Gorgeous, easy-care succulents are quickly becoming a fixture in gardens and landscapes throughout Northern Utah.
Succulent plants store water in their leaves, so don’t need much maintenance – which means they’re perfect for absent-minded gardeners. Succulents are also perfect for propagation. Propagating succulents – or turning one plant into several – is a fun and rewarding gardening task that allows you to share your plants with friends, family and neighbors.
Succulents are easier to propagate than most other plants. Here’s how.
Remove a Leaf
The process of propagating succulents starts with a leaf.
Use your fingers to gently pull or twist one of the healthy lower leaves off of your succulent plant. Or, if you prefer, cut the leaf free with a pair of clean, sharp gardening shears. Be careful not to rip it, as you’ll need the entire leaf, including the base, to grow roots for a new plant.
Let the Leaf Dry
Lay the succulent leaf on a towel- or parchment-lined tray, and set the tray in indirect sunlight to dry for a few days.
If the end of the leaf doesn’t dry out and scab over, it will absorb too much moisture at the first watering, and it could easily rot. You’ll know the leaf is dry enough when the end feels hard or starts to look shriveled.
Place the Leaf on Succulent Soil
Fill a pot or other planting container with succulent soil – this soil drains more easily, which is what succulents need.
Lay the leaf on the soil near the edge of the planter, with the dried end touching the soil. Place the pot in a warm spot that gets plenty of indirect sunlight.
Water as Needed
Water sparingly until you see new sprouts form on the end of the leaf. At that point, allow the soil to dry out before watering again. Since succulents store their own water supply, they don’t need to be watered often.
To avoid overwatering, you can mist the soil and leaf with a spray bottle.
Cover the New Plant Roots with Soil
Once your leaf develops roots, it’s time to cover the new plant with soil. If the leaf isn’t covered, it will continue to dry out. When that happens, succulents may stop growing.
Keep in mind that this is a slow process. Succulents can take a long time to grow from leaves to full-sized plants. Expect the process to take a few months, or even as long as a year to reach the desired size.
If you would like more advice on how to propagate succulents, or if you would like to select new plants to start your garden, visit Millcreek Gardens. Our expert staff can give you tips for any planting, landscaping or gardening task. Along with annual and perennial flowers, shrubs, landscaping trees and outdoor plant species, we have a wide variety of gardening supplies and accessories available. To browse our selection of succulents, stop by our Salt Lake City plant nursery today.