Succulents are very drought hardy plants that are often uses for indoor gardens.  They are easy to grow and also easy to root for new plants.  These tips for propagating succulents will give you dozens of extra plants in no time at all.These Tips for propagating succulents will give you new plants for free in just weeks.

Get plants for free with these tips for propagating succulents.

Plants for free – what is not to like about that?  Every time I go to my local garden center, I always check out their variety of succulents.

Some are classified as perennials, which makes them more cost effective but, even so, have you checked out the prices for them?  $4-$5 for a TINY pot is not unusual at all.  Why pay these prices, when you can get all the succulents you want for free from just a cutting or a leaf?Succulents are very easy to propagate from leaves and cuttings. This gives you lots of plants for free!

I have dozens of varieties of succulents in my garden that I have collected.  Some of them, like hens and chicks (sempervivum) are cold hardy and can stay outside during the winter, and others have to be brought indoors over the winter or they will die from the frost that we get here in NC.

All of the varieties are candidates for propagating succulents.   The indoor plants that I tried to carry over got leggy from low light, so they will be cuttings.  I will also take leaves from many of the varieties.

Succulent plants

This photo shows you some leaves as well as some cuttings from the leggy plants.leaves and cuttings of succulents

The first step is to air dry the ends of the leaves and cuttings. Succulents will rot easily if you try to put them in soil too soon.  The reason is that they will try to absorb too much water, since they store moisture in the leaf area.

You will want the ends of the leaves to be calloused over before you plant them. Depending on how hot it is, this can take a few days to a week.  Be sure to get the whole leaf and try not to break it in half for best results in getting them to grow.Succulent leaves

I just laid my cuttings in a seedling tray that I plan to plant them in later and left them to dry.

Lay the dried petals on cactus potting soil

Once the ends have nicely calloused over, they are ready for the soil.  I used a cactus and succulent potting soil and planted the cuttings around the outside and just laid the leaves in the middle in rows.

If you wish, you can use a rooting powder, but this is not necessary.  The leaves can also be stuck into the soil, but they will grow just fine laying on the top, too.

Mist the soil. Succulents don't like wet feet

Watering is tricky.  I used the mist setting on my hose nozzle to give the cuttings just a light mist every few days or when the soil was starting to dry out. The main thing is to go lightly on the watering or the cuttings will rot.

The cuttings are growing

In a few weeks, your cuttings will have started growing (a sure sign they have rooted) and the leaves will be sprouting small baby succulents.

in a few weeks a baby succulent forms

This tiny baby will grow into a full sized plant in no time at all.  a root and baby is forming on this leaf

This leaf shows both the roots that have formed and the baby that is starting to grow.Succulent seedlings in pots

The largest of my baby plants got to about 4 inches tall in about three weeks, so they were ready to go into their planters right way.  baby succulents in new soil

I put the smaller rooted cuttings into some 3 inch seedling pots that I had saved from a recent shopping trip for vegetable seedlings. They are a good size for these tiny plants and will give them some room to grow without having too much soil.

more babies from petals

More baby succulent plants as well as a few leaf cuttings that have just started to root but not yet grown the babies.

WAiting for the baby succulents to grow

Plants for free!  I will put these seedling trays on a planter stand on the deck garden on my patio so that they are easy to mist each night until they have really started growing. They are too small to put directly in the garden right now.I love the way tiny succulents look in small planters

Three new babies in one tiny planter – and they cost me nothing except a bit of time.  This little planter is only about 3 inches wide and 7 inches long and is the perfect size for a mini succulent planting.

tiny succulents can be planted in so many ways. This cute idea shows a brick with home of the home grown babies in it.

Sempervivum babies planted in the holes of a brick make a creative and neat looking planter. See this post for more interesting succulent planter ideas


These are the plants that I used for my propagating succulents project.  Propagating succulents is easy

  1. Echeveria derenbergii – Painted Lady
  2. Sencio “Firestorm”
  3. Senecio Vitalis
  4. Graptopetalum Paraguayense
  5. Graptosedum “Vera Higgins”
  6. Sedum treleasei
  7. Echeveria harmsii – Plush Plant
  8. Crassula Capitella

I left my small rooted cuttings on my patio until they started to grow into larger plants that can take normal garden conditions.  The next step was to plant them in the garden in a large cement block planter that I use to feature them in my Southwest themed garden bed.

Some of the openings have plant pots sunk in the soil (the tender varieties). The hardy varieties that will take the winter outdoors are planted directly into the soil.Cement blocks planter

Have you tried propagating succulents from cuttings and leaves?  What tips can you share that were successful for you?

Update on my cuttings.

Last fall, I transplanted many of these cuttings into a long container to bring indoors over the winter.  They are sitting in a sunny south facing window and doing well. I used a few of them to make a coffee pot terrarium project!Watering the terrarium

For more great garden ideas, be sure to visit my Pinterest Cactus and Succulent board. There are hundreds of ideas for using succulents.

Want to know more about Succulent Plant Propagation?  This E-Book from Drought Smart Plants will tell you everything you need to know.Propagating suculents

Succulent Identification Chart

This wonderful graphic shared by permission of FTD Fresh is a fabulous source to help identify succulents you might be growing but don’t know the name of.

Don't know the name of your succulent or cactus plant? This great Compendium of 127 Stunning Desert Plants and Succulents may help. Image shared with permission of


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