You are currently viewing Propagating Succulents from Leaves

Propagating Succulents from Leaves

Propagating succulents to grow your collection, share with friends and use them in crafts is a fun part of this succulent-loving obsession – I mean hobby. It always seems magical to me that you can take a small part of a plant, and grow it into a whole ‘nother plant! πŸ™‚ Together, we have covered propagating succulents from stem cuttings and from divisions in previous posts. Today, we’ll look at the most magical method of all – propagating succulents from leaves. To grow an entire plant from a single leaf — it’s like getting to play with God’s toolbox!

How to Propagate Succulents from Leaves

{Please note, some links in this post may be affiliate links to sites that pay me a small commission if you click on the link and make a purchase. This commission is at absolutely no cost to you. I only recommend products and companies that I have worked with and truly love! ~Kat}

Propagating Succulents

Mixed succulents a lovely seating

While all succulents can be propagated, different varieties require different methods. There are four main methods of propagating succulents:

Which Succulents Can Be Propagated from Leaves?

mixed succulents, each a candidate for leaf propagation
Mixed succulents that can all be propagated by leaves

Most succulents can be propagated from a single leaf, though some cannot. How can you know which will work and which won’t? As is often the case with succulents – the plant will tell you! πŸ™‚

All succulents have the drive to reproduce – it is one of the essential functions of life. Like stem cuttings, leaf propagation takes advantage of natural abilities many succulents have developed to adapt to their extreme native climates. Varieties likeΒ Echeveria, Graptopetalum and Sedum drop their leaves easily in response to rough treatment from passing animals, root rot, and a variety of other environmental stresses – including handling by loving gardeners! πŸ™‚ “In the wild” this enables these plants to respond to some forms of stress by attempting reproduction. By dropping a leaf that is primed to root and grow, they respond to a current threat by making a bid for future offspring. When you have a healthy succulent that easily drops healthy, plump, firm leaves, it is a prime candidate for leaf propagation.

Other succulents like Aeonium, Portulacaria or Crassula develop a woody, shrub-like growth pattern. Their leaves are much more firmly “attached” than those above, and resist efforts to remove a leaf for propagation. These can be propagated from leaves, though they take much longer. Typically, these varieties are better propagated by stem cuttings.

Still other succulent varieties propagate primarily from offsets. Sempervivum, Agave and Aloes are examples of pup-forming succulents that do not propagate by their leaves. (Yes, Echeveria form offsets, too. But remember how easily they drop their leaves? That is the sign that they will propagate well from their leaves.)

Succulent Meristem Tissue

series of succilent leaves in stages of propagation
Echeveria leaves for propagation

Isn’t this a remarkable sight? Little plants leafing out and forming roots at the base of a single, detached leaf. This is what we are aiming for when we’re propagating succulents from leaves. The reason this works is due to specialized plant cells that form at the junction of the succulent’s leaf and stem. Called “meristem”, these cells can form roots, leaves or new plants, depending upon what is needed. As the plant grows normally, this meristem tissue forms the plant’s leaves. In times of drought, aerial roots may develop instead, to take moisture from the surrounding air. If that part of the stem comes in contact with soil, roots form. And when a leaf is separated from its plant, the meristem tissue will grow a whole new plant. Amazing!

How to Remove Succulent Leaves for Propagation

when propagating succulents from leaves, this is how to harvest a leaf
How to take a leaf for propagation

For a leaf to propagate well, it must come from the plant with some of its precious meristem tissue intact.

When a succulent drops its leaves, though they are plump and firm, this is a perfect opportunity to propagate those leaves. When fallen leaves are not available, and you need to take a leaf for propagation, do it like this: Gently grasp a lower leaf between your thumb and forefinger, and move it side to side. If it is a variety that readily propagates from fallen leaves, it will release from the stem with a slight snap and with some of the meristem still attached. It is then ready for propagation.

propagating succulents from leaves diagram
Succulent propagation with leaves properly harvested, and one not

If you simply pull the leaf away from the succulent, it is likely to leave a part of the leaf and that all-important meristem tissue attached to the plant. When this happens, the leaf cannot form roots or new leaves. If it is removed correctly, the end of the leaf is closed. When the leaf is torn from the stem by pulling it, you will see a wound that leaks moisture. A torn leaf will never root.

Take Several Succulent Leaves to Propagate

examples of leaf propagation
Several Echeveria leaves for propagation

The success rate for propagating succulents from leaves is quite high. But it is not 100%. Although I will set aside a single fallen leaf to root, when I take leaves for propagating, I always take several. That way, you will always be successful. And who doesn’t love even more succulents?

