How do you propagate succulents from cuttings?

by Amber Miner

Succulent plants are amazing drought-resistant plants that you can multiply through propagation. This means that you can grow new succulents by cutting pieces off of more mature succulents and then planting the cut pieces.

All of the succulents shown below were cut off of other succulent plants, planted in a tray and are now ready to grow roots:

Succulent cuttings planted in a tray and ready to grow new roots

What it means to 'Propagate Succulents from Cuttings'

Propagating succulents from cuttings means that you can cut the head, or a branch, off of a succulent plant and get that cut portion to grow new roots. This then becomes a completely new plant for you to love or share!

Even better, you won't believe how easy it is to get a succulent cutting to grow new roots.

This is also the method you can use to save plant that is starting to show root rot.

Here are the easy-to-follow steps you can take to propagate succulents

Below is a picture of two Echeveria that have grown leggy and have lots of dead leaves (normal!). We are going to behead them and replant them. 

Two Echeveria that have grown too tall and have lots of dead leaves that need to be removed.
  1. Clear dead leaves from the stem of the plant.
    Succulent with long stem that has had the dead leaves removed
  2. Cut a branch or head off of a rooted succulent plant.
    Cut close to the head and leave as much rooted stem as possible. New babies will pop out on the stem too.
    Scissors are shown cutting the head off a leggy Echeveria succulent plant
  3. Let the cut end dry, or callous, completely. Here is the fresh cut head:
    Shows fresh cut stem on succulent head

    Optionally, you can use rooting hormone and can plant it right away without waiting for the cut end to callous. Here is the same head with rooting hormone on the cut portion:
    Succulent head with fresh cut that is coated in rooting hormone
  4. Stick the calloused end in a well-draining succulent soil. 
    Two succulent heads that have been cut and replanted, ready to grow new roots
  5. Keep your newly planted cuttings out of direct sun for a week or two then slowly acclimate it to partial sun. 
  6. Wait at least two weeks before watering. The cutting won't need water until roots start to shoot it out, which will be around two weeks.
  7. When you water, set the pot in a shallow dish of water until the top soil is damp. This saturates the soil without disturbing it, or the new baby roots that are growing.  
  8. Wait for the soil to get completely dry to the touch before watering again. 
  9. Care for your new plant the same as your other succulents. 

What about the stem you have left?


Headleass succulent stem with a fresh cut

The stem will most likely grow a bunch of new babies if you care for it:

  1. Keep the cut stem out of direct sun for a week or two after cutting it.
  2. Let the cut heal completely and then slowly acclimate the stem to light.
  3. Water sparingly until new leaves or babies start to grow. 
    Shows a lot of new babies on an Echeveria succulent stem that has been beheaded

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