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How to propagate succulents from leaves

No need to keep buying these lovely plants - here is an easy guide to growing them from their leaves.

Succulents are some of the easiest plants to keep and propagating (making new plants) from them is incredibly simple.

As a general rule, succulents that have curly, bumpy, or thin leaves do not propagate well from their leaves. Their cousins that have smaller fleshy leaves like the well-known grey desert roses do this exceptionally well and are a joy to work with in this way.

To do this, gently twist off the entire leaf from the stem of the plant you want to make more of.

Take care to leave nothing of the leaf behind, but if this happens don’t discard it as it may be an exception and grow roots nonetheless.

Be careful not to tear the life while removing it as it may not survive and grow into a new plant.

Place your leaves on a bed of well-draining dry soil, making sure their ends are not touching the soil and wait about two weeks before watering them – doing this prematurely can result in the leaves rotting.

After about 10 days, they should begin to shrivel as they use the moisture in the leaves to nourish new root growth as it looks for water.

A close-up of new root growth after about three weeks after the leaves were removed from the plant. Photo: Emily Wellman Bain

Soon small rosette buds will form which will become your new plants.

Don’t worry if the buds form before the roots have developed, each leaf or plant does this slightly differently.

When roots appear, gently water them every two or so days and if you find they have not found the soil, feel free to put a little bit of soil on top of the roots.

It is best not to disturb them once this is done. In a couple of weeks, you will have an entire collection of new plants to enjoy.

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