If you are eager to get started, but don’t have any leaves handy, you can order succulent leaves for propagation from The Succulent Source. This is an inexpensive way to increase your succulent collection and knowledge at the same time!

Leave Succulent Leaves to Dry

leaves used for succulent propagation
Adult succulent leaves shrivel and dry as the plantlet develops

There is no need to use rooting hormone or honey to encourage your leaves to sprout roots. Just leave your succulent leaves dry, and out of direct sun. I usually place mine on a bed of dry succulent soil, in a bit of shade. Until the new, baby roots form to take up water, there is no point in watering your leaves. Too much external moisture risks rotting the leaf before the plantlet forms. Over a few weeks, your succulent leaf will begin to form a cluster of tiny new leaves at the point where it had joined the stem. This is the meristem tissue in action.

when propagating succulents from leaves, the mother leaf withers and dries
Closeup of Echeveria leaf propagation, adult leaf nearly spent

While your the baby plantlet develops, it draws on the moisture and nutrients stored in the leaf. This is why you want to start with a plump, healthy leaf. It will have a greater store of nutrients and moisture to support a plantlet.

when propagating succulents, this is the time to plant
Single Echeveria leaf developing roots and plantlet

When the roots form, it is time to plant your succulent plantlet, so that it can support itself!

Plant Succulent Leaves Once They Root

planted leaves each with a plantlet
Echeveria leaf propagation, planted

Lay your sprouting succulent leaves onto dry succulent soil. Gently cover the roots with soil. Mist with water to wet the top of the soil. Continue to mist the soil every few days, allowing it to dry in between. Eventually, the original leaf will be consumed by the plantlet as it begins to grow and prosper. Leave your freshly planted plantlets in the bright shade for 4 weeks. When the plantlets show significant growth and are well rooted in, gradually move them into more sunshine.

Congratulations! You have just propagated new succulent plants!

When Succulent Leaf Propagation Produces Only Roots

single echeveria leaf with roots and a plantlet
Echeveria lead with roots and baby plant

Above is a picture of what we’re all aiming for with leaf propagation β€” a healthy adult leaf with a plantlet and robust roots. It is ready to be planted. But what happens when your leaf doesn’t develop a baby plant? Sometimes, succulent leaf propagation produces only roots, typically for one of the following four reasons:

  • Time β€” Typically, when propagating succulents from leaves, the roots develop first. It can take weeks, or even longer, for your leaf propagation to develop the baby leaves or plantlet.
  • Wrong Succulent β€” While most succulents work with leaf propagation, some just don’t. Aeonium, Haworthia, Sempervivum and Fenestraria are examples of succulents that either won’t reproduce by leaf propagation, or they take so long, it is not practical.
  • Dormancy β€” When propagating succulents from leaves, it’s important to do so when the plant is awake and actively growing. If you attempt leaf propagation when the succulent is dormant, the leaf will barely change, it won’t root, it won’t form baby leaves, it just stays the same for months at a time.
  • We don’t know β€” Propagating succulents from leaves has a high success rate, but it is less than 100%. This is why I encourage you to set aside several leaves at a time for leaf propagation.

There is a trick that can get some leaves with just roots to produce baby leaves. I recommend doing this only when you have waited at least a month after the roots develop. When you have a leaf that has produced lots of roots, like the one above, but no leaves, grasp about half of the roots and rip them off. Don’t cut them, they need to be torn off. Leave the other roots intact, and set the leaf aside again. When you do this, it will “scare” the leaf propagation, and make it more likely to produce a plantlet. This, too, is not 100% effective, but will boost your chances of getting a plantlet from a really stubborn leaf. I know this sounds drastic, but it works!

How Long Does Propagating Succulents from Leaves Take?

hour glass and echeveria demonstrating time it takes for leaf propagation
How long does it take succulents to grow from leaf propagation

How long will propagating succulents from leaves take? It depends. (Yes, I know that seems unsatisfying). Very generally, you will likely see your first development on the leaf within several weeks. The succulent variety, heat, humidity and the time of year will all have an impact on the propagation timeline. You can propagate at any time of the year. But some succulents are semi-dormant in the summer, while others are nearly dormant in the winter. When the succulent is naturally less active, it will be slower to propagate. In general, spring is a good time to propagate with the quickest results.

