How to Grow Succulents from Leaves and Clippings

Who doesn’t love succulents? Especially a beautiful bowl or planter full of all the different varieties. The unique shapes and colors like greens, blues, purples and even pinks; add a pretty touch to any room or arrangement. But we bet you didn’t know that it’s incredibly easy (and almost magical) to grow your own succulents from an existing plant.

We spoke to Phoebe Poole of Weatherlow Florals at Weatherlow Farms in Westport, MA about how to help your succulents multiply. Besides being a gardening goddess, she runs the farm’s workshops and is responsible for the colorful blooms you’ll see in the greenhouses and gardens there.

To start, gently wiggle off one of the mature leaves near the base of your succulent. Just be careful not to break the leaf in half, try to get it as close to the base as you can.

Place the leaves on top of some soil, put them wherever you have space, like a terra-cotta planter base or even on a plastic tray full of dirt, if you’re growing a bunch. Mist them with water every few days to keep the top of the soil and the leaves moist. Place the tray in an area that gets light, but not scorching direct sunlight.

After a little while you’ll start to see a whole new baby plant, with roots and all, growing off the end of the succulent leaves. How cool is that? The roots are so hearty they’ll find a way to get the nutrients they need. As the new growth gets larger, the original leave will start to shrivel up since the new plant is taking nutrients from the single leaf.
Once the root structure becomes more substantial, you can plant the new succulents in a tray until they get a little larger or put them directly in the pot you want them in. For plants like aloe, haworthia, agave and gasteria, you’ll see smaller baby plants forming off a larger one, in that case you can separate the new baby plant and plant it in its own pot. You can also trim a piece off of an existing plant, plant the clipping and it will grow roots.
A few notes on maintenance, while succulents are survivors they do need a little bit of care. Contrary to popular belief, they do need sunshine. Especially the colorful varieties. When you water them, only do it if the soil is dry. Stick your finger in the pot to gauge how wet the soil is first. Make sure your pots have adequate drainage as well!
Have any of you tried this before? Let us know your favorite succulent varieties and any other special tips or tricks on maintaining them.

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  1. Rach wrote:

    I love succulents and this post is so helpful because I always wanted to grow my own!

    3.30.17 | Reply
  2. Chris wrote:

    How cool is this!!!

    3.30.17 | Reply
  3. Emily wrote:

    What an awesome trick! I had no idea you could grow succulents this way. I love the little plants, actually gave them out as favors at our wedding. However, I have a black thumb and am horrible at keeping them alive. Hopefully these tips will help!!

    3.30.17 | Reply
  4. Christine M. Andrews wrote:

    I am going to have to give this another try. I recently tried rooting a succulent clipping and it died ?. I probably snapped it instead of wiggled it off as suggested and I stuck the base in the soil instead of resting it on side. Here’s to hoping!!

    4.8.17 | Reply

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