthy and that the leaves are firm and undamaged
  • gently grip the leaf with your fingers near to the stem and detach by twisting or rocking from side to side. Some will come off easier than others, but make sure you remove the whole leaf – if it tears try another one
  • place the removed leaf (leaves) in a clean, dry shallow container and place in a bright position for a few days to allow the wound to heal or callous
  • half-fill a small half or quarter seed tray with seed compost, vermiculite or perlite and level the surface. Gently push the wounded end of the leaves into the soil so they are sticking up. You can create rows of leaves if you like. Leave in a bright, but not overly sunny, and dry place
  • after a few days, mist or water your cuttings lightly making sure that the compost stays moist but not wet. Repeat every few days. You can check on your cutting by tugging gently after a week or two. If the cutting is firm – the roots have developed, if not push it back in and wait a bit longer
  • leaves will root faster in the spring
  • a shoot will appear from the top side of each leaf and roots from the bottom. Wait for a few months and when the plants are large enough, very gently break up the soil trying not to damage the roots and repot into individual pots
In winter, the rule of thumb is the colder the environment the plants are in - the drier you should keep them.