Frequently Asked Questions About Succulents Propagation (FAQs)

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let’s dive into the world of succulents propagation! Whether you’re a green-thumbed enthusiast or just starting your journey into the delightful realm of succulents, propagating these resilient beauties can be both an art and a science. Ever wondered how to multiply your beloved succulent collection without breaking a sweat or causing them undue stress? Fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ve carefully curated and answered 21 of the most commonly asked questions about succulent propagation. We’re here to demystify the process, making it not just easy but practically mistake-proof.

1. Can you put succulent cuttings straight into the soil?

Succulent propagation into soil

– Certainly! Succulent cuttings can be planted directly into the soil for propagation. After selecting a healthy stem or leaf cutting from your succulent first, you have to allow them to callus. Permitting cuttings to callus is a crucial step in the propagation of succulents. After taking a healthy stem or leaf cutting, it’s important to let the cut end dry and form a protective callus before planting. This process typically takes a day or two and involves placing the cuttings in a dry and shaded area. The callus acts as a barrier, reducing the risk of infection or rot when the cutting is introduced to the soil. Once the callus has formed, the succulent cutting is ready for planting, ensuring a better chance of successful root development and the establishment of a new plant. Then you can plant the cuttings by making succulent potting mix, insert the callused end of the cutting into the soil, and water it lightly to settle the soil.

2. Can I cut a succulent and plant it?

Yes, you can cut a succulent to use it as planting material for propagation. Succulents are often propagated from cuttings, and it’s a common and effective method for creating new plants. Succulent cuttings serve as excellent propagation material, allowing enthusiasts to create new plants from existing ones.  There are different parts used for propagation of succulents by cutting like, stem, leaves, newly grown ”pup” etc.

Stem cuttings– Choose a stem that is 4-6 inches (10–15 cm) long, near the top or outer edge of the plant, and ideally actively growing. Slice straight below a stem joint, or below the junction of a leaf or bud with the stem. If at all possible, select a piece that has at least two leaves (or clusters of leaves).

Leaf cuttings- Succulents that grow primarily outward should have their leaves clipped from the outside. Make a clean incision where the leaves meet the stem. If you have a succulent with very, large leaves check out the Tips section.

Here’s some steps involved:

1. Select Healthy Cuttings

2. Allow Cuttings to Callus

3. Plant in Well-Draining Soil

4. Water Sparingly

5. Provide Indirect Light

3.  Can succulents propagation be done using leaves?

-Cutting leaves is one of the easiest methods for multiplying succulents though its leaves can be pop off easily. You need to the entire leaf from mother plant, including the tiny tip where it joins the stem. Leaves that have interruptions will not be able to produce roots. You should cut leaves where they connect to the stem, making a straight cut.

After removing the healthy, undamaged leaf from the parent succulent plant, it must be rooted in soil or water after allowing dry for a few days to allow the cut end to form a callus. To encourage a leaf to develop roots more quickly, you can also apply honey or a rooting hormone. The leaf can be planted in a pot with sandy, well-draining soil after it has produced new roots and shoots.

4. Do succulents grow back when cut?

– Sure, a lot of succulents can grow back or sprout new growth after being clipped or pruned. We refer to this process as propagation or regeneration. The kind of succulent and the particular growing environment can affect how much of it regrows. Succulents can often regrow in the following ways after being cut:

1. Leaf Propagation: Individual leaves can be used to propagate a wide variety of succulents. A healthy leaf can form roots and produce a new plantlet when it is planted correctly.

2. Stem Cuttings: From a cut stem, certain succulents can be induced to produce new branches or shoots. Before planting, cut a stem and give it time to form a callus so that new growth can sprout from the cut region.

3. Beheading: The rosette, or head, of some succulents, like Echeveria, can be severed, and new rosettes may emerge from the cut stem.

5. What is the fastest way to propagate succulents from leaves?

– The technique of leaf propagation is the quickest way to multiply succulents from leaves. Here’s how to speed up the propagation process step-by-step:

1. Pick Healthful Leaves: Pick the succulent’s robust, healthy leaves. Seek for fully developed leaves that are unharmed or disease-free.

2. Carefully Extract Leaves: Twist or wiggle the leaves gently until they come off the stem. Make sure that the leaf is removed with all of its parts intact and undamaged.

3. Let the Leaves Callus: To help the cut ends of the leaves develop a callus, place them in a dry, shaded spot for one to two days. By taking this step, planting rot can be avoided.

