Propagating succulents (plants with thick fleshy stems or leaves) from leaves is easy and requires only a few steps and equipment. Once healthy leaves are removed, new roots will grow from those leaves, and new plants will form from these roots. Succulents make beautiful gifts and are a great way to welcome new neighbors. These plants can also be exchanged with friends or fellow planters. Propagating new succulents from leaves is easy, but not all leaves can be used. So you should try to use at least two leaves at a time.
Part 1 of 3: Picking and Drying Leaves
Step 1. Choose the right time
The best time to propagate succulents is when the plant forms long woody stems at the bottom. This often happens because the plant is not getting enough light so the plant grows taller and its leaves will grow outward in order to get more light.
- Succulents with long stems are called long-legged plants.
- Take the leaves that are at the bottom of the plant, and leave the young, small leaves at the top.
Step 2. Choose healthy leaves
If you choose healthy parent leaves, your chances of success in reproducing the succulent will be greater. To select healthy leaves for propagation, look for leaves that:
- Has a uniform color and does not change color
- Not torn or torn
- Has no spots or spots
- Looks full and solid
Step 3. Pick the leaves
The best way to pick leaves is to pick them gently with your fingers. Hold a healthy leaf with your index and thumb. Hold the leaf firmly, but gently near the base of the leaf that is attached to the stem. Twist it back and forth, and gently rock it back and forth until the leaves come off.
Hold the base of the leaf so as not to damage it. The entire petiole should be detached from the stem. Otherwise, the leaf will not be able to live
Step 4. Let the wound on the leaf dry
Once picked, place the leaves on a towel or paper to bake bread. Dry the leaves by placing them in a warm place, but not in direct sunlight. Leave the leaves there for 3 to 7 days, until the wound heals and a callus or scab forms on the part of the leaf that was previously attached to the stem.
If the wound hasn't healed and you stick a leaf where it was cut into the ground, the leaf will rot and die before it grows into a new plant
Part 2 of 3: Growing New Roots
Step 1. Dip the part of the leaf that has formed callus into root growth hormone
Fill the bottle cap with root growth hormone. Wipe the tips of the leaves that have callus with a damp towel to wet them. Dip the tips of the moistened leaves in root growth hormone. Make a small hole in the planting medium, and immediately plug the tip of the leaf into the hole. Compact the soil around the leaves using your fingers.
Root growth hormone isn't really a must if you want to propagate succulents from leaves, but it will speed up root growth time and increase your chances of success
Step 2. Place the leaves on the planting medium
Prepare a shallow container and fill it with soil for cacti or succulent plants. You can also use damp sand. Place the leaves on the planting medium with the tip of the leaf with the callus facing up and away from the soil.
- It is important to use soil specifically for cacti or succulents because these plants need soil that dries quickly in order to grow well.
- You can also make your own growing medium by mixing equal proportions of sand, perlite, and potting soil.
Step 3. Place the leaves in a place that gets a lot of indirect sunlight
Most succulents are desert plants. This means that mature plants need a lot of sun to grow properly. However, if you propagate a succulent from leaves, you should not place it in direct sunlight, until the leaves have turned into a new plant.
Place the leaf clippings near a warm window out of direct sunlight, or protected by a tree or window shade
Step 4. Moisten the leaves daily until new roots grow
Rooted succulents require slightly more water than mature plants, but over-watering can cause the plant to rot and die. Don't water it, but use a spray bottle to moisten the soil daily. You only need to wet the top of the planting medium.
If you live in a very humid area, you may not need to water it at all while the leaves are growing roots
Step 5. Cover the roots with soil
After about 4 weeks have passed, small pink roots will grow from the cut leaves. Sprinkle a thin layer of soil over the roots to prevent them from drying out.
Once the roots are covered with soil, the leaves will continue to grow into new succulent plants. When the leaves start to grow on the new plant, you can transplant it into a pot
Part 3 of 3: Moving and Planting New Succulents
Step 1. Remove the parent leaf
Eventually, each new plant will have roots and the new succulent will begin to form its own leaves. The parent leaves used to propagate new plants will wither. Gently twist and shake the parent leaf to remove it from the new plant. Be careful not to damage the roots of the new plant.
When the parent leaves wilt, it's time to transplant each succulent into its own pot
Step 2. Prepare a small pot that has good drainage
Start with a 5 cm pot with a drainage hole in the bottom. Succulents grow better in small pots than large ones. Place a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot to allow the water to drain properly. Fill the pot with planting media for factory-made or homemade succulent plants.
- The ideal growing medium for succulents is a mixture of sand, perlite, and soil in equal proportions.
- Each new succulent plant should be planted in its own pot.
Step 3. Move the new succulent
Use your finger to make a hole in the center of the planting medium. Place the new plant in the hole and cover the roots with soil.
About a year later, this new succulent plant will reach its normal size. When this plant grows, you can transplant it into a larger pot
Step 4. Water if the soil is dry
If new plants have formed and moved, stop wetting the plants and switch to a watering schedule for mature succulents. Allow the planting medium to dry completely before you water, and only water when necessary.
When watering succulents, do so thoroughly so that the soil is completely wet
Step 5. Place the plant in a location that gets a lot of sunlight
Once the new plant is transplanted into a pot, place it in a warm place that gets lots of direct sunlight. An east-facing window is a good place to get direct sunlight, as long as nothing is blocking it.