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How to Propagate Succulents from Leaves

Two Parts:Removing the LeafPlanting the Succulent Leaf

Propagating succulents is an easy task for even a novice gardener! Whether you want to try this just for fun or you need to produce a whole lot of new houseplants from your favorite succulent. In just a few, simple steps, you will be on your way to a new generation of plants!

Part 1
Removing the Leaf

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    Select a healthy leaf to propagate. Choose a leaf that is in good health, with a hearty shape and no rips or blemishes. Typically you will choose a larger, more mature leaf than a young, under-developed one.
    • Pull the leaf off neatly. Use a razor blade or a craft knife to make a clean cut. The knife or blade should be sterilized in white spirit or similar before use; this prevents the transfer of any disease that could harm the succulent plant.
    • Some plants, like "jade plants", the leaves will come off easily or even drop off the plant spontaneously. You can either use "volunteers" or select the one you want.
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    • If you use your fingers, be very gentle. Twist the leaf carefully back and forth, from side to side to pull it off intact, without ripping the stem of the plant.
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    Let the leaf or leaves dry. Once you pulled off the leaves you wish to propagate, allow them to dry out a little bit. Let them dry for 1-3 days.
    • Do not water the leaf until after 1-3 days as your leaf may turn brown and mushy and will start to rot.
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    • The "wound" on the stem of the parent plant should also be allowed to air dry in a sheltered and well-lit spot for a few hours. During its healing process, the plant will seal the wound and help prevent disease from getting in.

Part 2
Planting the Succulent Leaf

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    Place the dried leaves on some soil ready to grow. Just place them on top of the soil. Do not bury or semi-bury into the soil. The roots will find their way into the soil on their own. As you're going to look at it for a good amount of months, you may as well make it look nice in pretty pattern or just place them randomly - that's all up to you.
    • The soil should be well drained. If you need to improvise good growing soil, mix half well-rotted compost with half fine pumice or grit.
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    • While not necessary, dipping the leaves in rooting hormone powder can help stave off the growth of fungus, as well as giving the growth a boost.
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    Water the leaf. The leaves need water at some point but only a light sprinkling. While "grown-up" succulents only need to be watered every second week, or even once a month (depending on the season/heat), the leaves need to be watered constantly without being watered too much. Only water the soil after it is dry (stick your finger into the soil around the planted leaves; if it feels moist, watering is not needed but if it's dry, then water).
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    Wait. All you have to do now is to wait for the leaves to grow roots or even new leaves. You'll see some changes within just a month or so.


  • Remember to water regularly, testing the soil moisture first.
  • Allow the water to drain away. Have a saucer or put some stones in the bottom of the pot if the pot doesn't have a hole in its bottom. If the leaf is given too much water and the water can't get away, mold will start growing.
  • To grow well, the leaves-forming-plants need loads of sunlight.
  • The best time for propagating succulents depends on your garden zone. If it's warm all year around, then any time is a good time. For areas with cold winters, propagate the succulents from spring into summer, to allow enough time for the roots to go down far enough into the ground to cope with the colder weather.
  • Not all of the leaves will make it, so pull off a good amount of leaves.
  • Don't treat the leaves like "grown-up" succulents as they're a lot more fragile.
  • Fear not if the leave you propagate from starts to wrinkle up a little. In dry weather, the plant uses up some of its naturally stored water.

Things You'll Need

  • Razor blade or craft knife
  • White spirits or similar
  • Soil (make a special version if required)
  • Rooting hormone powder (optional)
  • Watering can or similar device
  • Container if not planting direct into the garden

Sources and Citations

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