4. Plant the Leaves: Place the callused ends of the leaves in potting mix that drains well for succulents or cacti. Bury the chopped end a little bit in the ground.

5. Give Indirect Light: Position the planted leaves in a spot that receives plenty of indirect sunlight. Until the new plantlets start to grow, stay out of direct, bright sunlight.

6. Water sparingly: To help the soil settle, lightly mist the planted leaves. To avoid overwatering, let the soil dry out in between waterings.

6. How do you regrow a dead succulent?

– Even though it can be difficult, it’s worthwhile to try regrowing a seemingly dead succulent.  Remember that not all succulents can be revived, especially if the roots or the core of the plant is severely damaged. However, some resilient succulents can surprise you with their ability to bounce back with proper care and attention. There are some steps you can take to attempt to encourage regrowth, they are:

1. Assess the Damage: Determine if there are any parts of the succulent that are still viable. Look for any healthy leaves, stems, or roots.

2. Trim Away Dead Parts: Carefully trim away any dead or rotting parts of the succulent. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. Ensure that the remaining parts are healthy.

3. Let Cut Ends Callus: Allow the cut ends to air dry in a shaded area for a day or two. This helps prevent potential infections.

4. Replant in Well-Draining Soil also Provide indirect light and Water

5. Be Patient: Succulents are resilient, but regrowth takes time. Be patient and monitor the plant’s progress.

7. What are the 4 basic ways of propagating succulents?

– Succulents can be multiplied using a variety of techniques, but these four fundamental and popular ones are:

1. Leaf Propagation:

  • Remove the succulent’s healthy leaves with care.
  • Give the sliced ends a day or two to callus.
  • New plantlets will sprout when the callused end is planted in soil that drains properly.

2. Stem Cutting:

  • Cut a healthy stem from the succulent with sharp pruning shears or scissors.
  • Give the slashed end a day or two to callus.
  • If you plant the callused end in soil, it might sprout new roots and shoots.

3. Division:

Asexual propagation in Succulents
  • Cut off offsets, or “pups” that sprout from the succulent’s base.
  • Make sure roots are connected to each offset.
  • Plant the offsets that have been divided into separate containers or areas.

4. Sowing succulent seeds:

  • If you are patient, almost any succulent can be grown from seed.
  • Choose high-quality succulent seeds from reputable sources.
  • Sprinkle the succulent seeds evenly over well-draining soil in shallow trays or pots.

8. Does cinnamon help succulents grow?

– Because of its possible antifungal qualities, cinnamon is occasionally used in gardening, especially when growing succulents. There is some anecdotal evidence that cinnamon can help shield plants from fungal problems, but there aren’t many studies to back up this claim.

If you decide to apply cinnamon with succulents, it’s usually applied to wounds or cut surfaces to prevent fungal infections. Here’s one possible use for it:

1. Allow Cut Ends to Callus:

 After cutting succulent plants, allow the cut ends to become callused. This is standard procedure to avoid rot.

2. Apply Cinnamon:

Sprinkle a tiny bit of cinnamon on the cut ends. Some gardeners think that cinnamon has antifungal properties.

3. Plant in Well-Draining Soil:

When the cut ends have become callused, plant the succulent cuttings in a soil that drains properly.

9. How long do succulents take to grow from cuttings?

– The time it takes for succulents to grow from cuttings can vary depending on several factors, including the succulent species, environmental conditions, and the specific method of propagation. In general, succulents are known for their slow but steady growth.

One popular technique is leaf propagation, which is planting individual leaves and watching for new plantlets to appear. It usually takes a few weeks to several months to complete this process. The cutting first forms roots, and from the base of the leaf, tiny offsets or rosettes begin to grow. These new plantlets can be regarded as independently rooted succulents once they grow to a suitable size.

When a portion of a stem is planted as a stem cutting, roots can form in a few weeks to several months. It might take longer for the stem to produce new growth, like branches or shoots.

A few examples of the elements that affect growth rate are sufficient sunlight, well-draining soil, and appropriate irrigation. When propagating succulents from cuttings, patience is essential because they grow at their own rate and may take some time to show noticeable effects. New, healthy succulent plants will thrive with regular attention, maintenance, and a little perseverance.