Yes, it takes as long as it takes. Don’t count on new plants of a certain size in x number of weeks or months. Even leaves taken from the same plant may take very different times to develop new leaves and roots. And a few may never develop. Just don’t give up on them. As long as the leaf is plump and not torn, there is reason to hope it will develop. If the leaf becomes mushy, or wrinkles up and dries out, it is time to discard it. Otherwise, give it more time.

propagating succulents from leaves
Planted succulent leaf propagation

Every time I transplant, relocate or craft with a succulent, I am always alert to save fallen leaves for propagation. Now that you know the process, are you eager to start? I would love to hear how it goes for you — please leave a comment! And if you have any questions – let me know. I am happy to help!

You can do this – I promise!

P.S. Get my FREE course on succulent care, 7 Steps to Succulent Success, by subscribing. Thanks so much!

* indicates required

P.P.S. Why not join my Facebook Group for succulent-lovers? We talk succulent care, propagation, succulent identification and design. It’s a warm and welcoming group that would love to meet you!

(Visited 46,504 times, 8 visits today)

This Post Has 80 Comments

  1. Nicole

    One of my favorite articles on succulent leaf propagation! Thank you for laying this out in such a simple way.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Thank you SO much, Nicole! πŸ™‚
      This means a great deal to me.
      I hope your succulent collection grows and grows!

      1. Viktoria

        I did start propagating from leaves, but one of them has a new plant, and no new roots. Is this normal? will it still grow or should I just stick with the ones with roots and plants on them? I just don’t want to throw this one away, because it has a very nice little plant growing. Thank you πŸ™‚

        1. Kat McCarthy

          Hi Viktoria,
          Fantastic! Your leaf is becoming a baby plant! πŸ™‚
          Give it a bit more time, and you should see some roots developing. Do you have it on top of some soil? The roots may grow straight into the soil, making them hard to see. But I think you just need to give them a bit more time.
          It’s exciting, isn’t it?

      2. Denise

        I have been fortunate enough for new plants to grow on host leaves but the new plants always die after planting. Some have roots many do not, just a ” root stem” where attached to host leaf. Gentle place a rosette or new plant growing up on a straight stem into a small pot of succulent soil. I allow babies to stay a day. or 2 then water lightly on the soil around the plant NOT on it & do not water again until dry. I begin with filtered ight & slowly increase every week. I do not see signs of root growth. If I move the small pot, the New baby plant will often fall over exposing the ” root stem & I must press it back in to the soil & start over. What am I doing wrong? Denise

        1. Kat McCarthy

          Hi Denise,
          It sounds to me like you are trying to move the baby plants to a new location too early. Let them root into the soil you first lay the leave on. Leave them there until the baby plant is the size of a nickle. Then, use a tablespoon to help you to get the roots along with the baby plant when you want to transplant it.
          Let it take as long as it takes. It’s not a fast process, but it is sure if you give it the time it needs.

  2. Tawny Leste-Carlson

    I’m so excited I found your site!!I was bit by the succulent bug (I’ll admit, it’s now a full-blown obsession)!a year ago, when a co-worker brought a pail to work that was full of interesting looking stems and the plump leaves that had fallen off of the stems. She said she had no idea what it was, but it was all up for grabs. If it’s a plant, I’m interested! So I did a little bit of Internet searching and found out the plant was Sedum Morganium, otherwise known as “Burrito” or “Donkeys Tail”. More Internet research taught me some basic info and propagation skills but YOUR website explains EVERYTHING easily and in full detail. In the last couple of months I’ve purchased several other succulents, all quite different from each other and now that I’ve found you, I’m confident that not only will I keep them alive, lol, they will all THRIVE!!
    There are a few other succulent pages on the internet ~ they’re not bad places to find information ~ but yours is the BEST by far. Not only do you explain in simple terms WHAT to do, you also explain WHY. I just received my newsletter from you and it’s AWESOME! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Tawny – you just made my whole YEAR! πŸ™‚
      That is exactly what I am aiming for – to explain the WHY so that it really makes sense. That is the way I learn best. I am thrilled you have found this so helpful! Yay!
      Please contact me with any questions! You will definitely be able to have your succulents thrive for you – and to grow your collection, too!
      Thank you so very much for taking the time to let me know this – I so appreciate it!

  3. Doris Warner

    Newbie here, Thank you for “how to” I hav a stacked high hen and chicken plant and need to separate it, I also wanted to make babies but didn’t know how to. Now I do again Thank you.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Doris,
      I am SO glad you found this helpful! Exactly what I was hoping to do.
      If you are looking to divide the succulent as well, check out my post on multiplying succulents through division.
      Please let me know if I can answer any questions!

