Summer 2016: Update #1

I love succulents. They are the perfect dorm room plant during the school year, as they require minimal watering/responsibility, and love the outdoor heat throughout the summer. Although I try to keep my succulents near a bright window in the fall and winter, sometimes they can become a bit leggy as they start to stretch towards the light during these colder months. The stem begins to grow long and the leaves become more widely spaced, making this an ideal time to propagate.

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I'm going to be working with the succulent pictured above. I probably could of propagated this succulent sooner when I first noticed the plant becoming leggy. Now that it is warmer outside, I am hoping that the plant will not be as stressed as it would have been during winter propagation.

This succulent still has a beautiful rosette on top. (Look at the colors!) I am hoping to save the rest of the plant before the lower leaves fall off and I'm left with a long, bare stem. I might as well make more succulent babies while I'm at it!

I am very excited for the method of propagation that I will be using because no part of the plant will go to waste. If successful, every cutting will have new plants growing off of it very soon. Follow my propagation journey, I will be updating this blog as I go...

Today I began the propagation process for my succulent. I started by removing the lower leaves first. Following Needles + Leaves' advice, I held the leaf firmly as I wiggled it from side to side. It took a little longer than I expected for the leaf to pop off, but as it did I felt a little snap. This method ensures that you will get the entire leaf needed for propagating. If you rip the leaf, it will not be able to grow roots for a new plant.

See the little ovals in the bases of the leaves above? That means the leaves were successfully pulled from the plant and have remained fully intact.

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Now I'm left with a long stem and a small rosette on top. The next step is to cut off the rosette, leaving the stem behind. I used scissors to cut my plant, but a sharp knife would have also worked. I transplanted the remaining stem to a new pot for more growing room, complete with a friendly neighbor cactus.

I also cut the stem in half once more, just to experiment a bit. The lower part of the stem was left in the soil. It should have no problem growing new plants once it has calloused over. I am curious to see what the "middle" section of stem will do, seeing as both ends were cut.

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The next step is to wait. Before I can place my leaves, rosette, and "middle" stem back in soil I have to let the ends dry out and callous over. If the ends don't dry out, it is very likely that they will rot and die from absorbing too much moisture in the soil. I have placed my clippings between two paper towels so that all possible moisture is absorbed from the ends. They will be indoors and I will check on them every day to see if they are ready to place back into the soil. This drying period could take anywhere from a few days to a week.