10. What is the best succulent propagation method?

– The best succulent propagation method depends on the type of succulent and personal preference. However, one of the most commonly successful methods is leaf propagation. This approach is affordable, straightforward, and even beginners can use it. But a few crucial pointers need to be remembered:

  • The leaf used for propagation needs to be in perfect condition, tightly shaped, and free of any stains or damage,
  • Cutting leaves requires a clean knife and a sterilised sharp blade
  • The cut leaf plate must dry for two to three days;
  • Planting material is layered on top of the soil near the cutting site to speed up the rooting process;
  • The soil in which the leaves will be rooted needs to be well-drained and composed of compost, river sand, and charcoal.

11. Can I propagate a broken succulent?

– Of course yes, you can propagate a broken succulent by using their undamaged parts, if they are broken from various points. Not all succulents can be propagated by using the vegetative part, some requires seed and additional propagating techniques and mostly spread by leaf and stem cuttings. Those broken plants leaves and stem should be choose examining their condition and live parts perfectly.

succulents propagation from fallen leaf in water
Succulents Propagation Using Broken Leaf in Water

Which variety of succulent do you possess?  The plants suited for parts propagation can be surely,  used the fallen leaves or stems of a broken succulent to propagate more of them. After a few days of letting them dry out, you should put them on top of cactus soil and give them a light misting every other day. While some succulents will grow a new plant from the stem, others will grow roots and new rosettes from the base of the leaf.

12. Why is my succulent, not growing roots?

– There are various reasons why a succulent might not be developing roots. These are a few typical causes:

1. Overwatering:

If the soil is too wet on a regular basis, succulents are susceptible to root rot. Make sure the pot has adequate drainage and that you’re letting the soil dry out in between waterings.

2. Poor Drainage:

Poor drainage from the potting mix can result in soggy soil, which will impede the growth of roots. Make use of cactus or succulent potting soil that drains well.

3. Insufficient Light:

Suckers require enough sunlight for proper growth, which includes root development. Make sure the proper quantity of bright, indirect sunlight reaches your succulent.

4. Inappropriate Propagation Technique:

Make sure you’ve given the cut end time to callus before planting if you’re propagating from a leaf or cutting. Root growth may be impeded by planting in excessively moist soil or by burying the cutting too deeply.

5. Unfavorable Temperatures:

Warm temperatures are generally preferred by succulents. Too much cold can slow down the growth of roots. Make sure the temperature range for your succulent is appropriate.

6. Old or Unhealthy Cuttings:

Make sure the cutting you’re propagating from is a healthy, viable piece. Unhealthy or old cuttings may find it difficult to grow roots.

13. What is the rooting hormone?

A chemical called “rooting hormone” is applied to plant cuttings’ cut ends to promote the growth of roots. It has substances that promote growth, which encourage the formation of roots and improve propagation success. Rooting hormones are available in a variety of forms, such as gel, liquid, and powder, and come in different kinds. There are three primary categories of rooting hormones:

1. Auxin-Based Hormones:

  • Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA): A common auxin used in rooting hormones to stimulate root growth.

2. Naphthaleneacetic Acid (NAA):

  • Another type of auxin that is used in some rooting hormone formulations.

3. Cytokinin-Based Hormones:

  • Kinetin: While less common than auxin-based hormones, cytokinins like kinetin may also be used in some rooting compounds.

14. How do you save a succulent without roots?

– Saving a succulent without roots can be challenging but is possible with proper care. For a while, succulent plants can exist without roots, but eventually, their leaves will wither and die. There are several approaches you can take to help a succulent that has lost its roots grow again.

  1. Let the cut end form a callus for 1-2 days.
  2. Plant in well-draining soil in a pot with drainage holes.
  3. Provide bright, indirect sunlight.
  4. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry between waterings.
  5. Maintain a humid environment initially.
  6. Be patient and monitor for new growth.

15. What rooting hormone is best for succulents?

– For succulents, a rooting hormone containing Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) is often recommended. IBA is an auxin-based hormone that promotes root development. You can find rooting hormones with IBA in various formulations, including gels, liquids, and powders.

When choosing a rooting hormone for succulents:

1. Select a Formulation:

Choose the form that suits you best—gel, liquid, or powder.

2. Concentration:

Opt for a moderate concentration of IBA. High concentrations may not necessarily provide better results and could even be detrimental to some plants.

3. Brand Reputation:

Consider reputable brands known for producing reliable gardening products.

4. Application Method:

Some formulations are more suitable for certain application methods, such as dipping or brushing the cut ends.

