Unable to quench your thirst for more succs? Us, too! That’s where propagation comes in. Propagation is the process of using leaves or cuttings to grow more succulents from the bbs you already have. Depending on the method you choose, your environment, and the species of succulent you’re propagating, the timeline can vary. Soil propagations of leaves tend to take the longest, while a water cutting propagation may give you the quickest results.
Starting A Propagation
Propagation From a Cutting
Day 1: When your succulent grows an offshoot (a new stem with a rosette) you can cut it off at the base! If you do not have any offshoots, you’ll snip the mother plant’s stem an inch or two below the rosette, and remove the remaining leaves. This method is sometimes called topping. Be sure to leave the rest of leaves on the mother plant and continue to care for it to encourage new rosette growth.
Propagation From a Leaf
Day 1: Start by finding a healthy plump leaf, grasp it gently with your thumb and forefinger, and give it a twist and pull until it snaps off the stem. The key is to get the entire leaf off of the stem, it is totally okay if some of the stem comes off! If you do not break off the entire leaf, it will not be able to grow roots.
Leaf & Cutting
Day 1-4: Let the leaf or cutting dry out and form a scab where it was removed from the stem. This step takes about 3 days and will give you insight into if you selected a healthy leaf. Healthy leaves will stay firm and plump throughout the propagation process. Take note if leaves begin to shrivel within a few days as they most likely will not be viable for propagation.
Method Specific Timelines
Weeks 2-6: Once your propagation is set up and you have your bb in a sunny window, it can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks for roots to begin to sprout, depending on your climate and environment. As roots develop, they will eventually reach the water – which is totally okay! No worries of root rot, water only cannot cause this.
It is totally up to you on when you’d like to move your succulent into soil, but we do recommend waiting until your roots are an inch long. Before potting your succulent, allow the roots to dry out on a paper towel for a day or two.
Weeks 2-8: Once your succulent cuttings or leaves have scabbed over and been laid on top of cactus soil, it can take about 2 weeks for roots to begin to grow. For succulent cuttings, it may take 4 weeks or more for roots to begin growing. In about 8 weeks, you should see teeny tiny baby rosettes begin to grow from the succulent leaves.
As soon as the new leaf has roots and the rosette is large enough to top, get that bb potted!
Remember that propagation is tricky. Some of your leaves will grow roots right away but take a long time to grow a rosette, or vice versa. Some may not propagate at all. Don’t get frustrated, it’s all trial and error!