Tag Archives: propagation

How to Propagate Succulents in 5 Easy Steps

14 Oct


With all the rage about creating frames or terrariums filled with  succulents, I am often asked where one would find affordable solutions to this plethora of plants.   Even though putting the garden to bed seems to be my primary task at hand, it is  a good time to take cuttings too.  These tips will also work for succulents purchased at a greenhouse or garden center, thus allowing for an endless supply of little succulents to use for indoor growing projects.


Succulents are probably one of the easiest plants to propagate.  Slow growing, these plants usually thrive in warm sunny locations and require very little care.  Unlike a cactus that barely needs to be watered, succulent plants should be watered anywhere from  ten to fourteen days depending on their growing location.  Keep in mind more sun = more water.   I have found a wide variety of sedum (stonecrop) and sempervivum (hen and chicks) that make great succulents for propagating and growing and using for plant crafts.  Look for a wide variety of colors and textures.  The groundcover sedum varieites in your garden also work great.

To propagate, follow these 5 easy steps:

1: Pinch off the tip portion of a stem only.  You don’t want to use another parts below this, as the newer growth at the tip of a stem will produce better roots.  You don’t need any more than one inch of stem, depending on the plant.  Cut between two nodes, which is the part where a leaf meets the stem.

2: Remove lower leaves, leaving only a few on the tip.  Set aside for at least a day to allow the stem to callous, or heal over.  This will allow better root formation.  You can also use the leaves to make new plants.

3: I like to stick the new cuttings in a flat when allowing for time to grow roots.  I use a traditional peat/perlite potting mix for houseplants.  I never use cactus mix as it is too sandy and have found that my succulents have grown better in the general potting mix anyway.  It looks pretty too.

4: Once they have developed roots, it’s time to plant them into your frame, container or terrarium. 

5: Once planted, little care is needed.  Keep in a low light area for about two weeks before moving them to receive sunlight.  Water when the soil dries out. 

Caring for your Succulents:  If your new plants become “leggy” pinch off the tips and start a new plant.  The original stem should develop smaller shoots. I like to keep my creations pinched back and have a continuous supply of baby succulents.  I never know when I need a little gift for something.  These little treasures make great gifts when planted in small terracotta pots. 

TIP:  Want to increase the variety of your collection of succulents?  Share this post with friends, and have each of you purchase a succulent plant, propagate, and hold a plant swap.  Soon you will end up with many different varieties!

Sedum Lime-Zinger PPAF
photo by Chris Hansen courtesy of http://www.PerennialResource.com

Cuttings From the Garden

26 Aug

This time of year is one of my favorites in the flower garden.  The nights are starting too cool and the blooms are presenting their luscious hues of vibrant pinks and oranges with a backdrop of foliage showing many shades of green.  Now is the time when you reap the rewards from all of the hard work of planning, planting, and weeding.  It’s hard to think that the weather will soon be changing and the cooler days of autumn will be upon us.  Now is the time to decide which cuttings to take from the garden for indoor growing through the winter.  One of the easiest plants to do this with is Coleus.  You don’t want to dig up the plant due to a soil organism that doesn’t allow Coleus to successfully grow indoors.  I started these from seed last Thanksgiving, and I think that I will take some cuttings this year.   With its colorful foliage, ease of rooting and low light requirements, it makes an ideal garden plant to grow indoors.  With its sturdy, strong square stem (a clue that it is a member of the mint family) it can easily be handled.   You can root Coleus in a small clear vase in water if you choose, and by following these easy steps you can ensure successful propagation.


  1. Choose a time to take cuttings when the plant is under less stress, such as the morning.  Select only healthy vigorous plants to take cuttings from.


  1. Prepare containers filling them with a good quality potting mix for houseplants.  Any size less than 2 inches in diameter works well.  Water thoroughly. Or if you choose, use a small vase and root first in water.


  1. Cut the stems about 3 inches long from the top.  You should make the cut just above where a set of leaves are present.  That way the parent plant will still continue to grow fuller and more attractively.


  1. Remove all lower leaves only to leave 2-3 left on the tip.  If any flower is present, remove.


  1. Create a hole in the potting mix (a pencil works well for this) and place the cutting into the hole.  Move some of the potting mix around the stem so it stands up.  Water and place in a bright but shaded spot out of direct sunlight. 


  1. Continue to water only when the potting mix starts to dry out.  Do not allow to become completely dry or to over water and become soggy. 


  1. Once roots have formed either in the vase or in the potting mix, transplant into a small decorative container.  Keep in a morning sunny window and enjoy throughout the winter months ahead.  You can then plant it back out in the garden next spring after danger of frost.  Enjoy!

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