Propagate Succulents by Beheading and Leaf Cuttings

There are several ways to successfully propagate succulents. This video gives some methods to propagate leaf cuttings. It also demonstrates how to propagate succulents by beheading.

Eric Pedley from East Austin Succulents. And today we’ll talk about a couple of methods of propagation. I’m going to talk about leaf propagation and beheading. There are so many wonderful varieties of succulents that I want to surround myself with beauty and make more of them.

Propagate Succulents from Leaf Cuttings

The first thing I’d like to talk about is leaf propagation. Here we can see Kalanchoe orgyalis, and this leaf has fallen off here and it’s made several new plants. So what I can do here is just stick these guys in dirt because now they’re ready to grow. I can just lay that on top of this soil here and let them grow or just leave that with the mother plant. Here’s a tray where I’ve taken several leaves and I’ve made little families, little cute families that can grow together. And eventually I can either scoop those out and give those to somebody or pop them into a bigger pot or I can just cut them up and let them root and keep growing. But there’s some nice color there.

Here we have an example; this is a Donkey Ears plant that is making new plants on its leaf tips on its own. I don’t need to remove those leaves or anything. And generally when I’m doing the leaf propagation I want to make a clean break at the stem. If you break the leaf it usually will not propagate except for when we’re talking about Kalanchoe. I can actually take this even break it in half and it will still make new plants. That’s one of the wonderful things about the plant.

Propagate Succulents by Beheading

It might sound extreme, but I have an Echeveria gibbiflora that is not a leaf propagator and does not pop out. So what I’m going to do to make more plants is just behead it. I’m just going to cut with a clean, sharp knife and I want to leave some leaves on there. They act like solar panels to let the new heads that are going to sprout from here develop more quickly. And I can remove these lower sleeves so that we create a little bit of service area for the roots to grow and I can let that dry out for a few days before I stick it in water and start watering.

And I can do the same with this watermelon plant here. It’s just growing as a single stalk so i can just cut it here so that it will branch several heads there. And I can do the same, let that guy dry out for a little bit. Now, when you’re cutting a cactus you really want to let things like this callous for a long time.

I want this ‘San Pedro’ to branch several times so I can repeatedly cut this over the years. But I’ve created a large wound here. This wound if I just stuck this in dirt right away, this could collect bacteria and suck up too much water and rot. I can leave this out. I can stick it in perlite and leave it somewhere up to a month is good, and that will create a nice callous that has the ability to shoot out roots.

Now, general care for succulents is part shade, water when dry. There are exceptions to every rule. But just make sure that your soil completely dries out between watering. If you can stick a finger in the soil and feel moisture, don’t water. But life is short, surround yourself with beautiful plants and you will have lots of presents to give your friends. I’m Eric Pedley for backyard basics.

That instructive video showed how to do succulent leaf cutting propagation as well as how to propagate succulents by beheading.

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