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How to propagate succulents?

(8 Posts)
ElleDubloo Wed 01-Feb-17 15:11:49

I have these three succulents which I bought from the garden centre 2 years ago and have forgotten their names. Two of them are going through a growth spurt now and are looking quite long and awkward. I'd like to know how to divide them into several smaller plants, if possible. Thanks!

NanTheWiser Wed 01-Feb-17 17:45:32

The problem with your plants is that they are not getting enough light - known as etiolation - you can see this by how they are stretching themselves towards the window. I don't know what aspect (N, S, E, W) this window is, but they need to be on the sunniest window (south-facing) you have. The one on the left is very difficult to identify as it is so out of character, but could be a Crassula or Kalanchoe. The centre one is a Fenestraria rhopalophylla which s a member of the Mesembryanthemacea family and hails from arid areas of South Africa. It grows in habitat with only the tips of the windowed leaves exposed and can produce daisy-like flowers - again, yours is showing lack of light (these are basically desert plants). the one on the right is Crassula perforata, sometimes known as "String of buttons", and usually grows with tightly compacted columns of leaves.
Succulents are easy to propagate, and you can do this with yours. for the ones on the left and right, you can take a tip cutting from the top of the stems, which should be left to dry for a week (to "callus" the cut), and then just rest on top of some dry, very gritty compost - they should soon start to produce tiny roots from the cut area, when they can be potted up and watered lightly (never overwater succulents!) The one in the centre is slightly different - if there are several "clumps" of leaves it can be divided, but I don't think yours is large enough yet.
Then, if possible, give them as much light as you possible can, in order to stop them stretching towards the light, and allow the compost to dry out in between waterings.

ElleDubloo Wed 01-Feb-17 20:02:54

Thank you! That's incredibly helpful and I'll do exactly as you say. The window is South-East facing and is the sunniest one we've got, unfortunately. For the ones on either side, can I chop up the stems into several sections each (i.e. destroying the original plant and producing many cuttings) or can I only take off the tip?

NanTheWiser Wed 01-Feb-17 21:27:20

Tip cuttings are best, but you could also try leaf cuttings - pull a leaf from the stem gently, so that it comes away cleanly, and just rest it on the gritty cutting compost, it will eventually produce little roots from the base followed by a baby plantlet.They just take a little longer. It might take a few weeks, so don't be too impatient, but succulents really are very easy to root!

NanTheWiser Wed 01-Feb-17 21:32:34

And actually, if you don't mind butchering that plant, you could chop it into pieces and treat as outlined above, and see how much will root - many of these plants will root from dropped leaves and pieces of stem, they are very opportunistic!

shovetheholly Thu 02-Feb-17 07:41:53

Nan is the succulent queen! I'm learning so much, thanks for this thread OP.

ElleDubloo Fri 03-Feb-17 10:18:23

Thanks again Nan. I've pulled off all the leaves on one of the long stems, and cut off the tip as well. I'll let you know how things go.

Since my husband banned me from keeping plants that require a lot of watering inside the house (had some problems with mould in the winter) I've decided that succulents are the way to go. Hope to learn a lot in the coming months!

Trethew Fri 03-Feb-17 10:28:41

as Nan says - succulents are easy to propagate

Thought I'd share this experiment. I was cutting down a border sedum (Autumn Joy I think) and noticed babies along some of the dead stems. I broke some off and pressed them onto the surface of some damp compost about three weeks ago (cold greenhouse). Lo and behold..... they've grown roots and got much bigger. Can't believe it - look at all those free plants!

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