January 30, 2014

How To: Grow & Propagate Succulents

It's been pretty darn freezing here in Virginia lately, but with February on the horizon, we are both so eager to get our hands dirty in prep for spring gardening. Since it's still too cold and snow covered for getting out in the yard, we've been steadily maintaining our indoor plant projects and trying to take on a few new ones — like growing succulents!
Here's some backstory — I've had this one succulent plant in a vintage measuring cup I got on Etsy from the talented Monkeys Always Look some 5+ years ago. It's lived in 3 different houses and seen lots of shedding and regrowth over the years.

I'd love to be able to have more of these cute (and easy to care for) plants hanging around the house, so when I stumbled across this great tutorial for how to propagate succulents, I couldn't wait to give it a try! We've seen some slow progress and root growth over the past several weeks, so wanted to share how it's been going so far here on the blog.

In following the steps from tutorial, I gently pulled some of the succulent pods from the bottom of the plant, trying to swipe a little of the stem with the removal:

I gathered a small handful of the pods, leaving the main plant intact:

The next step was just letting the freshly removed cuttings hang out in a shady windowsill to help the ends dry and form a bit of a seal:

After letting the cuttings hang out in the windowsill for a couple days to dry and seal off the ends, I gently placed them in a can filled with soil to see if we could get them to root. I just rested them on top of the soil and have been gently spraying with water using a spray bottle each morning — after about 4 weeks, here's how we were looking:

You'll notice that a couple of the cuttings completely shriveled up and died, so I added a few new ones. Others kept their shape and even began to sprout teeny tiny little pink roots from where I'd separated them from the mother plant. Awesome!

After another couple weeks, we're really looking to be in business:

See those roots coming right from the end where we cut it from the plant?

I'm trying not to get my hopes too high since the weather is so so cold here, but that's where we find ourselves in the process right now! If all goes according to plan, we should see some new leaves sprout from this same rooted area, as pictured in this tutorial. Be sure to check it out so you can also see how all sorts of other succulent-type plants can be re-grown from the main plant!

We'll be sure to keep you updated as we progress (or fail) — and will hopefully have good news to report back as the weather begins to warm up this spring.

7 Weeks: we've continued to see steady growth and now have longer, stronger roots and a new leaf pod peeking out the cut end from our original cuttings:

Read more from our 7 week progress and see more pics in this update post.

2 Months: Slow but steady growth progress:

Read more from our 2 month progress and see more pics in this update post.

We're dying to know — what indoor gardening projects have you got going on right now? Are you as eager as us to get back outside and get your hands dirty?

Discover more:


  1. Wonderful! I love succulents. I've propagated a similar variety by doing what you did here. I've actually had more success by burying them in a very shallow layer of soil, and misting in the same way.

    Also I love your pink nails Mary!

  2. Trying my hands at growing button mushrooms. Hoping I'm successful!

  3. I started propagating succulents a few months back thanks to a cute DIY I found online. Little tiny wine cork Succulent Planters! Your little succulent clippings would be perfect! :) Here's a link in case any one hasn't seen these yet: http://www.upcyclethat.com/cork-planters/3086/
    These can go all kinds of neat places like your fridge, medicine cabinet or mirror frame, and filing cabinets at work! So cute.

  4. This has got to be the cutest leaf propagation post I've seen!


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