  4. Betty

    I am completely new to propagating succulents. I heard that you could from leaves so I went to a shopping center that has beautiful succulent gardens and pawed through for dropped leaves!! Found quite a few but have no idea what kind they are. I have stuck the leaves in the soil vertically. Will that work or should I just lay them on top? If just on top, how much soil underneath!? Inch, 2 inches, small pot full? I put them in our bay window that faces east but is partially blocked.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Betty,
      So you will have a surprise as your succulent babies begin to grow! πŸ™‚
      Please remove the leaves from the soil at this point. You don’t want to cover the spot where the new little leaves will soon emerge. Just lay them flat on a couple of inches of dry succulent soil. It sounds like the lighting should be good for them!
      Once the roots develop well, dust them with some succulent soil, and mist them every other day.
      Have fun!

  5. Johan Beugger

    I have learnt SO MUCH from your teachings !
    They are valuable to anyone that reads them !

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Johan,
      You have made my whole day — thank you! πŸ™‚

  6. Mari

    Kat, thank you so much from Alberta Canada. I am new at this also, I have read dozens of article on progagation, but none tell you what do once the top or roots grow. When to plant , how to plant , in others words what do I do now.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Mari,
      I am so glad you found this helpful!
      Please feel free to ask any questions.
      Have fun with your new baby succulents!

  7. Jasmin

    Great resource! Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Kat McCarthy

      You are most welcome, Jasmin!
      So glad you found it valuable!

  8. Lisa

    Hi! I’m new at propagating. I have a few small rosettes growing off a stem that is unfortunately drying up. Is there a way to populate the rosettes? There’s no roots as they are growing off a stem, and I’m afraid they will dry up as well, like the stem (a few other very tiny rosettes that grew on the stem have already shriveled up). Thanks!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Lisa,
      Most rosette-forming succulents will easily propagate from just the rosettes.
      If you want to send me a photo, I will be happy to take a look. But I am guessing this is an aeonium, from your description. You should be able to clip off each rosette, let it sit on top of dry succulent soil out of direct sun, and protected from cold. In time, they should form roots, reaching for the soil!

      1. Betty Hook

        Do you remove the leaf part after the rosette gets going or do you plant the leaf? So happy I found you.

        1. Kat McCarthy

          Hi Betty,
          Great question! Because the baby plant feeds off the mother leaf, I leave it in place until it is a dried up husk. However, if you want a tidoer appearance, there is no problem removing the mother leaf once the new plantlet is well rooted in. However, I would probably snip it off with scissors rather than tear it to avoid harming the new plantlet.
          Thanks so much!

  9. Kathy

    Kat, love your site, appreciate all the info. Reside in OR,mild winter so far. Can i propagate this time of year? Unheated out bldg with heat lamps. Thanks, again.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Kathy,
      Now is a great time to play with propagation! Some varieties will do well for you, while others will be very slow. Take a look at which succulents are actively growing and which are dormant now here: But even those that are winter dormant will only wait – they won’t just fail.
      You might want to bring the leaves indoors, to speed up the propagation process.
      Have fun!

  10. Joan Brown

    I am propagating by leaves. They have formed quite long pink roots but no babies showing. I have them laid on top of soil but not sure whether to plant into succulent soil or leave them on top.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Joan,

      It’s exciting when they start to form, isn’t it? Different varieties develop more slowly or quickly, and its possible your plants are just waking iup (if it is a winter dormant variety). I would give them more time.
      Can you possibly send me a photo? My email is [email protected]. I’d like to see how the mother leaves are doing, and what type of succulents you have. If the mother leaves still look great – you just need to be prepared to wait. The little plants will develop when they are needed.

      I’d like to take a look.


  11. Vivien

    Thanks for this excellent article! I have some leaves I’m trying to propagate but I don’t really know what I’m doing πŸ˜€ I may have to ask you for your professional succulent opinion soon πŸ˜€

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Vivien,
      Please feel free to ask any questions – I am happy to help! πŸ™‚

  12. Richard Shimell

    Thanks for your article Kat. I enjoy reading your blog. I’ve taken some leaf cuttings of various succulents and laid them on an inch of perlite with soil beneath. I’ve lightly misted them but only a few times. Lots have roots but only a few have plantlets. Should I leave them as they are or push the rooted ones into soil or perlite?

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Richard,
      Thanks so much for reading!
      The leaves that have developed little plantlets – go ahead and dust some soil over their roots. They are ready to start growing for you. For those that still have just roots β€” give them a bit more time. If the mother leaves are still nice and plump, cut back on the misting a bit. They will develop baby leaves when they feel the need. Different varieties propagate at very different rates! Don’t let this discourage you.

