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Why dry propagation is the best propagation method for beginners

4 min read

Why dry propagation is the best method for beginners


If you are someone who wants to expand your succulent collection but don’t want to spend much on buying new plants or you’re a beginner gardener who doesn't have a lot of experience with succulents yet, then dry propagation is the perfect propagation method for you! 

What is Dry Propagation for Succulent?

Dry Propagation
Dry propagation helps lessen the risk of succulents being infected by mealybugs and root rot
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Dry propagation or also known as air propagation is an easy way in expanding your succulent garden without exerting too much effort. It can be applied to various rosette succulents genera, such as Graptoveria or Echeveria.

And since this propagation method helps lessen the risk of being infected by mealybugs and root rot, it has a higher chance of succeeding compared to other propagating techniques, making it very ideal for succulent newbies to try.

How do you do it?

Step 1: Water the succulent you want to propagate and wait for about 3 days.This will make the mother plant produce nutritious and juicy leaves for your new babies. Also, it is best to choose a succulent with thick leaves. Dry propagation doesn't require watering the leaves so the mother leaves should be plump and healthy so that it can provide sufficient nutrition and water for the babies until they develop their own roots.

thick leaves,  propagate succulents


Step 2: After 3 days, gently remove the leaves you’ll propagate from the mother plant.Use a twisting motion to pull the leaf off the plant entirely and avoid breaking it, or else it might not be able to sprout. Also, make sure to pick healthy and mature leaves at the bottom, as baby or dry or soft ones have lower odds of producing pups

gently remove the leaves you’ll propagate from the mother plant

Step 3: Place the leaves on a tray to propagate.You can use an egg carton, cup or any unused tray in your house for your leaves, and make sure to put it in a spot away from direct sunlight to avoid them from getting sunburnt.

Place the leaves on a tray to propagate

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Remember, with dry propagation, there’s no need to water the leaves until their roots are fully matured and the pups have been transplanted to the soil, which would take about 1 to 2 months. But during this period, you literally just have to wait and let the leaves do all the work in growing for you. Just make sure to check their roots at least once a week to see if they are still doing fine.


Remember healthy roots usually come in white or pink hue, so if they have darker ones or you see that they start to shrivel, it is a sign that they are getting too much sunlight. Move them to a less sunny spot to ensure a healthy pups.


white or pink hue
Healthy roots usually come in white or pink hue

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Once your pups are planted in the soil, wait for another 2-3 days before giving it a drink for at least once a week, since they are still small and would require more than mature plants.


Frequently Asked Questions


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There are numbers of reasons as to why your leaves doesn’t grow roots, but here are the most common ones:

  • You don’t have the right growing environment. Dry propagation needs to be performed in climates with high humidity to be really successful.
  • Leaves don't have enough water stored. Since doing this method does not require you to water the leaves at all, it is very important to make them juicy and store enough water for them to survive throughout the process by watering them first before propagating.
  • You picked the wrong leaves.Keep in mind that not all leaves are the same. There are some that are easy to propagate, so make sure to choose healthy, thick, and juicy leaves before applying this technique.




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This is quite common as some leaves will take more time to grow roots or pups than the others and some might even only grow roots or pups.

Also, not all succulents grow well from leaf. Some will root, but then stall at that point, rather than sending up new leaves.

So don’t be alarmed when this happens, as long as you carefully follow instructions above, soon you will have a whole new plant to add to your collection.


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Check out this quick video to see 4 mistake to avoid when propagating succulents

Check out this quick video to see how to propagate succulents in water




You can check out our other articles on succulent propagation as follows:


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