How to Propagate Succulents

June 29, 2023 By Megan Taylor
How to Propagate Succulents?


Succulents are beloved for their striking beauty and ability to thrive in various conditions. Propagating succulents is an exciting and cost-effective way to expand your collection and share these charming plants with others. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to propagate succulents through different methods. From leaf and stem cuttings to offsets and division, you will learn the techniques and caring tips to successfully grow new succulent plants.

How to Propagate Succulents?

Step 1: Gathering the Necessary Materials

Before you begin propagating succulents, gather the essential materials. You will need clean and sharp scissors or a utility knife for taking cuttings, a suitable well-draining potting mix, small pots or containers, a spray bottle for misting, and rooting hormone (optional) to encourage root development. Ensure that your materials are clean and sterile to prevent the spread of diseases.

How to Propagate Succulents?

Step 2: Leaf Propagation

One of the most common methods of propagating succulents is through leaf cuttings. Select healthy leaves from your succulent plant and gently twist or cut them off near the stem. Allow the cut ends to dry and callous over for a few days. Place the leaf cuttings on top of moist well-draining soil, mist them occasionally to maintain moisture, and avoid direct sunlight. After a few weeks, new roots and tiny plantlets will start to form. Once the new plants have developed, you can transfer them to individual pots.

Step 3: Stem Propagation

Stem cuttings are another popular method of succulent propagation. Choose a healthy stem from the parent plant and cut it just below a node using clean scissors or a utility knife. Allow the cut end to dry and callous over for a few days. Insert the cut end into a well-draining potting mix, ensuring that at least one node is buried in the soil. Mist the cutting lightly and place it in a bright, indirect light location. After a few weeks, the cutting will develop roots and begin to grow. At this stage, you can transplant it into its own pot.

Step 4: Offset Propagation

Many succulent species produce offsets or “pups” that can be easily propagated. Locate the offsets that have grown near the base of the parent plant. Gently separate them from the main plant using your fingers or a clean knife. Allow the offsets to dry and callous over for a day or two. Plant them in well-draining soil, ensuring that the base of the offset is in contact with the soil. Mist the soil lightly and place the pot in a bright location. With proper care, the offsets will take root and grow into new individual plants.

Step 5: Division

Some succulents, such as agaves and aloe vera, can be propagated through division. Carefully remove the parent plant from its pot and gently separate the offshoots or clumps that have formed. Ensure that each divided section has its own roots and foliage. Plant each division in a well-draining soil mix, mist the soil lightly, and provide bright, indirect light. Water sparingly until the divisions establish themselves and show signs of growth.

How to Propagate Succulents?

Caring for Newly Propagated Succulents

  • Provide the right amount of light: Newly propagated succulents need bright but indirect light to prevent sunburn. Gradually introduce them to direct sunlight over time.
  • Water sparingly: Succulents are drought-tolerant plants, so avoid overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and water deeply but infrequently.
  • Use well-draining soil: Succulents thrive in well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Choose a potting mix specifically formulated for succulents or create your own mix using a combination of potting soil, sand, and perlite.
  • Maintain optimal temperature: Most succulents prefer temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C). Protect them from extreme cold or heat, especially during the initial rooting stage.
  • Avoid fertilizing initially: Newly propagated succulents do not require fertilizer right away. Wait until they are established and actively growing before introducing a diluted succulent-specific fertilizer.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases: Keep an eye out for common succulent pests like mealybugs and aphids. Treat any infestations promptly and ensure good airflow around the plants to prevent diseases.


1. How long does it take for succulent cuttings to root?

The time it takes for succulent cuttings to root can vary depending on various factors such as the succulent species, environmental conditions, and the propagation method used. Generally, leaf cuttings can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to develop roots. Stem cuttings and offsets may root and establish themselves within a similar timeframe. Patience is key when propagating succulents, as they have different growth rates and may require varying durations to root successfully.

2. Do all succulents propagate easily?

While many succulents are relatively easy to propagate, not all species have the same level of success when it comes to propagation. Some succulents, like Echeveria and Sedum, are known to propagate readily from leaf and stem cuttings. On the other hand, certain succulents have more specific propagation requirements and may be more challenging to propagate successfully. It’s always a good idea to research the specific propagation techniques for the succulent species you are working with to maximize your chances of success.

3. Can I propagate succulents in water?

While it is possible to propagate certain succulents in water, it is generally not the recommended method. Succulents are adapted to arid environments and are prone to rotting when exposed to excessive moisture. Water propagation is more suitable for plants that naturally thrive in water, such as pothos or philodendron. For succulents, it is best to propagate them directly in a well-draining potting mix, as this mimics their natural growing conditions and reduces the risk of root rot.


Propagating succulents is a rewarding and enjoyable process that allows you to grow new plants from existing ones. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this comprehensive guide and applying the caring tips, you can successfully propagate a variety of succulents. Experiment with different propagation methods and watch as your succulent collection expands, bringing beauty and joy to your indoor or outdoor space.

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