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Saving The Saddest Succulents: A How-To

Saving The Saddest Succulents: A How-To
Saving The Saddest Succulents: A How-To

This is a PSA to stop 👏 throwing 👏 out 👏 sad looking succulents. Barring a total over-watering disaster situation, even the saddest looking succulents can be saved! Take this damsel in distress for example: She’s stretched, under-watered, missing leaves, and she has almost no root structure. But we still spy a few healthy leaves and new growth, so there’s hope! Grab your cape, we’re going to show you how to be a succulent superhero.

Step 1: Make a cutting.

First, remove some spaced out leaves to create a bare 1-2 inch stem below the rosette. Take a sharp, clean pair of scissors and cut the stem, so you have a new smaller stem with a rosette on top. Let the cutting sit out for a few days to form a callus. Don’t throw out the old stem quite yet, we’ve got plans for it!

Step 2: Propagate the cutting.

Nestle the new callused stem into fresh cactus soil. Place it somewhere it will receive bright, indirect light. Water your newly potted cutting lightly, just enough to wet the topsoil, once a week for the next 5 – 7 weeks while it forms new roots. Once the roots are strong and hardy, you can return to a normal watering schedule. Make the transition to normal watering gradual so you don’t accidentally over-water!

Step 3: Look out for offshoots.

Remember that stem we told you not to throw away? Here’s her part to play. Crumble the old dirt off its roots and plant it in some fresh cactus soil. Water that babe as you normally would and make sure she’s in a nice bright spot. When you cut the top off a succulent, it will often produce offshoots, which you can then cut and propagate as new plants! All it takes is a little patience and some tender love and care. This is a great, sustainable way to save get new succulents, and it takes next to no effort! Just let the plant do her thing.

Pro Tip: If your sad looking succulent does have some healthy leaves on the stem, you can remove and propagate them for even more plant babies! A healthy leaf will be plump, firm, and easily removed from the stem with a gentle twist and pull. For a full breakdown of leaf propagation check out the blog post here.

See? With a little bit of work you can save that sad succulent (and maybe even make more in the process)! This cutting method works for rescuing almost all succulents, as long as they have healthy new growth on top. Just remember, the process of growing roots and offshoots won’t happen overnight. Patience is key when you’re a succulent superhero. We’re rooting for you! 


Now that you’re equipped with some better tools to save the succs, it’s time to put it into action! (Queue the lights.) If you’re not already subscribed here’s what you’re missing: two gorgeous unique cuties delivered to your door every month PLUS exclusive offers on specialty curated boxes. What are you waiting for? Hit that subscribe button below and we’ll even hook you up with $5 off your first box.