I’ve been working on writing this post for a while! I often share pictures of my Succulents and cactus pals on Instagram – like every self respecting blogger! It was only when one of my Succulents got way too big for its boots that I thought I’d take a gamble and try to propagate the damn thing.
First off, let me say I didn’t dive into this without research and the website I found the most useful is this one – there are much better examples of this everywhere else online with much better pictures but I’m not going to NOT share my own experiences just because someone else did a better job!
So let me tell you about my mother succulent. She was big and, too be honest, I’m not sure what ‘type’ she is because I’m too lazy to actually look that up but she had outgrown her pot and had started to grow along my window ledge like a vine. Who knew they did that? I did take pictures of it which I’ve sadly lost but it really happened, I swear.
Instead of repotting, which I was going to do, I figured it would be healthier to trim the whole thing and try to start from scratch so… Let’s get into it!
This is the top of the mother plant. She’s a real beauty and such a trooper! I basically took a pair of sharp scissors and nipped her off the long stalk that was creeping across the counter top – so much of her energy was going into growing away from her roots that the leaves at the base were wrinkling and dying. A good sign she needed help!
What I did was wiggle about 20 healthy looking leaves away from the stalk so I was left with only this ‘head’… I’d suggest looking at that site I’ve linked to to see the best way to do that! It’s not hard, though!
Once I had a good bunch of leaves, and the head, I laid them out (with some Dino help) and left them to dry.
The aim of this game is to let the ends of the leaves callous over so they are similar to human scabs. That’s gross. Ok, what I mean is the ends should dry out and seal closed before anything else. I think this took about a month… I also flipped them over every now and then just so they dried evenly.
Eventually they heal up and little tongues of growth appear. I did had a great set of pictures for this stage but, again, lost them? It’s not like I’ve been planning this post since August or anything.
Once they get to this stage, where little sprouts appear you get to buy some Succulent/cactus soil (usually available from any garden centre because it’s kind of a popular hobby these days) and lay these bad boys on top.
Again, I’d point you to the link from the start of this post for how often to spray them with water because now they’re ready to be fed! You don’t plant them at this point because the roots need to appear first… Except the head of the plant. Because it is already big and strong I planted it immediately and it’s still going strong.
But back to the ‘pups’ (as they’re known). You get to spray them with water and flip them every few days (I’m not sure this was something I read but I did it instinctively and I’ve managed to keep them all alive!), just on top of the soil.
Eventually they grow roots and a new little flower because, surprise, the leaf is merely the cocoon for the new plant!
That’s right, the old leaf isn’t the new plant. It took me a while to realise this and it’s kind of a creepy, fun thing to see. Not only have my little plants grown biiig roots and new heads but the original leaves?
Dying or already dead. When they get to this stage the original leaf can be wiggled free and discarded so the new head can be planted! The above picture kind of shows one of the babies I’ve already popped into the soil and I’m saving photos of the rest for my new post in about a month where they’re all buried or potted.
I’m really pleased with the results of my first foray into propagation. It’s been a slow process – I started this in August – but rewarding! I’m not only going to have a new brood of plants but also going to be able to gift some of them to people which is fun! I really like the idea of trying it with more Succulents to see if the process is the same?!
I’m also excited to see how these little babies fair over the next few months!