How to Clone Succulents

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This blog is 3 of 5 tutorials for the July Craft in Style Subscription Box. You can find the other 4 tutorials, more about this box, and other Craft in Style Boxes here.

Love succulents? I sure do! They are one of the easiest plants to care for. In most environments they can live indoors or outdoors as long as they are near a window. They need minimal waterings. In most cases, several times a week, once a week or even less. Succulents are so adaptable and they make the cutest terrariums too.

If you are just learning about how to care for succulents, here’s a great guide on how to care for succulents indoors. This guide makes everything easy.

cut the succulents with sharp floral shears

One of my favorite things about succulents is that you can take leaves or small sections of the plant and grow an entirely new plant. Here’s how.

cut sections of the succulents away from the plant

Supplies to Clone Succulents

A Large Succulent (or succulent with multiple leaf clusters)
Floral Shears or Sharp Scissors
Soil & Plant Pot or Moist Paper Towels
Optional: Rooting Powder

The supplies are simple and you don’t need the rooting powder. What you do need is a large succulent with lots of tiny leaves that you can cut from.

cut the succulent leaves off the base

Clean the Floral Shears

To get started, clean your floral shears with soap and water. Succulents are bacteria resistent – so this step is just to keep good habits. And just in case.

Other plants like orchids can also be propagated. But orchids are much more delicate and require the shears to be cleaned thoroughly each time to prevent disease.

cut stem after taking a succulent clone

How to Cut the Succulent

To make a clone, cut the mother succulent underneath a section of leaves, cut it at a knob or place where the stem splits, or even break off a leaf.

Make sure your cut is clean and even. A jagged cut or torn edge will not have good results.

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When you make a cutting with just a leaf, if the leaf is not even at the base where it connects to the stem, it will likely not grow. The whole leaf needs to be intact.

Between these different sections of plants – any of them can grow into a new plant. None are better than the other – they are all perfect for cloning.

place the plant in soil to make a clone

Optional: Dust with Rooting Powder

Once you have your baby cutting, you may want to dust the cut edge with rooting powder. You don’t need much – just a sprinkle.

place the clone in soil gardening tutorial

Where to Place Your Cuttings

There are 2 places you can store your cuttings until they become full plants:

1. Place the cut end in a pot with moist but not wet soil.

2. Place the cuttings flat on moist paper towels.

When do they become full plants? As soon as your cutting starts to sprout roots. Until then, your cutting can’t absorb water.

lots of succulent pieces to make clones pop shop america

Your Plants Need a Regular Amount of Light but No Water

While you are in this process, your cuttings need light but they shouldn’t be watered. Since your plants don’t have roots, there’s no way for them to absorb water. However, I do recommend keeping your soil or paper towels slightly moist until they plants grow roots.

They will also need a normal amount of light. I recommend a full day or a half day of diffused light. You can read more about that here. Since succulents are pretty versatile, it’s a helpful read!

plant succulents in separate pots craft in style tutorial

How Long Does it Take to Propagate Succulents?

Now this whole process can take a few days…2 weeks…even a full season! It depends on the type of succulent and it depends on the season.

Succulents grow like crazy in the spring and early summer. And many varieties become completely dormant in the fall and winter. Some succulents, like lithops, are just extremely slow growing.

tiny succulent clones growing roots

You will know that your cutting can and likely will become a full plant if it’s still bulbous and not wrinkly and shrunken in. You should also look at its color. A healthy color indicates a healthy plant. An unhealthy plant will turn brown.

Sometimes cuttings don’t take. So don’t be disappointed if it happens to you! Just try again. And remember you can always learn from your previous attempts and whether you need to place the plant in an area with more light, less light, use rooting powder, skip the rooting powder, etc.

gardening tutorial to grow succulent clones from cuttings

What to Do When Your Plant Grows Roots

Once your trimming grows roots, it should be treated like all your other succulents. If you have it on paper towels, make sure to get it in a pot with soil. Start your normal watering schedule. For some succulents in some environments that may be once a week. For others that may be more regularly.

Ready to try it out? Tell us how it worked out for you in the comments! And ready to get even deeper with house plants and succulents? Read below!

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