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How to easily propagate succulent plants

What does propagate a plant mean?

Plant propagation is the process of creating new plants from an existing plant for free. By propagating our own plants instead of buying new plants from the garden centre or supermarket, we can save a lot of money. There four methods of propagating plants. These methods include seed collection, layering, rootball devision and cutting propagation. Many types of plants can be propagate and some are easier to propagate than others, but here we will be focusing on propagating succulent type of plants. I love succulents, because they are Low Maintenance Houseplants For The Forgetful Ones like myself.

Why propagate succulents?

How to propagate succulent plants - The Thrifty Island Girl

Some people wonder why propagate plants when you can just buy them from the local garden centre or supermarket. Well there are many benefits of propagating succulents. These advantages of propagating succulent plants include:

  • You can endlessly expand your plant collection in your home and garden for free.
  • You can trade propagated plants with family, friends and your local community by swapping cuttings or the plants pups.
  • The propagated plants make lovely cheap or even free gifts.
  • These additional plants can help brighten and purify the air in your home or office.
  • You can reproduce new plants in masses and in a short time.

I love succulents plants , because they are so easy to look after as they are very low maintenance. I highly recommend the 10 Mixed Succulent collection on Amazon for only £19.95 with free delivery to start a succulent collection.

How to propagate succulent plants?

Propagating succulents - Lei Hang The Thrifty Island Girl

Since we looking into propagating succulents specifically, we will mainly use leaf or stem cutting and plant pup (babies) separation methods of propagating.

Propagation by stem cuttings

This method involves cutting a piece of stem from the mother plant then potting them up to encourage the stem to form roots. To stimulate root development, rooting powder can be used. However it is not necessary. Once roots have formed, the new plant is identical to the mother plant as it is genetically identical, making the new plant a clone of the original plant.

Leaf cutting propagation

Succulent plant Leaf propagation

Many succulent plants can be easily propagated via leaf cuttings. This propagation method involves taking a whole leaf cutting with the stalk in tact. Succulent leaf cuttings should be left for a day to two to callus. Then place the leaf in a pot with cacti & succulent potting mix to root. Rooting powder can be used with leaf cuttings to speed up the rooting process, but is not necessary. Roots should form between 2-3 weeks if no rooting hormone has been used. However if you want to speed up root development, rooting powder be used at the stalk of the leaf.

Separating succulent pups from the mother plant

This method is very easy and straightforward. Some succulents such as Hens and Chicks, Aloe Vera and Mother of Thousands are pup bearing succulents. These baby plants are called pups. They can be easily removed from the mother plant and planted in a separate pot with some cacti and succulent potting mix.

Which succulent plants propagate best?

Which succulents propagate best?

When it comes to succulents, there is a huge choice of over 180 succulent varieties. They are all pretty, but not all are succulents are easy to propagate. In fact some succulents can be extremely hard to propagate with a high fail rate. Here we will be focusing on what plants are easiest to propagate and which succulents are the most popular to propagate.

5 popular succulents that are easy to propagate:

Money Plant ( Carassula Ovata )

Money plant also known as jade plant is a popular succulent

The Money Plant also known as Jade Plant, is an iconic houseplant and a popular choice of the many Carassula type succulents.

Jade plants can be easily propagated via stem cutting and leave cutting. This is also of the best starter plants, Jade plants are very resilient and adaptable. Therefore making it also easy to propagate.

Being Chinese and having a strong interest in Feng Shui, I have a total of 3 money plants in the home with my biggest one being in my home office. I had two of my plants almost 5 years now. One of the the Jade plant I got a as gift from my friend Jo. She was trimming her large Jade plant and propagated the stems she had cut off. I now had this plant for 2 years and its thriving.

Flaming Katy ( Kalanchoe blossfeldiana )

Lei Hang has propagated Flaming Katy plants - The Thrifty Island Girl
Lei’s Flaming Katy plants on the bathroom window sill.

The Flaming Katy is a succulent plant that is often bought and given as a gift plant. This pretty succulent produces lots of pretty flowers and come in various colours including pink, yellow, orange, red and white.

Sadly these plants are often thrown once they’ve finished blooming. But when kept and repotted, these succulents can be very rewarding. I’ve bought mine in those popular cute little pots from my local grocery store. I have then since repotted them several times and they have grown very large. I’ve then recently made lots of cuttings and mixed pink and yellow varieties to make it look more green and bushier as you can see in the picture of my Flaming Katy plants above.

The best time to propagate Flaming Katy plants is in spring and summer. These can be easily propagated by stem cutting and leaf cuttings. Just like other succulents, let the cutting to dry out on the side it has been cut before planting in soil. Roots will then form in about 2 weeks.

I’ve propagated mine via stem cuttings. Instead of waiting for the ends to dry, I’ve directly planted the stem cuttings into soil without waiting for the ends to try. I’ve also used Miracle Gro Multipurpose plant food in the soil to feed the plants for 6 months. This helps the plant to grow faster and bigger compared to plants that are unfed. As you can see from the picture above, my Flaming Katy plants are thriving. I have also mixed the colours of cuttings in the pots to make it look a bit more interesting.

Mother of thousands ( Kalanchoe daigremontiana )

Mother of thousands produce baby plants

The Mother of Thousands also known as Devil’s Backbone is part of the Crassulaceae family, which means that this plant is related to the Money plant and Flaming Katy. Mother of Thousands very rarely bloom indoors, but what makes this plant so interesting are the baby plants that grow on the outer edge of the plants leaves. Those tiny baby plantlets will continuously appear throughout the year.

Mother of Thousands super easy to propagate, as this plant often drops the baby platelets that it produces. You will see some roots also forming on the baby plants while still attached to the mother plant leaves. Once they drop, new Mother of Thousands plants will grow. A leave with the plantlets can also be cut and planted to grow several new plants at once. Another way is to gently remove the baby plants from the mother plant’s leaf and directly plant into soil.

Burro’s Tail ( Sedum morganianum )

Burro's Tail is also commonly known as Donkey Tail is a succulent that can be easily propagated

Burro’s Tail is also commonly known as Donkey Tail. This interesting rope looking succulent is very easy to care for and also very easy to propagate. There are two methods to propagate this plant. One way is via stem cutting and the other is leaf cutting. With these two options available, I always recommend to do the stem cutting as they seem to be easier and quicker than the leaf cuttings. To speed up and increase the root development, I like to use rooting powder.

Hens & Chicks ( Sempervivum tectorum )

How to propagate hens and chicks plants

Hens and Chicks are also known as Houseleeks and is part of the Sempervivum group of succulents. This plant does well indoor and outdoors, as it does well in cool and hot temperatures. This plant is called Hens and Chicks, because the mother plant produces many babies which are the chicks.

To propagate this plant, simply pull off the chicks gently from the mother and place in a pot with cacti & succulent potting mix.