16. Do succulent cuttings grow in water or soil?

– Succulent cuttings can be propagated in both water and soil, but each method has its advantages and considerations.

1. Soil Propagation:


  • Mimics natural conditions for succulents.
  • Supports the development of a well-established root system.


  • Allow the cut ends to callus.
  • Plant the cuttings in well-draining succulent or cactus potting mix.
  • Water sparingly and provide indirect sunlight.

2. Water Propagation:


  • Allows easy monitoring of root development.
  • Provides a visually interesting process.


  • Allow the cut ends to callus.
  • Place the cuttings in a container with enough water to submerge the nodes.
  • Change the water regularly to prevent stagnation.

17. How do I encourage my succulents to root?

– To encourage your succulents to root successfully, follow these guidelines:

1. Use Healthy Cuttings:

-Choose robust, disease-free succulent cuttings.

2. Allow Callusing:

-Let cut ends air dry for a day to form a callus.

3. Apply Rooting Hormone (Optional):

-Dip cut ends in rooting hormone for enhanced root development.

4. Choose Well-Draining Soil:

-Plant in well-draining succulent mix.

5. Plant at the Right Depth:

-Bury cuttings slightly in soil.

6. Provide Indirect Sunlight:

-Place in bright, indirect sunlight.

7. Water Sparingly:

-Allow soil to dry between waterings.

8. Maintain a Humid Environment (Optional):

-Cover cuttings for the first few days.

9. Be Patient:

-Monitor for signs of new growth.

18. Can you use honey as a rooting hormone for succulents?

– Yes, honey can be used as a natural rooting hormone for succulents. It is a great natural rooting stimulant to use if you’re an organic gardener or just want a chemical-free, natural solution.

Because honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it functions well as a natural rooting hormone. In addition to keeping pathogens at bay, honey helps the cuttings natural rooting hormones to promote root growth.

Prepare a Honey Solution:

  • I like to use the honey straight from the jar, but you can also mix one tablespoon of honey into two cups of boiling water.
  • It is best to use raw honey.
  • You can also add a pinch of cinnamon to the raw honey.

And after all, dip the cut ends of your succulent cuttings into the honey solution. Finally plant the part following the steps as mentioned above.

19. Can succulent cuttings go straight into the soil?

– The direct-to-soil method is a common and straight forward way to propagate succulents, and many varieties root well using this approach. Here’s a simple guide:

1. Allow Cut Ends to Callus:

  • Before planting, let the cut ends of the succulent cuttings air dry for a day or two to form a callus. This helps prevent rot.

2. Choose Well-Draining Soil:

  • Plant the callused ends directly into well-draining succulent or cactus potting mix. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

3. Bury Cuttings Slightly:

  • Insert the cuttings into the soil, burying them slightly for stability. Avoid burying them too deeply.

4. Provide Indirect Sunlight:

  • Place the potted cuttings in an area with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight initially to prevent stress.

5. Water Sparingly:

  • Water the succulents sparingly after planting. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering.

20. How to plant succulent cuttings without roots?

– To plant succulent cuttings without roots, follow these steps for successful propagation. Begin by allowing the cut ends of the succulent cuttings to air dry for a day or two to form calluses—this helps prevent rot. Choose a well-draining succulent or cactus potting mix, and insert the callused ends directly into the soil. Bury the cuttings slightly for stability, but avoid planting them too deeply. Place the potted cuttings in an area with bright, indirect sunlight to encourage root development. Water the succulents sparingly after planting, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering. Be patient and monitor for signs of new growth, such as emerging leaves or shoots. This method provides a straightforward and effective way to propagate succulents, and with proper care, the cuttings will develop roots and grow into healthy plants.

21. How do you revive a succulent without roots?

– To revive a succulent without roots, begin by allowing the cut end to air dry and form a callus for a day. Plant the cutting in well-draining soil, burying it slightly for stability. Place the potted succulent in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry between waterings to prevent overwatering. Optionally, use a rooting hormone to enhance root development. Maintain a humid environment initially by covering the succulent for the first few days. Be patient and monitor the plant for signs of new growth, such as emerging leaves or shoots. Adjust care based on the succulent’s response, ensuring it receives the right conditions for successful root development. Consistent care, proper planting techniques, and patience are crucial for reviving succulents without roots.


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  • Prakash Bhattarai

    Mr. Prakash Bhattarai is Agriculture student. He writes content around gardening topics by doing social survey of real gardeners so that the factual information is delivered to the users.

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