Learn How to Propagate Succulents: 7 Easy Steps

Updated: February 14, 2023

Learn How to Propagate Succulents: 7 Easy Steps

Propagating succulents is a great way to get new plants for your garden without spending any money. It's also a lot of fun and pretty easy to do! This blog post will walk you through the steps of propagating succulents. Following these simple instructions, you can create new succulent plants in no time.


What Succulents are and What Makes Them Unique

Succulents are a type of plant that has thick, fleshy leaves or stems. They are often found in warm, dry climates and can store water in their leaves or stems. This ability to hold water allows them to survive for long periods without water.

Many succulents include cacti, aloes, sedums, and sempervivums. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some succulents are even grown as houseplants.

The main thing that all succulents have in common is that they are very easy to care for. They are drought-tolerant and can survive in poor soil conditions. Succulents are also very easy to propagate. Many succulents can be propagated from just a single leaf.


Succulent Plant Types

As we mentioned, there are many different types of succulents. Here are some of the most popular:


1. Cactus: Cactus is a succulent that is native to the Americas. They are often found in dry, desert climates. Cacti come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from small, round cacti to tall, columnar cacti.


2. Aloes: Aloes are succulents that are native to Africa. They are often found in desert regions and can store water in their stems. Some popular aloe varieties include the ramosissima, plicatilis, and arborescens.


3. Sedums: Sedums are a type of succulent native to Europe and Asia. They grow in various climates, from hot deserts to cold mountains. Sedums are often used as ground cover or ornamental plants in gardens.


4. Sempervivums: Sempervivums is a succulent native to the Mediterranean region. They are often called "hens and chicks" plants because they produce offsets (or "chicks") around the mother plant (the "hen"). Sempervivums are commonly used as ornamentals or ground cover in gardens.


Benefits of Propagating Succulents

Propagating succulents is a low-cost and easy way to create beautiful plants for your home or garden. Propagation allows you to have multiple copies of the same variety of plant, giving you more control over its size and shape. Additionally, succulent propagation can help keep disease from spreading, which in turn will help the health of your entire collection. Succulents are resilient plants that don’t require much maintenance and can easily be propagated at home without any special equipment or experience. Here are just some of the benefits of propagating succulents:

1. Cost Savings – Since succulents are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of houseplants, they make an ideal choice for  propagation. You’ll save money compared to purchasing multiple plants or buying succulents of different varieties.
2. Increased Variety – Propagation increases the variety of succulent plants you can have in your garden or home. With propagation, it's easy to create interesting new combinations and add a unique touch to your space.
3. Healthier Plants – Propagating succulents from existing healthy plants helps ensure that each generation will be strong and robust which ultimately reduces the risk of infection and disease in your collection.
4. Easy Process – Even if you don’t have much gardening experience, propagating succulents is an easy task that even beginners can do with ease! All you need  is a healthy parent plant and a few simple supplies.

Propagating succulents is not only cost-effective, but also an easy way to create more of the same variety of plants in your garden or home. It can provide you with new, interesting combinations and help ensure that each generation will be healthy and disease-free. With minimal effort and supplies required, anyone can become an expert propagator in no time!

What Succulents are and What Makes Them Unique

How to Propagate Succulents in 7 Easy Steps

1. Choose a healthy mother plant. The first step in propagating succulents is to choose a healthy mother plant. When selecting a plant, look for one free from diseases or pests. Inspect the leaves and stems for any damage signs, and ensure the plant is not wilting.

