How to Propagate Succulents: 3 Methods

In just a few years, they have become one of the favorite plants of gardeners for many reasons. One of them is, without a doubt, that propagating succulents is incredibly easy. An easy way to replicate that plant that we like so much or even to take advantage of a broken stem due to some mishap. Because that is one of the benefits of succulents: that we need little to be able to enjoy them in as many pots or spaces as we want.

Propagating succulents is, by definition, multiplying a plant. An ideal gardening task if we want, for example, to give away one of our specimens. But it is not the only reason to consider it. It is the ideal technique to dress a rockery with them or, for example, to make a vertical garden with pallets. We each have our goal. The really important thing is to know how to do it correctly.

And no: there is no single way to propagate succulents. Actually, we can do it in different ways. And they all have one thing in common: how incredibly simple it is.


You don’t have to be a gardening expert to successfully propagate succulents. Actually, it is enough to follow the simple indications of each of the methods to the letter. And yes: arm yourself with patience. Whether through leaves or cuttings, succulents take their time to put down the roots we need to plant them. Therefore, it is not a process suitable for the impatient or for those who seek to quickly achieve a result.

Mind you: Before you start propagating succulents, it’s important to know something. Even doing it to the letter, the success rate is very high but we can also have casualties. Or, put another way, that some of the potential plants fail to take root. For this reason and when we begin to propagate them, the ideal is to start with a good number of plants to multiply. In this way, even contemplating that some do not prosper, we will be able to have many others to plant.

A specific substrate is key to propagating succulents. Know the characteristics of ours for cacti and succulents

Before seeing in detail how to propagate succulents in three different ways, it is important to know what we need for it. We are talking about a gardening task that involves very few materials. So few, in fact, that a substrate for cacti and succulents will suffice; and a container, which varies depending on the method.

Having this clear, let’s see the three methods to propagate succulents that we can use. Three with their own peculiarities but equally simple.

1. Propagate succulents through leaves

It is one of the most common ways to propagate succulents. But beware: it is also one in which we can have the greatest number of casualties. It is usually the perfect shape for sedum, crassulas and other leafy succulents. The positive part: that each one of them will transform into a new plant. This technique is perfect for leaves that have been detached from the mother plant by a blow, but also for those that we intentionally remove. To do it well, the ideal is to turn the leaf slightly from the junction with the stem so that it detaches.

To ensure success, it is important to choose your blades carefully. Whether they have the strength and the necessary resources to be able to multiply will depend on their state. To propagate succulents through their leaves, we will never use:

  • Those that are damaged or have a bad color
  • wrinkled sheets
  • Those that are infected by insects
  • Leaves that have not detached properly from the stem

Steps to propagate succulents with leaves

Once the candidate sheets have been selected, the process is simple:

    1. Let the leaves dry for two or three days. In this way, the wound that we have inflicted by cutting it will be sealed. To do this, the ideal is to place it in a shaded area. And no: we will not water these days
    2. When the wound is dry, we place the leaves on the substrate for cacti and succulents. This is literally leaving our blade on the substrate preventing the cut part from touching it. To ensure faster growth, it is recommended to use a propagation tray or a greenhouse
    3. Every two days, we spray our resting leaves with water. Let’s not overdo it: just moisten. How to water succulents correctly is a pending issue many times in its cultivation. And, in the case of our potential little plants, it is enough to do it by spraying water. We continue watering like this every day and a half or two days for between four weeks and a month, always avoiding over-wetting the substrate

      Propagating succulents in a propagator speeds up the root-building process. get it here

After that time, we will see how new small plants are formed at the base of the leaf. Again, you have to wait a bit. When they are fully formed, it is time to plant them in substrate. And let no one be scared because they see that the original sheet begins to lose life. You will only be giving it to the new plants.

2. Propagate succulents by division

One of the most common ways that involves, again, patience. It is the ideal technique when we see that our original plant has children. The common name given to those small plants that are the same as the original that appear around them. To propagate succulents using this technique, we will have to let the suckers grow until they are a good size. Only in this way can we guarantee that, planted in a new substrate, they will come out ahead.

How to Propagate Succulents by Division

  1. We take out the original succulent with its children from the pot. In many cases, removing them from the original plant is as simple as gently turning them. In many others, the roots can be tangled so we have to take time to separate some plants from others. And don’t rush: this work must be done patiently to avoid damaging the roots.
  2. With the plants separated, we planted in a substrate for cacti and succulents. It also does not hurt to use one of the types of substrates for plants that help drainage: perlite
  3. For a month, we will water our new plants with a sprayer every day and a half, moistening the substrate
A dose of perlite in the substrate will help us to propagate succulents, by improving soil aeration and drainage. Know its characteristics here

After that time, we will have new strong and healthy succulents that we will water normally.

3. Propagate succulents by stem cuttings

We arrive at the technique to propagate succulents ideal for those that have a stem. And, on this occasion, we have two ways of doing it: directly on the substrate or in water. Let’s see the particularities of each one.

How to propagate succulents by cuttings in substrate

The fastest way to propagate succulents since it will be practically like having a new plant in no time.

  1. We cut a stem of between 10 and 15 centimeters of the succulent that we want to propagate. We remove the lower leaves, which will be the ones that we will later plant in the ground
  2. We let the cut heal for a week.
  3. After that time, we plant in a substrate for cacti and succulents.
  4. If we have allowed it to heal well, we can water normally. In case of not having respected that time, we will wait 15 days before watering

Steps to propagate succulents by cuttings in water

It can also be applied to propagate succulents with leaves. If we opt for this technique we will have to find a small container, such as the lid of a jar, and we will submerge only a small part of its base.

If what we want is to propagate succulents from a plant cutting in water, the steps are different. Of course: just like when propagating succulents in substrate, we will have to choose a good-sized stem and let it heal for a week.

  1. We look for a container with enough depth, such as a glass or glass jar. With the lower leaves removed, we support our succulent on the edge and put water until the base of the stem is slightly above
  2. We place our succulent in a window where it receives light

It is probably the fastest method to multiply these plants. And, also, the most decorative. Because once the roots grow, the big crossroads is whether to enjoy their vision in glass or deprive ourselves of it by putting them in the substrate.

Have you used any of these techniques to propagate succulents? Tell us!

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