Succulents are growing in popularity due to their unique characteristics and low maintenance needs. They are very hardy plants that come in a wide variety and take little to keep them looking beautiful. Succulents are also one of the many species of plants that are able to be propagated. Propagation of succulents involves either removing leaves from an existing plant or taking a cutting straight from the stem. I will explain how to do the first in this article.
First, to propagate a succulent using the method of leaf removal, you will need to gather a few supplies. In this case, a tray or old egg carton may be used to hold the soil and leaves while new plants are being formed. Next, you will need to purchase or create a good soil for the leaves to sit upon. This will be a mixture of a sandy soil, ground rocks, and regular potting soil. You may also go to your local home improvement store and purchase what is called cactus soil. Once you have a suitable container and soil, remove the lower leaves from the existing succulent. Do so carefully as you do not want to rip the leaves or tear them in any way. Wiggling the leaf gently off the plant is a good method I like to use. Lastly, take the leaves you have collected and place them on top of the soil, making sure they do not touch. A good inch spacing is a safe bet. Place the container in an area that receives indirect sunlight and spritz with water once every 3 or 4 days. Now it is time to play the waiting game. New growth will begin to be evident in about 3 weeks, sometimes more, sometimes less. Be sure not to disturb the leaves during this time, it will slow the growth of the new plant. You will notice small buds appear on the leaf where it was removed from the succulent. This is a great sign that the end result is near! The leaf will also start to develop tiny roots on the underside. Please note that not all the leaves that are being propagated will produce buds or roots, also they may have one and not the other. This is discouraging for some but will make you that much more excited for the successful leaves. Once the buds and roots have developed, it is time to transplant them into whichever planter you choose. You simply lay the new growth on top of the soil and allow nature to take its course. The succulents will root in and grow into a new and beautiful plant.
I have personally had the most success with propagation by using the leaves from the echeveria family of succulents. You will have a great time experimenting with different varieties and methods of your choosing when you decide to expand your succulent displays by propagating. It is a genuinely fun hobby that will provide new plants for years to come.