How to Propagate Succulents by Leaf
In today's DIY guide we are going to learn how to multiply your succulent collection by propagating succulent leaves.
Who else has a pile of succulent leaves just sitting there on your potting bench slowly but surely wasting away? I'm guilty as charged.🙋🏻♀️ What if I told you there was a way to make all those sad forgotten leaves into potential cute succulent babies. Yes, more succulents please!
In this step by step guide you will learn how to start your very own propagation tray using four items that you may already have lying around in your garden.
1. Nursery tray/flat
3. Catalog paper
4. Succulent leaves
Step 1: I grab my nursery tray or flat and wipe it down from any dirt or cobwebs.🕸️ I like to use the nursery flats with smaller holes, I feel that they provide a better base for the soil.👍🏼
Step 2: If you have any store catalogs lying around I recommend you to use this type of paper. I find that this kind of paper is a lot thicker than the notebook kind. It's up to you which type you'd like to use. I rip six pages out and lay them over one another using three for the top of the flat and the other three for the bottom of the flat.
Step 3: Soil time, for this tray I used Black Gold cactus mix. This soil is pr-made and has all the nutrients and mediums for your succulent leaves to stay nice and dry and will also help your new succulent babies grow strong. I take 10 handfuls of soil and make a mound right in the center of the flat. This will give me about one inch or so of depth. Feel free to use as much dirt as you'd like, this is only a guide.
Step 4: Placing my hand in the center of the mound, I gently slide my soil to all four corners making it even and flat. If you have big rocks or twigs, like my soil does, pluck them out. We want our leaves to stay nice and flat on our soil.
Step 5: Take one of your succulent leaves and place it on the palm of your hand. Notice that the leaf has a natural curve, I call it the "belly" of the leaf.😬
This is the way I like to lay my leaf on the soil, belly down. I've tried both ways, belly up and belly down and I've had a lot better luck producing baby plants with the belly down.
Step 6: I lay my leaves down in a straight line forming rows as I go. This is why I like to propagate my succulent leaves in a nursery tray, you are able to fit quite a lot. I make about 7-9 rows depending on the size of the leaves I have. For this particular tray I made I was able to fit 9 rows, which totaled to about 200 succulent leaves!!😆 I'm starting to realize that I just may be a crazy plant lady...maybe.
I will leave my tray of leaves in a shaded bright area. Try your best to keep it protected from rain or frost. There is no need to mist your leaves at this stage, keep them dry.
As you can see I don't lay my leaves in any kind of order or size, this is completely up to you. I tend to collect leaves in a flat as I create new succulent arrangements, and once I have a full tray it's when I create the propagating flats. If you are the type to organize your leaves by variety, more power to ya! It will also make your identifying process a lot easier.
Patience Is a Virtue...⏰
It will take a few weeks until you see small pink roots growing out of your succulent leaves. At this point start to give them a mist of water using a spray bottle about every three days or so, if the weather is dry mist them more often. You don't want to soak the dirt, soaking the dirt will end up making your leaves retain too much water, they will get mushy and rot.😢
It will be a few months until you actually start to see any babies, but when you do, it will be extremely fulfilling. The leaf that you see here is bout 5 months old. As you can see the leaf is still nice and plump. At this point I will fill a 2 inch nursery pot with soil and place my leaf right on top. The leaf will eventually dry up completely and wither away. I'll pluck it off and the baby plant will have hopefully rooted into the soil. I will keep misting my baby plant until it outgrows it's 2 inch nursery pot.
Out of my 200 succulent leaves about half of them will make it. Yes, I know all that work for only half to actually grow successfully? This is why the more leaves you propagate, the better chance you'll have. Some leaves will dry out too quickly before creating any roots and some won't create roots at all. I've realized that the chubbier leaves compared to the flatter ones tend to produce babies a lot faster. Maybe it's because they can retain more water inside of them for a longer period of time.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope that you will have fun making your propagation trays, and hopefully in a few months you'll have baby succulent plants that will eventually become true garden stunners*👋🏼
THANK YOU & ENJOY🐝
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