      1. Richard Shimell

        Thanks Kat, I’ll move them into zones in the tray and cover the successful ones now. It’s kind of you to reply to every comment!

        1. Kat McCarthy

          Hi Richard,
          That’s perfect! Please keep me posted on their progress!
          Always check how the mother leaf is doing. If it remains plump and healthy-looking, then the new plantlet is not yet drawing much of its resources.
          I think it’s kind of you to comment – so of course, I’ll reply! πŸ™‚

  13. Helen


    I was wondering if you could possibly advise me about something please, I am a succulent newbie but after reading your wonderful advice I have now managed to propagate some succulents from leaves so thank you hugely for your help, the thing I’m confused about is that several plants have grown from both the echeveria lilacina and purposum leaf cuttings, that’s great, even more beautiful plants but what do I do to separate the and when is it safe to do so, they seem to be growing attached to each other. Do you think I’ve made a mistake?

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Helen,
      Isn’t this an exciting time? I am delighted to have been a small part of it for you! πŸ™‚
      I think you’re saying the roots of different leaves are now intermingling and tangled together – is this the case? If so, I would lift the group of leaves that are tangled, and swish their tangled roots together in water, so they gently detach from one another without damaging any roots. Let them dry completely before you return them to the soil. They just need a bit more space between them as they root.
      If I misunderstood – please let me know! And you’re welcome to send me an email with a photo so I can see what you are seeing!
      Thanks so much for reading, Helen!

      1. Helen

        Hello Kat,

        Thanks very much for taking the time to reply and thanks too for the tip regarding de tangling the roots. My issue is that from one single leaf 2 purposum plants have grown, they are both perfectly formed but are growing back to back and seem to be stuck together, the liliacina has grown 4 little tiny plants from the one leaf, do I have mutants?! I’m not generally green fingered and a beginner so apologise for the questions!
        Thank you so much, Helen

        1. Kat McCarthy

          Hi Helen,
          Please – no need to apologize! πŸ™‚
          Some succulents do grow with 2 or more heads – they are really pretty cool when they do! If it were me, I would let them grow as they choose and just follow the normal procedure for growing them up. Apply a light dusting of soil over the baby roots and let them grow!
          It sounds like you are doing a GREAT job with this, Helen – enjoy it!

          1. Helen

            Hello Kat,

            Thanks very much for your reply, I will leave them as nature intended and see what they become!

            Thanks again for your kind advice and best of luck to you with your succulents.

          2. Kat McCarthy

            You are most welcome, Helen!

  14. Ellen

    Hello, newbie here ???? I have some leafs that have been sitting on a paper plate inside since 6/21. I just laid them on some cactus soil. Should I keep them inside or outside? I’m in zone 9, hot and humid! Thank you!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Ellen,
      The main consideration is to protect them from direct sun, which would burn the tissues and dry out the leaves too much. Otherwise, so long as the heat isn’t above 90 degrees where you have them, they can be indoors or out, in bright, indirect light and do well for you.
      Have fun – it’s like magic! πŸ™‚

  15. Kate Geaghan

    I’ve got several trays of succulents propagating, I’m getting better and better at it, it’s a learning process, but an enjoyable and worthy one. My question is this, could you tell me why many of the baby growths that come from the pup are leggy? I know why grown succulents become leggy, but these pups get plenty of sun (perhaps too much, Ive picked up from your article) and still they’re etiolated. I do have many that are growing fabulously, so stinking cute! …the ones doing well could be the same kind, and right next to an etiolated one, so this is why I’m trying to pin down the rhyme and reason. Your articles are fantastic and I appreciate you!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Kate,
      Propagating plants is just so magical, isn’t it? So glad you’re enjoying such great success!
      I’m not sure I can picture what your new pups are doing… Sometimes succulents look like they are etiolating when they are in the process of forming a bloom stem, but I don’t think this sounds like what you’re experiencing… Can you snap a few photos and send them to me so I can see what you are seeing? Send them to me at Kat [at] The Succulent Eclectic . com
      I’ll be happy to take a look. We’ll figure it out together! πŸ™‚

  16. Marissa

    Hi Kat!

    I recently rescued a broken succulent from a nursery and after reading this article, I think I’ve got a handle on how to make sure it keeps growing, but I’m not entirely sure what I’ve got.

    I took a few of the bottom leaves off to propagate per this article, and then I stuck the stem of the rest of it into the soil. Is that right?? It’s a rosette type of succulent and not a woody stemmed one (by my terminology you can probably tell I’m a beginner).