What Succulents are and What Makes Them Unique
2. Cut off a stem or leaf. Once you have selected a healthy mother plant, use a sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut off a stem or leaf. Ensure that the cutting includes both the leaf and the stem, giving the cutting the best chance of developing new roots.
3. Let the cutting dry out.  Once you have your cuttings, let them sit for a few days to ensure the cut end begins to form a callous. Put the clippings on paper towels and place them in an area that gets plenty of indirect sunlight. If you're uncertain whether they are adequately dried out, leave them for one or two more days. It's better to leave them dry than have excessive moisture which can cause succulents to rot.
4. Place the cutting in well-draining soil. Once the cutting has been calloused over, it is ready to be placed in the soil. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix, as succulents are susceptible to root rot. You can opt to plant the cutting in a pot or directly in the ground.
5. Give the plant plenty of sunlight. Succulents need plenty of sun to thrive, so be sure to place your plant in an area that receives full sun. If you live in a scorching climate, you may need to provide some afternoon shade to prevent the leaves from scorching.
6. Water the plant sparingly. Common mistake people make when caring for succulents is overwatering them. Make sure that you only water your plant when the soil is completely dry to avoid root rot. If you're staying in a hot, dry climate, you may need to water your succulents weekly or bi-weekly.
7. Fertilize once a month. While succulents don't require a lot of fertilizer, they will benefit from being fed once a month during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer low in nitrogen, and dilute it according to package instructions before applying it to your plant.

Tips for Success When Propagating Succulents

  • Use the Right Soil. One of the essential tips for success when propagating succulents is to use suitable soil. It is vital because it grows strong and healthy plants and helps roots to form quickly and spread out, improving their water and nutrient intake. Succulents need well-draining soil to thrive, so it is important to use a soil mix containing perlite or sand. Planet Desert has Perlite Porosity Soil which will definitely help you have happy and thriving plants. It is beneficial for succulents because of its high-water content. 
  • Provide Bright Light. Succulents also need bright light to grow and prosper. If you are propagating your succulents indoors, make sure to place them near a south-facing window where they will receive plenty of sunlight. If you are propagating outdoors, choose a spot that receives full sun for at least six hours each day.
  • Allow the Soil to Dry First Between Waterings. Another important tip for success when propagating succulents is to allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Succulents are drought-tolerant plants and do not like to sit in wet soil. It is important to only water your succulents when the top inch of soil is parched.
  • Fertilize Sparingly. While succulents do not need a lot of fertilizer, you can boost them by fertilizing them once or twice a year with a succulent-specific fertilizer. Follow the directions on the fertilizer label and apply it sparingly, as too much fertilizer can burn the roots of the plant.
  • Protect from Extreme Temperatures. Finally, protecting your succulents from hot and cold temperatures is crucial. If you're in an area that has high freezing temperatures in the winter, make sure to bring your succulents indoors or move them into a greenhouse where they will be protected from the cold weather.

Common Problems with Propagating Succulents

Leggy growth. 

One of the most prevailing problems people experience when propagating succulents is leggy growth. This occurs when the plant does not receive enough sunlight and stretches out to reach the light. Leggy growth is unsightly and can make the plant more susceptible to breakage.

To avoid leggy growth, make sure to provide your succulent with plenty of bright light. If you are propagating indoors, place your plant near a south-facing window where it will receive plenty of sunlight. If you are outdoors, choose a spot that receives full sun for at least six hours daily.

Burning leaves.

 Another common problem people experience when propagating succulents is burning leaves. This occurs when the plant is exposed to too much direct sunlight, and the leaves begin to scorch.

To avoid burning leaves, make sure to provide your succulent with plenty of bright light and protection from the hot afternoon sun. If you are propagating outdoors, choose a spot that receives the morning sun but is shaded by the hot afternoon sun.

Pests and diseases. 

Common problems include aphids, mealybugs, and scale. Common conditions include root rot and powdery mildew.

To avoid pests and diseases, choose a healthy plant to propagate from and sterilize your tools before use. Additionally, water your succulents only when the soil is dry and fertilize sparingly to avoid Burns leaves.


In conclusion, propagating succulents can be quite easy, but there are a few vital things to keep in mind. Provide bright light, use suitable soil, allow the soil to be dry first between waterings, and fertilize sparingly. Additionally, protect your succulents from extreme temperatures and pests or diseases. With some care, you can successfully propagate succulents and enjoy these beautiful plants for years to come.

1 comment

  • Connie Saladiner

    Wondering if I can use grow lights for Bear’s Paw in winter months. The only window option I have is north east facing bay window and it gets cold at night and really doesn’t have sun. How far above plants would I put lights and how long each day? I have Ferry Morse T-5 lights.

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