Are you Propagating your Succulents Properly?

Last Updated: May 2, 2022

Why propagate your succulents?

There are so many reasons why you might want to try your hand at propagating your succulents, but every time something seems to be going wrong. Well in this post we’re going to quickly go over the two best ways of propagating your succulents and touch on some key issues for why you might not be getting the successful succulent pups that you want so much. 

Propagating by Separation

By far the easiest way to get more succulents fast is by separating succulents that are already dividing. You’ll notice this happening much more in older, more mature plants as small pups growing around the outside of the main plant. This is an indication that your healthy older plant is starting to self divide, and you can just gently remove them at the root and get them potted into their own succulent mix.

What can go wrong?

With separation there aren’t that many issue you can run into. The main thing that comes to mind is trying to separate a succulent pup before it’s really ready. If you spot a pup growing from your parent plant, give it a little time to develop and get stronger before you remove it and set it in it’s own soil. 

When you’re separating the pup, also make sure that you don’t damage to much of the root system of either plants. Roots grow quite slowly and any damage to them will cause a real issue for the survival of the plant. Just take things nice and slow, and try to untangle, instead of cut, where possible.

Propagating by Leaf Cuttings

Now if you want to get the most possible succulent pups in the least time, this is the way to go for you. You can even give this one a go if you find leaves falling off your older succulent as it should work just the same. 

All you need to do is remove a few of the leaves that you’re not keen on from your older, mature plant and set them on a paper towel to dry out. These will grow some roots of their own and the cutt end will callous over. Once you’ve got roots you can get them planted in their own pots! As you can imagine, this can produce a lot of plants super quickly.

What can go wrong?

The number one issue we find people have is not letting the leaves dry out properly. It’s key to get them lay on a piece of paper towel just in a open surface (preferably out of the sun for a little while). Doing this lets the paper towel wick up any extra moisture and gets the conditions right for the leaves to start rooting. 

Another common issue could be not being patient enough. The leaves will likely wilt and start to shrivel up at some point in the process, and that’s exactly what they’re meant to do – don’t throw them out! Just give them some more time until the roots appear. The wilting is caused by the leaf using the water it has stored to start developing the new plant.

Other problems you could be running into are…

If you find that your succulent is starting to go a little yellow in the leaves, it’s telling you it’s not happy with the amount of light it’s getting. Annoyingly it could mean too much or too little, so make a judgment call and move it around until it starts to come back to green (or red!). 

Drooping could be another problem, and this one is super easy to solve. You just need to water it a little more than you currently are. Don’t drown it, but maybe give it a little more next time and it’ll spring back to the shape it should be. Succulents can be a little dramatic at times with their watering requirements so just see what’s going on and react with it. As the weather and temperatures change throughout the year you might find that it will need more or less water, so just keep an eye on what your succulent is trying to tell you!.

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