How to Plant Succulent Cuttings

Overview

Succulents thrive in pots and beds, planted indoors or out. These fleshy-leaved plants are low-maintenance, requiring little water or nutrients to thrive. Succulents store water and other nutrients in their leaves, making them similar to some cacti. Succulents are often propagated from stem or leaf cuttings. The cuttings quickly root and grow into a new plant. Because of the simplicity of propagating succulents, they provide a suitable plant for beginning home plant propagators to practice taking and rooting cuttings.

Step 1

Cut leaf from the succulent. Leave ¼ inch of stem attached to the leaf blade, if possible. Some succulents, such as jade plants, do not have true stems and just the leaf is sufficient.

Step 2

Lay the leaf on a sheet of paper in a well-ventilated area out of direct light. Allow the cut end of the cutting to dry and scab over, which takes two to three days.

Step 3

Fill a 3- to 5-inch-diameter pot with a vermiculite- or sand-based potting mix. Water the mix until the excess water drains freely from the bottom, ensuring the potting mix is evenly moist throughout.

Step 4

Insert the stem or bottom of the leaf cutting into the potting mix. Push it deep enough into the mix that it stands upright on its own.

Step 5

Insert two wooden skewers into the potting mix on either side of the cutting. Place the pot in a plastic bag, which helps retain moisture, and secure it closed. The skewers prevent the bag from touching the cutting.

Step 6

Set the pot in a warm, brightly lit area that is not in direct sunlight. Leave the succulent alone for two to three weeks as it is setting roots.

Step 7

Remove the plastic bag. Tug gently on the cutting and check for resistance that indicates rooting is occurring. If there is no resistance, return the pot to the bag for an additional week or two.

Tips and Warnings

  • Cuttings that aren't allowed to scab over are more prone to rot during the rooting process.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Paper
  • Pot
  • Potting mix
  • Skewers
  • Plastic bag

References

  • Washington State University Extension: Growing and Caring for Succulents
  • Purdue University Extension: New Plants from Cuttings
Keywords: planting succulent cuttings, propagating succulent plants, rooting stem cuttings

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.