If you’d like to grow more succulents, learn how to propagate succulents from leaves! Soon you’ll have more succulents than you know what to do with!
I have a sad story to tell. Just a few weeks after starting a batch of leaves and cuttings for propagation I went out of town. I had moved all my succulents outside since the weather was getting warm. This should have been fine except all the succulent leaves that I was propagating were in the direct sunlight, which I didn’t realize. Sadly, all of the cute little succulents that had started growing died. Those beautiful pink roots turned nasty, shriveled and black. Lesson learned! Don’t put succulent starts outside until they are large enough to grow and be treated like a regular plant!
I ended up starting a whole new set of leaves and cuttings and they are doing much better now that they aren’t in direct sunlight. Be sure to check out my previous post that has a step by step tutorial on propagating succulents from leaves and cuttings. I really think propagating succulents inside works best because the climate is much more temperate. I left my new leaves and cuttings sitting on the window sill for two days and then laid them out on a nice succulent soil.
I got all three of the bread pans below at Deseret Industries for just a dollar a piece. I thought they would provide plenty of space but it turns out it was a tight fit! I decided to lay out the succulents in a pretty pattern just for fun. This way they look pretty even before those wonderful new little plants start to grow.When I started laying them out I left plenty of space between the leaves but I soon had to fill in all the negative space and even stand some of the leaves up (which still works just fine).
As I’ve researched more about propagating succulents I’ve seen several people suggest using honey as a rooting hormone. While I’ve read (and learned from propagating succulents on my own) that propagating succulents can be successful without a rooting hormone, I figured I’d give honey a try. After all, I already had some on the shelf! Plus it is amazing local honey from my friends the Stembridges who live down the street. You can check out their honey and even order some here.
So in this photo there are three trays of succulents. The middle, long tray has leaves that have been dipped in honey before being laid on the soil. The other two are just the succulent leaves, nothing additional done (other than the drying mentioned above). I’m curious to see if the honey helps, hurts or is the same! Update: The honey did not seem to make a big difference in how successful the leaves grew. I haven’t used any honey or rooting hormone since then and have still had a good success rate with my leaves.
It seems there is a lot of varying information about propagating succulents and I’ve decided that you have to figure out what works for you. Some people recommend putting the leaves in the dirt, others laying them on top. I like laying them on top with the curve facing the dirt so the leaf can get water but isn’t totally buried in the dirt. From the limited success I had before, this seems to be just fine. The biggest thing that I think helps is to let the leaves dry out and callus before you put them on dirt and water them. If they don’t callus they will absorb too much water and die. Also, put the leaves in bright light but not direct sunlight as this will cause them to scorch and die.
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These succulents are great if you're just starting out or looking for a low maintenance succulent garden!