    This site is amazing and I will be using it for future exploration!!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Marissa,
      Way to go saving a mistreated succulent! πŸ™‚
      Sounds like you have got it handled perfectly! Give the stem a few weeks in dry succulent soil, then gently try to lift it. If it easily comes right out β€” put it back for another couple weeks. if it resists, then it has started to root and you can give it a small drink.
      If you’d like to send me a photo, I’ll be happy to take a look to see if I can help you to identify it. Just email me at Kat (at) the succulent eclectic (dot) com.
      Thanks SO much for the kind words!

  17. Nevica McCarvel

    Hi Kat!! ☺️I have recently been starting to propagate my succulents. I have one that has been growing quite well, but I had it out on my counter and a friend accidentally cut the mother leaf almost completely in half. Should I remove the mother leaf and if so how? The baby plant is also only the thickness of a thin toothpick and about half an inch tall. Is it ready?

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Nevica,
      OOPS! πŸ™‚
      Not to worry – it sounds like the little one should be ok. I wouldn’t bother to remove the mother leaf, but do be prepared to move the baby into growing on its own sooner. The mother leaf will not provide much support much longer. For really little guys, I use a fork to pick up the soil around the roots so I don’t disturb them. Just take it slowly when you start to add more light and water. This should pull through just fine.

  18. Shelly

    I have a kind of succulent that I got from a vendor fair potting booth last year. It’s stretched out several feet high! I’ve searched google and every succulent post I can find trying to figure out what kind of plant it is and what to do with it.
    Can I send you a photo and see if you’d ever encountered it?

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Shelly,
      Absolutely! This is not my strength, but I’ll be happy to give it a try for you! πŸ™‚
      Send it to me by email to Kat [at] The Succulent Eclectic [dot] com

  19. Carol

    Great information!
    I am new to propagation. When do I transplant them into their own pot?

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Carol,
      Once a leaf has formed baby leaves and new roots, I move it to a “group home” pot with others at the same stage.
      I move each to an individual pot once the baby plant is growing on its own β€” the mother leaf is entirely gone. I also wait for the baby plant to be about an inch across in new growth.
      Have fun with this! πŸ™‚

  20. Meg

    Are Kalanchoe harder to propagate than other succulents? I’ve tried propagating several of them with no success…. all my other leaves are growing like crazy!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Meg,
      Actually, Kalanchoe are quite easy to propagate. But they are dormant in summer, and will not root or develop until they wake up. So it can seem like they are doing nothing at all – not rooting, but usually not dying either, for months at a time, depending upon what time of year you start them. It can take individual leaves taken from dormant plants longer to “wake up” when fall arrives. You might want to keep those leaves and take new ones now. The new ones might root before the others do! πŸ™‚
      Please keep me posted on their progress!

  21. AmyV

    Hi Kat!
    I came across your site by happy accident! I love your information and kindness. I have just started my love of succulents and am trying to propagate via succulent leaves. I have them laid out on top of succulent soil (unfortunately I”m not 100% sure on the kind of succulent..very easy and basic to remove the leaves- look similar to the ones in your photos…and I was told to lightly mist them every few days…. it has been a week. I know it takes time and I just really hope at least one will develop roots. I’ve seen articles on leaf propagation multiple ways… and I’m wondering if I don’t mist them, won’t the leaves dry up before the roots have a chance to grow since it can take weeks to grow roots? The leaves seem plump, for the most part, and healthy.
    To mist or not to mist… that is the question…. πŸ™‚

    Feel free to email me with any advice.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Amy,
      This is a great question!
      Honestly, your leaves will likely be fine, even if you do mist them every few days. The reason I don’t is that it risks rot, and I try to avoid if at all possible!
      Until your plant has roots, it will not have the organ necessary to make use of the water, which is why I wait. If the leaf begins to shrivel up before it roots (it likely won’t, but if it does) that is when I will mist. Because the leaf can take in some moisture through the skin. But I want the leaf to be hungry for water. When it is, it puts out roots! πŸ™‚ Does that make sense?
      I’d love to hear how your leaf propagation goes for you!
      Thanks for the great question!

  22. Deb

    Hi Kat. I have recently discovered how beautiful succulents are and have being trying to propagate some leaves. It has been several weeks before seeing any tiny roots. The tiny little plants have come but they are growing on a little stem of their own quiet tall and skinny. Their stems are pin size. Unlike yours in your article which seem to be close to the leaf itself. The little plants are still attached to the leaf. You can see the fine roots. The roots haven’t tried to go in the dirt properly. Is this normal? The original leaf hasn’t decayed yet either. Will they be okay to put into a pot of soil now and do I cut off the main leaf from the skinny new plant or do I wait and see if they get larger? When is the right time to plant?

