How to Grow Succulents or cactus from Leaves and Stem Cuttings​?

Cactus plants are all the rage now. Many people are opting to keep succulents and little cacti on their tables as little plant pets when they’re working on their deadlines and tight schedules.

Cactus plants and succulents work perfectly for people who are busy in their routines as they generally don’t require a lot of maintenance.

Getting a succulent or a cactus is like getting a cat; once you have one, you want more.

However, people may not always be able to afford succulents and cactuses, especially if you’re a broke college student, which, funnily enough, many succulent owners are.

There is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way of growing succulents and cactus from the ones you already have.

If you’re looking for a DIY project or even if you only want to read about the method of propagating succulents, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on as we tell you all about succulents and cactus, along with how you can grow leaves and stems from them.

What is a Succulent and Cactus Plant?

A succulent is any plant that has fleshy tissues specifically evolved to store water. Some species in succulents, such as Cacti, store water in the stem and don’t possess small leaves or even leaves.

Most succulents have deep or broad root systems because they are native to the desert.

A cactus is one of these succulents. However, what sets the cactus apart, is that it has several adaptations that most succulents don’t.

Cactuses are succulent, perennial plants, which means they fall in the succulents family. Cactus is usually found in the desert; thus, they have adaptations that limit their water usage.

Things to Consider Before Propagation

Succulents and cactuses are some of the easiest plants you can propagate from leaves and stem cuttings. It doesn’t matter that you have never attempted to propagate a plant.

Once you start getting into propagation, chances are all your friends will start getting succulents for their birthdays.

When you’re trying to grow other plants like roses from their stem cuttings, you run the risk of dehydration.

However, succulents and cactuses already have a lot of water stores in the leaves, so you don’t have to worry about this fact.

However, in succulents and cactus, you have to ensure that you’re not facing rot or any fungal diseases since they have so much water.

Thus, it’s also necessary for you to remember that you may have to give your succulent stems and leave some space between cutting them and planting them.

Allow your stems and leaves to try for a day or two before you move them to a different pot.

How to Make Succulent Cuttings?

Leaves and cuttings of succulents are easiest to propagate in spring, and early summer as the temperature is imperative for growth.

Succulents propagate easily when you use individual leaves or apply stem pieces.

If you want to propagate leaves, it is best for fleshy leaves. To successfully propagate the leaves, you have to use the whole leaves.

To gain roots successfully, you have to keep the leaf whole. You should hold the leaf in between your fingers and pull it free, so it becomes loose.

Then you can carefully remove the leaf with the base untouched from the parent plant.

Stem cuttings are a wonderful option for people, which have distinct stems. For soft succulents, you can cut stem tips using a precise knife.

You should try to fashion each cutting either 2 or 3 inches in length, so it has several leaves.  You should keep two leaves in the upper portion of your cutting and get rid of the rest.

How Can You Plant Succulent Leaves and Other Cuttings

You can propagate succulents using water; however, since succulents generally already have a lot of water, it doesn’t favor their growing conditions.

To get the best results, you should start leaves and cuttings placed in a shallow tray, or you can use small containers and fill them with the potting mix.

This practice means that you don’t have to transplant your plants as soon as possible.

Most succulents and cactuses root easily, but as the problem goes. Some of them find it hard to find their roots.

If you find that your succulents and cactus plants are not working the way that you want them to, you may consider adding some hormones to the mix so that they can face growth.

Rooting hormones help develop roots and encourage succulent leaves and cuttings to grow roots. Once the roots develop, you can place them in pots to grow on their own.

Once you’re done with cutting and placing your roots, you can follow the following steps to plant them.

  1. Firstly, you have to prepare the containers in which you want to grow your succulents and cactus in. You should use a potting mix with spaces for your succulents and cactuses, as this helps the water drain easily. The easy drainage prevents rots in the leaves, stems, and roots. You should also take a stick to make a planting hole so the water can drain easily.
  2. If you want to give your plants a better shot at growing, you can spray the container with some growth hormones. You should only let what you will use remain and then drain the rest of it.
  3. Work on one cutting or pot at a time. You must dampen the base of the leaf or the stem cutting, then dip the specimen completely into rooting hormone. Make sure that the leaf bases are completely covered and remove any excess powder that the cutting accumulates. The rooting powder gives the leaves some substance so that roots may form.
  4. Next, you can carefully place the stem or leaves in the container. You want to do this so that the rooting powder doesn’t fall off. Once you’ve placed the stems in place, you can firmly move around the potting mix so the cutting deeply integrates into the pot.
  5. If you’re planting leaves, you want to place them in the pot a little tilted, a little ways below the soil line, you can place leaves with a curve, so instead of growing, they curl upwards. In stem cutting, you can use the lower half of the stem, so the mix for potting covers the two bare nodes.
  6. Once you’ve placed these cutting into the water, you can work on maintaining them. However, ensure that you don’t use water on these pots until the roots form. You should water these succulents and cactus plants deeply but not frequently. Let the soil become completely dry before you water it again. The time for rooting in plants for leaves and stem cutting is about two to four weeks.
  7. If you’re happy with the container you’ve planted your tray in, then you can keep it as is. But if you wish to replant, then now would be a good idea for you to get some more potting mixture to move your plants to the desired containers and grow them how you wish.

Final Thoughts

Succulents and Cactuses are relatively easy to propagate or grow from stem cutting and leaves. The most significant part of it is that you must be aware of your steps.

It’s challenging for these plants to root. But once they do, they require very little maintenance. These plants have a high water content, so there’s the real fear of their roots becoming rotten instead.

To prevent the plants from rotting, it’s best to take care of the water content you allow them to take up. You should also remember that these plants are not like the rest of the ones you have in your garden, in the sense that they don’t require you to take care of them constantly.

It’s also better than spending all your money on succulents that you take the time to learn a new skill and propagate the plants all on your own.

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