One aspect that I appreciate about succulents is just how easy it is to propagate them! My friends get to share in the fruit of my labors (or enable my addiction!) I have decades old jade, christmas cactus, and pencil tree cactus that were all started from cuttings.
There are a variety of propagation techniques - cuttings, leaf starts and offsets. Each of these is described below
Succulent Propagation: Cuttings
I've had great success with many species of succulent plant propagating using pieces cut from the stem of the mother plant. This is the method that we use at Garfield Park Conservatory to propagate succulents that are sold in the gift shop. Here is the approach for propagating from stem cuttings,
- Remove cuttings only from healthy succulents.
- Depending on type:
- Those with leaves : try to keep at least three joints, and a few pairs of leaves and remove the leaves from the bottom of the cutting (one node to go in the soil).
- Those without leaves, take a cutting that is approximately 2-3 inches long, note on the cutting which end was toward the ground
There are lots of succulent plants and cacti that produce small plants at the base of the parent plant. Sometimes these are called pups or offsets. These can usually be easily separated or cut off the main plant to create a new plant. (de-pupping!) Similar to a cutting, the pup must dry or heal for a few days. They can then be placed in dirty perlite mix or potted up individually. The "Mother" plant can just get repotted and continues growing happily. I have used this technique with Agave and Haworthia, although the success rate is somewhat lower than with cuttings.