In general, succulents can be propagated in a number of different ways. Some succulent species can be propagated by leaf cuttings; others by stem cuttings, seeds (read all about it here) and offsets or offshoots. In this post we talk about how long does it take to propagate succulents by leaf cuttings, which is the most common method of propagation among succulent growers.
There are currently thousands of species under the succulent umbrella, and each species grow at a rate that differs from the rest. In the same way, different succulent species have different propagation rate be it through leaves, stems, seeds or offsets and offshoots. Technically, however, succulents grow slower compared to other common houseplants.
What Affects a Succulent’s Propagation Rate?
Besides the natural growth rate of each succulent species, the presence of sunlight, water, soil, and season, also play a significant role on the propagation rate of the succulent.
The dormancy period of the succulent in question is a huge factor as well – you will not see much growth in winter-dormant succulents if you propagate them during winter. Therefore, it is important to first learn whether the succulent you want to propagate is winter or summer dormant. It is good to know, however, that you can have success propagating succulents regardless of the season.
Below is a list of winter dormant and summer dormant succulents:
Summer Grower/Winter Dormant Succulents
Winter Grower/Summer Dormant Succulents
How Long Does It Take to Propagate Succulents through Leaf Cuttings?
Below are some examples of leaf propagation succulents at different stages of life.
1. Pachyphytum Compactum ‘Little Jewel’
Pachyphytum compactum is a short stemmed, tightly branched, succulent with closely set rosette near the crown. This succulent tend to grow both in height and in width, giving origin to a rounded shrub. Leaves are distinctively patterned with lots of nice colour (especially when stressed by cold or drought).
Stems: Compact, rarely above 10-12 cm (or longer if pendent especially in cultivation)
Rosettes: Of 20-60 very close leaves set at right angles to the stem 2,5-5 cm across.
Leaves: Very fleshy, short cylindrical to chubby pointed, but somewhat flattened grey-green heavily veined with white and more or less purplish, somewhat glaucous, 2 to 2,5 cm long; The imprint from the neighbouring leaves gives the plant a distinctive appearance.
Flowers: Its short flower stalk bears but few flowers, dark red with greenish tips with typical scale-like appendages.
Blooming season: Spring.
Remarks: Leaves easily fall off the stem, but soon throw out roots from the base and form young plantlets, a means of propagation characteristic of the Crassulaceae.
Most Pachyphytum can be easily propagated from leaf cuttings, although a few are better from seeds or stem cuttings. To propagate a leaf cutting, place the individual leaf in a potting soil for succulents and cover the dish until the new plant sprouts.
2. Echeveria ‘Cubic Frost’
Echeveria ‘Cubic Frost’ is a stunning succulent, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, with cool lilac to lilac-pink leaves. It grows quickly and can produce offsets freely, creating attractive clusters of rosettes that can get up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. The leaves are distinctively upturned, pointy, symmetrical and fleshy. In spring to summer, it produces lovely, orange and bell-shaped flowers.
3. x Graptoveria ‘Bashful’
x Graptoveria ‘Bashful’ is a sun-loving succulent with stemless, clump-forming rosettes, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, of thick, chubby and minty green leaves. It turns a bright, translucent pink from direct sunlight and cool temperatures. If grown in the shade, it will lose that coloration and fade to its original green. The flowers are pink and appear on long arching stems.
x Graptoveria are generally easy to propagate, by seeds, leaf cuttings or offsets. Any rosette that breaks off has the potential to root and start a new plant. Even a leaf that drops off will root below the parent plant and produce a new rosette quickly. The new plant feeds off the leaf until it shrivels up and falls off. By then the new little plant has rooted and sprouted new leaves. Read more about propagating x Graptoveria here.
4. Graptopetalum ‘Purple Delight’
Graptopetalum ‘Purple Delight’ is a perennial succulent plant and native to Mexico and Arizona. They grow in a rosette. They are not frost hardy but in frost free regions, make excellent rockery plants. Also known as Graptopetalum ‘Snow White’.
They love full sun, light and free-draining soil, very little water, and are not frost-hardy.
They can be propagated easily by separating offsets, but also by leaf cuttings, and by seed if they are not hybrids. Read more about propagating Graptopetalum here.
5. Echeveria Melaco
Echeveria ‘Melaco’ is an attractive succulent plant, up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall, with shiny, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, brownish-red rosette with a green center. The flowers are bell-shaped and orange in color.
6. Echeveria ‘Hakuhou’
Echeveria ‘Hakuhou’ is a Japanese hybrid cross between Echeveria pallida and Echeveria laui. It is a beautiful, rosette forming succulent with broad leaves that vary in shade from green, yellow to orange depending on the season. The flowers are orange in color.
7. x Pachyveria ‘Orpet’
x Pachyveria ‘Orpet’ is a Korean hybrid between Echeveria and Pachyphytum which is both readily available and easy to grow. It’s versatile, thriving in the (frost free) garden and in containers.
Most x Pachyveria can be easily propagated from leaf cuttings or stem cuttings. Read more about propagating x Pachyveria here.
How Long Does it Take to Propagate Succulents?
In general, it takes about 2 weeks to grow roots by leaf propagation. In about 8 weeks, new leaves will be formed and can be transplanted to a small pot if desired.
For stem propagation, it generally takes about 4 weeks for roots to form, sometimes longer.
For propagation through offsets, it generally takes about 4-10 weeks for the roots to grow once the pups have calloused over.
Seed propagation takes the longest time – succulent seeds take between 3 weeks to a year just to germinate. Thereafter, it takes a very long time before the seedling becomes a full-sized adult.