Propagating Succulents in 4 Ways: Instructions & Expert Tips

Succulents are all the rage. But you don't always have to buy new plants to decorate your home. Because propagating succulents is very easy. We'll show you how to do it here.

propagating succulents

The succulent family consists of many different species. As numerous as the variations are the methods of propagating succulents. Some species produce small versions of themselves. Others can easily be propagated from cuttings. For this, part of the plant or just a leaf is rooted. Read here how exactly it works.

You will find out in this article:

  • Propagating succulents from offsets
  • Propagating succulents from stem cuttings
  • Propagating succulents from leaf cuttings
  • Propagating succulents from seeds

Propagating Succulents from Offsets

Some succulents are particularly easy to propagate because they form offsets on their own that can be separated or cut off. For example, the Haworthia, Echeveria, and Sempervivum (houseleek) form such offsets.

This is how to propagate succulents from offsets:

Example 1: Propagating Haworthia from offsets

This mother plant of the Haworthia has developed many daughter rosettes over the years. In order to grow a new plant from it, you must first remove a rosette as far down as possible with a twisting movement.

Now plant the offset into the soil and wait a few days before watering. Continue to care for the young plant as usual. As soon as new shoots start to form, you can be sure that the daughter plant has taken root.

Example 2: Propagating houseleek from offsets

This houseleek has also produced a few pups. To obtain another plant, simply remove an offset by twisting with your hand.

Now plant the offset into the soil and wait a few days before watering. Correct potting is difficult due to the flat bottom. For roots to form quickly, it is best to keep the soil moist at all times.

Propagating Succulents from Stem Cuttings

Many succulents can also be propagated by stem cuttings. To do this, simply cut off the tip of the plant at its stem, then either root in water or planted directly into the soil. This form of propagation is suitable, for example, for the Jade Plant or the popular String of Hearts, which also belongs to the genus of succulents.

This is how to propagate succulents from stem cuttings:

Example 1: Propagating String of Hearts from cuttings

The String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) belongs to the succulent family and can be easily propagated from cuttings. To do this, simply cut off a piece of the plant using a leaf node (see picture above left). A leaf node is a point on the stem where a thickening forms: it looks like a node.

Then you can simply put the cutting in water and let it take root here or place it directly in the substrate, where it will form roots after a while (see picture above). By the way: Many hobby gardeners plant the cutting in the same pot as the mother plant – this makes the plant bushier. If you want to grow a new String of Hearts plant, it is a good idea to put several cuttings together in a pot.

Example 2: Propagating aeonium from cuttings

The tree aeonium (Aeonium arboreum) can also be propagated using cuttings. To do this, simply cut off a rosette along with a piece of the stem (see picture above). By the way: Use a sharp knife that you have disinfected beforehand. This is so that there will be no infections in the cuttings and mother plants.

Leave the cut cutting for at least 3 days so that the cut can dry. Otherwise, it can cause rot. If you want, you can also “seal” the cut with cinnamon. Cinnamon has an antibacterial effect and is therefore very popular with hobby gardeners to seal cuts and thus prevent infections.

A few days later, you can plant your cutting in moist, sandy substrate. Make sure that the substrate is always slightly damp, but not wet. This is the fastest way to form new roots.

Example 3: Propagating thick leaf plants by cuttings

You can also use this method on succulents that do not form individual rosettes. With plants like this thick leaf succulent, you simply cut off a shoot with a few leaves (see picture above) and the propagation works as well.

If you have cut off a shoot, you can stick it directly into the substrate and wait a few days before watering. Here it will soon form new roots and continue to sprout. If you want to have less work, you can also let the cuttings root in water. By the way: you don't have to worry about your mother plant with this type of propagation. New shoots will soon form at the cut area.

Propagating Succulents from Leaf Cuttings

Propagation by leaf cuttings is also a very easy way to make two or more new houseplants. Echeveria, jade plants, or sedums are suitable for propagation by leaf cuttings in succulents.

This is how to propagate succulents from leaf cuttings:

Propagating jade plant from leaf cuttings

The jade plant is very robust and is one of the most popular indoor plants. To start new plants from it, you can either cut stem cuttings (see above) or propagate the plant from leaf cuttings.

For a leaf cutting, you simply have to twist off a leaf from the plant as near as possible to the stem. It's actually best done with your fingers! Now put the leaf of the jade plant aside and allow the cut to dry – preferably over 3 days.

Now you can “plant” the leaf cuttings of the jade plant. To do this, place the leaves on a shallow dish with soil. A plant saucer, for example, is suitable as a vessel. You should keep the substrate in the container moderately moist. It shouldn't dry out completely, but it shouldn't be wet either – the best way to do this is to spray the substrate with water every 2-3 days.

You can now place the dish with the leaf near your window. Sufficient light is important when creating new roots. However, too much light leads to burns.

Propagating Succulents from Seeds

The time it takes for the individual seeds to germinate can vary greatly. We advise you to always use fresh seeds from the previous year when propagating succulents. Since not all succulents in indoor culture will fruit reliably, you can also fall back on purchased seeds.

This is how to propagate succulents from seeds:

propagating succulents by seeds

Start sowing in spring, when the lighting conditions are better and the days are getting longer again. Sow the seeds in small pots and press them lightly. Then put some seed compost over it, just a little and preferably in sifted form.

Place the pots in a partially shaded location. The seeds of the succulents should never dry out completely until they germinate, but experience has shown that it is better not to water them from above, but to place the pots in bowls filled with water.

The best germination temperature for succulents is between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius (a little cooler at night). They also need high humidity. To do this, we recommend placing the pots in a mini greenhouse or keeping them under foil. The only important thing is that you ventilate daily and remove the cover as soon as the seeds germinate.

Suggested read: How long does it take to propagate succulents?