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What could go wrong with your succulent propagation

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What could go wrong with your succulent propagation


Who does not love to see a garden full of chubby, lovely, and adorable succulents? Especially if you have some in your garden, you will think of adding more to your collection. And what could be better if you can just propagate more succulents for yourself?

While it can be a bit challenging, after reading this article, you will be able to propagate your existing succulents without any worries. There is no denying that succulent propagation mistakes can occur. But learning beforehand can help you not make those mistakes.

1. Overwatering 

Overwatered Succulents

Too much watering often do more harm than good


Before delving in, you need to keep some points in mind, as you always not get a 100% success rate. Quite often, every leaf will perform differently during propagation. Some might grow one baby succulent, whereas others might grow the roots. In fact, some succulents can grow up to six pups. 

Too much watering often do more harm than good. If you do soil propagation, only mist lightly the soil every day when the roots appear. If you do air propagation, you might even just want to leave the leaves as they are without watering. Too much water will rot the mother leaves and the pup will die as well.


2. Wrong Amount of Light

It is one of the biggest propagation mistakes that gardeners struggle with: Leaves propagation need a lot direct, bright sunlight. It is the opposite. Intense sunlight will burn your leaves. Succulent leaf propagation do not need too much sunlight. Put them in an airy and bright place will help them do better. Pups do not do well under extreme heat or too much direct sunlight.

Also, if your succulent does not show new growth close to leaf, then it means your plant needs more light to grow.


3. Choosing the Parent Leaf

Choosing the parent leaf for succulent propagation

Choose plump and healthy leaves in increase the success rate while propagating


To become a successful propmaster, you cannot ignore the step of choosing the parent leaves. Before removing the leaf from the mother plant, make sure your succulent is watered properly and all their leaves look plump and healthy. To increase your success rate, avoid these type of leaves while propagating:

  • Broken leaves: your succulents won't root unless the leaves are cleanly removed from the mother stem.
  • Young, small leaves: while you can propagate from small leaves, it will take longer to grow succulent babies. This is because small leaves will not have enough nutrients to support new growths.
  • Overwatered or dried leaves

Nature always give chances for the best genes to survive. So the ideal leaves to propagate are bottom, more mature and plump leaves.



    Succulents Propagation: Frequently Asked Questions

    Succulents Propagation


    How is the Idea of Using Rooting Hormone with Leaf Propagation?

    The leaves of succulents contain nutrients they need to sustain until the new roots develop, a plantlet is grown and the leaf has withered. In other words, you will not need to do anything until the mama leaf has dried up. The mama leaf provides all the nutrients and water for the plantlet.


    Why Do Leaves Turn To Mush or Rot?

    Watering your new plant more frequently will leave it with moist soil, which can cause the leaves to rot. Not to forget, the leaves never assimilate water until the roots are developed. If you see leaves rotting before the development of the roots, add a layer of pumice on the soil and place the leaves on. It will keep the leaves off the wet soil and give roots the moisture to grow. Besides this, avoid misting the leaves, or it will lead the leaves to rot.


    What is the Right Lighting Setting for the Plant When Propagating?

    If you are propagating the plant outdoor, your leaves will love a bright yet shady place that gets indirect sunlight. For indoors, keep it near a south-facing window.


    When do the Leaves not Send out Roots?

    Areas that have arid and extremely dry climate can disrupt the growth of roots. If you propagated your succulent a month before and see no roots development, that can be because of your climatic conditions. In that case, fill a tray with soil and layer perlite or pumice when propagating the plant. The pumice or perlite will keep the leaves off and up of the wet soil, which will help prevent rotting.


    Why do the Leaves Keep Moving Around?

    If you live in a region that experiences moderate to strong winds, make sure to pin the leaves of your growing succulent. It will prevent them from falling off and encourage healthy growth. You can pin the foliage with a thin wire. Bend the 1.5-inch wire into a horseshoe shape and pin down the leaves until the roots are established.


    Why do the Roots Wither or Dry during Propagation?

    Picking up leaves from succulents many times can lead to dead roots. Since they have delicate roots, you should be very careful while dealing with the plant.


    What to do When Your Roots are not Covered in Soil?

    Sprinkle a small amount of soil on the roots to cover them. It will prevent the roots from drying out. When you water the plant, make sure the leaves do not get wet or else it can lead them to rot. Instead, water the soil in front of the leaves side; it will encourage root growth and prevent rotting.


    What is the Best Time to Remove the Mama Leaf?

    Do not remove the mama leaf until it dries out since it supplies the growing plant with all the energy and nutrients it needs. If you remove the pups too soon, especially when their roots are not strong enough, the chance for them to survive on their own is very low. Wait till the mother leaves are dried up and they will fall off the babies automatically.


    Can All Succulents' Leaves be Propagated?

    Leaves propagation is not for every succulent: Aeonium and Sempervivum do not do well with leaf propagation. Sedum and Echeveria with plump leaves have better chances with leaf propagation.

    All in all, leaves propagation is fairly easy and does not require too much knowledge and experience. Don't be afraid to fail, your experience will grow with time and you will sooner or later become a successful prop-master.

    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

    Check out this quick video to see how to propagate succulents for beginners



    See more about Tips on Succulent Propagation from Leaves and Cuttings


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

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