How to Grow Succulents from Cuttings in 4 Simple Steps

In this post, we show you how to grow succulents from cuttings of your existing ones. Although succulents are much easier to grow than other house plants, certain steps need to be followed if you want to produce a healthy plant. The process of propagating succulents can either be done using their leaves or cuttings. The type of succulent will determine whether the “leaf” or “cut” method is used (Some species like Echeverias and Sedums can be propagated using both methods).

how to grow succulents from cuttings

How to Grow Succulents from Cuttings?

grow succulents from cuttings

Growing succulents from cuttings is simple and involves minimal work and materials. There are 4 simple steps involved in growing succulents from cuttings – removing the leaves/cuttings, letting them dry, planting the cuttings in soil, watering them, and waiting it out.

Removing a Leaf for Propagation

To remove a leaf from a succulent, gently pull and twist it off its stem. You want to make sure that there are no remnants on the stem. It is better to pull off a portion of the stem with the leaf, than to damage the leaf during extraction. We’ve tried breaking off the leaf during propagation and the succulent always died.

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Gently twist and tug at the base of the leaf, without breaking the leaf
how to propagate succulents
Clean cut of the leaf

There’s always an option of buying a succulent leaf for propagation if you’re not a fan of removing leaves from your succulent plants. This method is inexpensive as well. But if you want to learn how to grow succulents from cuttings, read on.

Removing a Cutting for Propagation

To remove a cutting, you will need a pair of pruning shears or sharp scissors. Simply cut off a piece of the succulent from its stem. You can either cut off a new offshoot or the top (both methods work). For those that are familiar, it’s the same as cutting a piece of aloe vera.

grow succulents from cuttings
succulent propagation timeline

Dry Your Leaf or Cutting

Immediately after extracting the leaf or cutting, set it out to dry before proceeding with the next step. You will want to leave it to dry over a course of one to three days until it scabs over, depending on the sunlight and heat intensity.

how to grow succulents from cuttings
Succulent cuttings and leaves left to dry on a tray

It is important to allow the cutting or leaf to scab over, as it might drown due to excessive absorption of water during the watering process later. It is perfectly fine to allow it to shrivel up a little bit. When that happens, we can proceed to the watering process.

Planting succulent cuttings in pots

For leaves, position them on top of the soil, and make sure their ends do not touch the soil.

There are other methods like positioning the cut end of the leaf in soil. We’ve tested it but without success. The leaves grew roots but never progressed to the next phase and rotted.

For cuttings, they are a lot easier as they are already almost a full-grown succulent. What is needed is just to plant the cutting in soil.

Watering Your Leaf or Cutting

Leaves and cuttings need to be watered every day, as opposed to full-grown succulents. Although this is the case, you want to avoid over-watering them as well as they will turn brown and die.

Here is what we’ve discovered that works best.

Water the leaves using a spray bottle until the top of the soil is wet. Repeat the process whenever the soil dries out.

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Watering succulent leaf propagation with a spray bottle

As in the case of leaves, you should water the cuttings every time the soil dries out. Once you get used to the watering frequency, you will notice new roots starting to grow from the cuttings which will be followed by new leaves within a few weeks.

Wait it Out

New roots and rosettes will form on cuttings and leaves, but it does take some time. Therefore, waiting it out patiently is part of how to grow succulents from cuttings. Other factors that affect the amount of time required are the area temperature, time of the year, air humidity, and the type of succulent you are working with.

All that said, results can be seen as early as 2 to 3 weeks.

easiest succulents to propagate
Succulent babies!

Growing Succulents from Cuttings Success Rate

Do not worry if some of your leaves or cuttings die – in our experiments more than half didn’t make it through. It is perfectly normal to lose some as each cutting is different.

Keep in mind to always make sure the roots are covered with soil. This is to keep the succulents from drying out, hampering its growth.