Tips for Propagating Succulents from Leaves

If you’d like to grow more succulents, learn about propagating succulents from leaves! Soon you’ll have more succulents than you know what to do with!

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For a full step-by-step tutorial, please visit my previous post.

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.

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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.

Here are some succulents similar to the ones I used: Graptoveria, Pachyveria, Echeveria, Crassula, Aeonium, and Sedum.

Propagating succulents from leaves is so much fun!

Learn all about propagating succulents from leaves!

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).

Succulent leaf cuttings can be placed on top of soil to propagate

Learn what types of succulents you can propagate from leaves

Arrange your succulent leaves in a fun design while you wait for them to propagate

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.

Use honey as a rooting hormone for propagating succulents

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.

Use bread pans to house the succulent leave you are propagating

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.

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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 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.



  1. Edie October 6, 2017 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I am trying to grow succulents but wondered what type of soil you used? Thanks,

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 9, 2017 at 9:08 am - Reply

      Hi! This soil is amazing! Hope it helps! :)

    • Juli October 9, 2017 at 10:45 pm - Reply

      If you want to grow these just stick in any soil. ,Don’t over water & plenty of Sunshine. Fertilizer at least once every 3mo.

  2. Belinda Santiago October 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    OMG you dont know how happy you made me. I enjoyed reading the tips & techniques how to propagate a succulent plants. It is really amazing. I am very lucky i took time to read this tips. Thank you very much.

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 9, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

      Aww, thanks! Glad you’re finding them helpful!

  3. Linda Belknap October 9, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    I am switching all my succulents to Bonsai Jack’s soil. I am stilling using a mix I used before to propagate my leaves.
    What kind of soil do you and Cassidy use? My mix is cactus soil with, some sand and small gravel and perlite. It worked alright for my plants but do like the new soil better for my plants. I have a bit nervous about switching my propagating to the new soil. I was concerned that the new soil might not have enough moisture. I would like suggestions.

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 10, 2017 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      I think Bonsai Jack soil is the best. Your propagating soil should do perfect in it. Be sure to water it daily so the roots don’t dry out, and you should be fine.

  4. Eileen Pearce October 10, 2017 at 7:10 am - Reply

    Do you water the babies???

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 10, 2017 at 11:48 am - Reply

      You sure do! You can spray them with a spray bottle every day. You don’t want the roots to dry out, so make sure you water them!

  5. Lauren October 17, 2017 at 5:30 pm - Reply


    I just started trying to grow succulents from leaves, and I’ve had horrible luck. Every time I spritz them — a few seem to die off by the next day. I’ve always waited for them to callous first, but even the leaves that actually establish roots have died on me. Should I mist the soil or the leaves daily? How much should I mist?


    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 18, 2017 at 8:33 am - Reply

      Propagating from leaves is fun, but there’s always bound to be some casualties along the way (usually about 50% or less will produce a new plant). How is the soil you have your leaves on? You want it to be well-draining, and you want the leaves to receive plenty of light, just like a full-sized plant. You can definitely mist the soil daily, but drying out here and there won’t hurt it. You want the soil to be damp beneath the leaves, but don’t soak it (this can cause your leaves to rot).

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