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Deb,
      Hmmm… Maybe you would snap a photo and email it to me so that I can see what you are seeing? I just want to be sure I am clear. Email me at Kat [at] TheSucculentEclectic [dot] com
      It sounds like the baby plant may be etiolating or stretching for more light. That would explain the tall, slim stem. If this is the case, thet’s get it planted and well-rooted before slowly increasing the light (to avoid sunburn).
      If you have roots, go ahead and lay the leaf on dry succulent soil. Dust some loose soil over just the roots, then spray with water. As long as the mother leaf is healthy, there is no need to remove it from the baby plant yet.
      I’ll look forard to your photos!

  23. Minie

    Hi Kat, it’s Khun Anne

    I’ve been propagating different leaves (even when I was a child, not succulents though) since I can remember and still it is fascinating when you see pups and roots coming out from the leaves. It is amazing reading your blog and learning a lot from it.

    Kuddos Kat.?❀️

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Khun Anne,
      It is just magical, isn’t it? Somehow it never gets old seeing dropped or plucked leaves slowly becoming a whole new, living plant. It’s like a slow-motion magic show. I think of it like getting to play with God’s toolbox! πŸ™‚
      Thanks so much!

  24. Janet

    Hi Kat, great info. I’ve become obsessed with leaf propagation. I have some rooting above water, some on soil, and some on nothing! I’m experimenting! My pressing question is WHEN TO TRANSFER FROM WATER TO SOIL. I have read that the roots should dry out for a day or two before putting in soil. I’m concerned about this transition. Some of the roots have submerged in water over weeks and have grown over an inch, but no pups. Some have tiny pups and long roots. Some of these roots appear to be getting black, not the original pink color. Is there an ideal time to transfer from water to soil? Any help would be appreciated!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Janet,
      I’m sorry – I never use water for propagation, so I cannot speak from experience with this method.
      However, it sounds like it is time to move to soil! I just lay the leaf with its roots on top of DRY succulent soil, then I dust a thin layer of soil over the roots, leaving the leaf and baby plant exposed. Then, mist the soil over the roots. It’s time for them to start working! πŸ™‚
      I usually just wait until the baby develops. But, if you are impatient, you can often stimulate the mother leaf to get on with forming a baby by tearing off 25 – 50% of the roots. As I said – I usually just wait!

  25. Lucia

    Hi Kat,
    There are not enough words to express how wonderful you and all your information are. Excellent!!! I have a question. I have a Haworthia Retusa (I think) it is big and has a lot of babies, I tried to make few others out of it. But they are very tight and attached together. I could not even move them an inch. They are healthy, because they fill hard as a rock. Should I just leave them as they are? Just extra information, I live in Las Vegas the weather is over 100 and always dry. I have my succulents outside and have to water them almost every three days. I am new in this lovely “addiction” for about 6 weeks and I already have like 80 of them. I have not killed one in 2-3 weeks!!! Yeahh!!! But I do not feel confident how to take care of them. Any special advise for this type of whether.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Lucia,
      Thank you SO much for your kind words! πŸ™‚ You made my day!
      When you remove the Haworthia from the pot, and loosen up the soil, the baby plants should lean a bit away from the mother plant. There will be a short, thick root connecting the two. That is where you would cut to separate them. If you want them to grow up a bit more before you do so – it won’t hurt either the mother or the baby plants.
      You have a challenging climate! I would wait until the summer heat breaks before you do surgery on the Haworthia.
      It sounds like you would really enjoy my new Facebook group for succulent lovers! We have a few thousand members from all over the world who share the same addiction you have!
      We would love to have you join us.
      If you do not yet have any shade cloth, you need it in your climate to create some protection from the brutal heat and risk of sunburn. Don’t use any less than 70%, you might even want to consider a higher percent of filtration.
      Enjoy this new venture into succulents!

  26. Megan

    Hello Kat,
    Thank you for this amazing blog! It has been so helpful! I am propagating succulent leaves, it’s been a few months. One has grown a little plant and the mother leave was dried out and I was able to remove it carefully, it doesn’t look like an adult plant, the leaves are not as symmetrical just kind of a clump of little leaves. They are under a grow light but my question is what do I do with the successful one? Do I continue to mist it every few days or actually water it? And am I able to move it now into a different pot safely? Thank you! πŸ™‚

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Megan,
      Congratulations! Not to worry – as it grows up, it will take on more and more the look of a complete, mature plant.
      Do not mist until you have roots. Once you have roots, dust some loose succulent soil over the leaves, and mist every few days. As the baby full roots in, you can swich to watering. Just remember, it is a really little plant at first, so go very lightly with the water. You can scoop up the baby plant (mother leaf and all) with a tablespoon, to be able to get the entire root network without breaking any of the baby roots. Plant it on it’s own and let it grow. I never bother to remove the mother leaf. It is a source of moisture and nutrients for the baby plant.

