How to Grow Succulents from Cuttings?

You would agree with me that succulents have a profound decorative effect, whether they are planted indoors or outside in your garden. Better still, they are effortless to propagate.

I had admired these wonderfully thick and engorged plants for a while before I eventually decided to research how to grow them. I was almost sure that it was going to be a complicated process, but I discovered otherwise. Quite interestingly, you can get cuttings to grow as many succulents as you want from just a single plant.

If you are looking for information on how to propagate succulents, I am going to discuss the simple process of growing succulents from cuttings below.

What You Need to Propagate Succulents from Cuttings?

There are different types of succulent plants, and as attractive as the prospect is, not all succulents can be grown from cuttings. Nonetheless, a lot of these plants can be propagated from leaf or cutting. To do this, you will need some essential supplies.

  • Succulent Cuttings
    You can choose either choose to use leaf cuttings or stem cuttings. However, you will need a fully developed succulent plant from which you will take the cuttings to cultivate.
  • Plant Pots
    A number of these are needed to sprout roots from the cutting and transplant the plants, when the roots develop. The pots should have holes at the bottom for better drainage.
  • Small Shears/clippers
    Clean shears/clippers will be used to get stem cuttings from the succulent plant. Leaf cuttings don’t require clippers.
  • Cactus Soil
    This is a special soil you can get on the market that has the right properties to grow healthy succulents. In the absence of this, you can create your soil mix from potting soil, sandy soil, and perlite.
  • Plant Rooting Hormone
    It is not compulsory to use plant rooting hormone, but I have discovered that it helps the roots develop faster when I use it.

How to Grow Succulents from Cuttings?

There is nothing complicated about this process, but you should take note of a few things to increase your chances of success. First, you need access to a growing succulent, from which you will get the cuttings to grow. You can propagate a succulent plant from a stem cutting or a leaf cutting. Growing from both types of cutting involves the same steps, with just a few differences.

Step 1. Get Cuttings from a Succulent Plant

Choose a well-developed stem from a succulent plant, and cut cleanly with a small shears/clippers. You can sterilize the shears with rubbing alcohol to ensure a clean cut. In the absence of shears, you can snap off the succulent stem, but it is advisable to use a pair of clippers to get a healthy cutting.

If you prefer to grow from leaf cuttings, all you have to do is break off some leaves from the plant. This sounds simple enough. However, if the leaves break in half or are not broken off cleanly from the plant, they will not root. Holding the tip of the leaf, gently shake until it breaks off from the plant. 

Step 2. Dry the Cuttings

If you plant the cuttings in the soil immediately after removing them from the mother plant, they will rot and die way before they develop into new succulent plants. Allow the cuttings to dry for some days before you go ahead to plant them. Typically, stem cuttings take longer to cure than leaf cuttings, and you can even plant leaf cutting directly. Nevertheless, it is better to allow them to dry out before planting. Stem cutting should dry for 3-7 days, while leaf cutting should not dry for more than 3 days.

Step 3. Prepare Soil

Whether you are planting outdoors or indoor, a sandy soil mix presents the best growing condition for succulents. In reality, you can buy cactus soil that is made exclusively for these plants. You can also prepare yours by mixing sandy soil, potting soil, and perlite. The important thing is to avoid water-retaining soil.

Step 4. Apply Rooting Hormone to Cuttings

Applying rooting hormones is not compulsory, as the cutting will most likely root on their owner. I have planted with and without rooting hormones, and what I discovered was that the cuttings root faster when I use used rooting hormones. Lightly dust the ends of the calloused ends of the leaves or stems with the hormones and then go ahead to plant.

Step 5: Plant Cuttings in Soil

This should be done immediately after the rooting hormone is applied. For stem cuttings, make a small hole in the soil with your finger and put the stem into the hole, while making sure that the rooting hormone is not dusted off. Gently push the soil back in place to cover the hole and hold the stem in place. For leaf cuttings, you don’t need to dig any hole. With the calloused end facing upwards, lay them on the soil or press them lightly into the topsoil layer.

Step 6. Put the Pot in Indirect Sunlight

These plants need a lot of sunlight to thrive, as they are adapted to desert conditions. However, at this developing stage, indirect sunlight is better than direct sunlight. Place them by a window or in reasonably shaded place with access to sunlight.

Step 7. Mist Lightly

In general, they can do without water for a long time, but growing succulents require more humidity than fully developed ones. You should never water them, as they will most likely rot away if you do. Instead, mist the topsoil lightly by using a spray bottle. If the atmosphere in inherently humid, you can skip watering them until the roots are formed.

Transplanting the Succulents

Transplanting the Succulents

New roots and leaves will start to develop after some weeks. When you notice fully formed roots and leaves, it is time to transplant the cuttings.

Prepare Planting Pots

For drainage purposes, use planting pots that have holes at the bottom. Fill with a soil mixture of sand, perlite, and potting soil- similar to the soil mix you planted the cuttings in. Furthermore, ensure that the pots are not too large and that you do not plant more than one succulent in one pot.

Uproot and Transplant Succulents

Uproot the developing succulents from the rooting container very carefully, so as not to damage the fragile roots. Make a small hole in the new pot and insert the root. Brush the soil back in place to cover the roots thereafter.

Some succulents are strong enough to be transplanted into gardens directly, but I have never tried that. I always make sure that the plant develops to a particular stage before I transplant them into my garden.


If you follow these simple steps I have discussed above, I assure you successful succulent cultivation. They are very rugged plants that can survive in tough conditions, so you should find it quite easy enough to grow them. The only mistake I made when I first tried to grow succulents was watering the cuttings, which made them rot. With the moderate humidity and access to sunlight, succulents are bound to do well. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family. Also, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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