Lucky for us succulent-lovers, it’s easy to grow a whole collection of these beautiful plants through propagation. Plant propagation is the process of creating new plants from a plant’s leaves, stem, seeds, or other cuttings. So whenever you see sad, fallen leaves surrounding your potted succulent, it’s actually a reason to rejoice! You’ve got yourself some baby succulents on the way!
Materials You Need: A nursery tray, soil, magazine paper, and succulent leaves
When your nursery tray is all wiped down and ready to go, lay about six thick sheets of ripped-out magazine paper down until the tray’s holes are covered. Use about three sheets to cover the top half and three sheets to cover the bottom half, give or take. There may be some overlay, but that’s okay!
Now it’s soil time! You might consider using a pre-made soil, which has great texture to help keep the succulent leaves dry and has lots of nutrients to grow strong, new plants!
Take about 10 large handfuls of soil and make a mound in the center of the nursery tray. This will give about an inch or so of depth, but feel free to use as much soil as you would like or need to cover the tray. Push the mound down flat and spread the soil to all four corners of the tray, making sure it is even and flat. Since we want the succulent leaves to lay flat on the soil, pluck out any large rocks or twigs disturbing the even surface.
Now it’s time to break out your succulent leaves! One by one, take your succulent leaves and place them in the palm of your hand. You’ll notice the leaf having a natural curve, which some call the “belly” of the leaf. Place the belly of your succulent leaf facing down in the soil. Now repeat this process until you have about 7-9 rows of succulent leaves belly down, ordering the succulent leaves however you choose—there is no particular order to follow! Get creative!
Once you have placed all of your succulent leaves, place your tray in a bright, but shaded, area where the succulents will be sure to receive enough light. There is no need to water your succulent leaves just yet. Do your best to keep the succulent tray dry by avoiding rain and frost.
Now comes the waiting game! It will be a few weeks before you start to see any pink roots growing out of your succulent leaves. Once you see some roots sprouting, mist the leaves with a spray bottle of water about every three days or so. If the weather is particularly dry, spray them a little more often. At this stage, we don’t want to soak the dirt because the leaves could retain too much water, become mushy, and rot—which we do not want!
It will take a few months until you actually start to see a full-formed succulent growing, but when you do, it will make the whole process worthwhile knowing you grew a whole new succulent from a discarded leaf!
If you are propagating in a tray, and your mother leaf is dry and/gone, you can now move it to its own pot to keep growing. as it outgrows each pot, you can re-pot it to allow it to keep growing and growing.
Succulent propagation is extremely fulfilling and more than a little addictive! Don’t tell us we didn’t we warn you! Good Luck!
Check back with Tampa Succulents for more blogs on growing and caring for your succulents!