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How to Propagate Succulents in 4 Simple Steps


Growing a collection of succulents for your indoor garden starts with one you already own.

1. Cut the Heads

Any healthy succulent is a candidate for propagation, especially those that have central, trunk-like stems. If propagating from a rosette-shaped succulent, you can begin at step 2. Otherwise, use a sharp pair of scissors to snip a leaf-covered section of one of the stems that's at least 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. This is your cutting. If your plant's stems are looking bare and you can't find 3 inches (7.5 cm) of lush growth to work with, instead of cut at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) under the best-looking bunch of leaves.

2. Pluck Leaves

Succulents will propagate from individual leaves, too. You can either pluck leaves from your clippings or the parent plant. Hold the fleshy leaf close to the stem. Twist gently to remove cleanly. Any fat, juicy leaves will fall off with ease. Others you may have to coax off. What's left on the leaf's stem is called meristematic tissue, and it looks like a potato eye. This is where small new roots and leaves will start to emerge a few weeks after beginning step 3.

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3. Arrange and Water

Place your clippings and leaves, cut ends up, on a dish filled with fast-draining soil and facing indirect sunlight. Leave for about three days or until the ends callus over. Once that happens, use a spray bottle to squirt everything five to six times until the soil is moist but not soaked. Repeat whenever the soil is dry, roughly every four to five days. In about three to four weeks, tiny pink roots will start to sprout from your clippings. Be patient, observe, and keep watering.

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4. Tend To The Pups

Six or seven weeks after starting the propagating process, you'll notice baby pups (i.e., tiny leaves, i.e., the cutest things you've ever seen) emerging from the parent leaves. The parents may look shriveled—this is because they are feeding the pups with their water and nutrients. It's now time to transfer your cuttings and leaves to containers of their own, at least 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Cover the new roots with 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) of soil, sit back, and watch your garden grow.



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