  27. Jane

    What is the best soil for succulents? mine? i mix my soil with rice hull and coco peat? is that okay? may succulents now has roots? what will i do next?

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Jane,
      The best succulent soil will be fast-draining, with about 30% organic matter. I have a detailed blog post all about making or buying the best succulent soil for your climate. Coco coir is a great choice. If you’re in a very dry climate, I would think rice hulls could be ok, too. But in a humid climate or one with summer rains, I would be concerned that it would retain too much water.
      Check out my post and see what you think!

  28. Jane

    Hello Kat
    A new succulents lover is here.
    What will i do next?my succulents leaf has now a roots, then i laid them in coco peat? is that okay?

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Jane,
      Once the leaf has developed roots, lay them on dry succulent soil. Dust a bit of succulent soil over just the roots – not the leaf. Then, mist with water every 2-3 days.
      The baby plant will grow, and the mother leaf will wither. Once the baby plant is the size of a quarter, you can transplant it and grow it into a mature plant!

  29. Jean

    Hi, I have successfully leaf propagated, but sometimes have leaves resistant growing new leaves, just stems. I had read of a person who would do something to these “resistors” to encourage them to develop leaves. Now that I have some leaves with great roots but no leaves, I wanted to try her trick. For the life of me I can’t find her suggestion. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Jean,
      I think what you’re looking for is this: Some leaves develop roots, but seem to take forever to develop a baby plant. One way you can stimulate this new growth is to rip off about half of the new, baby roots. Pull them off, don’t use scissors, but be sure to leave half of the roots intact. I know – it seems brutal, but it usually “scares” the leaf into producing top growth.
      Keep me posted!

  30. Dipti

    Hey Kate, I live in western part of india. Temperature raise around 40 degree Celsius in summer. Winter 9-10 degree Celsius. What is the best time for succulents propagation from leaf in this weather.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Dipti,
      Your best times for propagation lie between these temperature extremes. I recommend spring and fall. These are the seasons when all succulents are awake and actively growing, so it’s the best time for propagation even without such high heat in summer. If you want to do propagation indoors, winter would work too, but spring and fall will be your best times.
      Thanks for the great question!

  31. Dipti

    Hey Kat, sorry for late reply, you reply very quick that shows you really love and keen to help new succulents grower. Thanks again. Temperature between high 29 – Low 21. I put some leaf to propagate, will give you updates how it’s going. Thanks

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Awesome! I would love to hear about your progress!

  32. Theresa

    I cannot for the life of me, get them past the point of just budding. Too much water, not enough? I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. They sprout and then they seem to die.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Theresa,
      I think I need to do a blog post following the baby leaves all the way to grown-up!
      The mistake I see people making most often at this stage is watering too much. Leave the mother leaf attached until it withers and dies off. That supports the baby plant until it can get good root development on its own. Be sure to cover the roots with soil, and mist the soil with water lightly every few days, but be sure to let the soil dry out well between times! πŸ™‚
      You can do this!

  33. Hi Kat –

    I’m also new to succulents. Will this method work for a Jade plant? Also, I found a Sedum dasyphyllum Major at a market. I love the shape. It has developed what looks like roots off the stems. Can I just cut a stem and plant it? Thanks!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Susan,
      This method of propagation works really well with jade plants and with your Sedum dasyphyllum Major. Both also propagate well using stem cuttings, and that is how I would proceed with your Sedum stems that have developed aerial roots.
      Sounds like your new succulent collection will soon be growing fast! πŸ™‚

  34. Kim

    I absolutely LOVE & appreciate all of the wonderful advice you give! Thanks so much for taking time to answer questions also! I have been experimenting with leaf propagation recently. I have a couple leaves with tiny roots now. I’m so excited! My question is, do I cover them npw with cactus soil & mist them every few days or let them grow a tad bit longer?

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Thanks so much, Kim!
      I am so glad you are finding the information valuable!
      If the leaves you are propagating have only tiny roots, and they don’t yet have new foliage developing, give them more time before you add soil. Give them the time their need to start a plantlet.
      If they develop lots of roots and no baby plant β€” let me know. I’ll let you in on a kinda shocking step you can take that will goose the leaf along and likely get it to make its babu plant! πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply