Propagating

How to make succulent babies!

Step 1: Pick leaves
Gently twist the leaf near the base, it should snap off the plant cleanly. Good cuttings will be slightly rounded at the ends, and have no ‘open’ wound:

Bad cuttings will not grow, you need to make sure the whole leaf comes off in one go. Bad leaves are jagged, torn, or cut:

Step 2: Lay all cuttings inside on a piece of cloth.
I usually put a piece of old scrap material down on my desk and lie all the leaves out in rows. I try not to pile up the leaves, as this tends to promote rot. Do not water at all. AKA no misting the leaves, no watering the leaves, nothing. Everything the baby succulent needs to grow is stored in the mother leaf, watering may rot the leaf before the new plant is big enough to survive on its own! Make sure the leaves aren’t in direct sun, as they will wither before they form new plants. Filtered light from a window is strong enough!

Step 3: Waiting
After about 4 weeks you will start to see the first signs of life. The leaf may send out roots first, it may start to grow with no roots. Both are okay! 

Step 4: Planting (Start watering once a week at this stage)
After 6-8 weeks the baby succulents will be big enough to plant outside! I do this by placing the leaves on top of loose, sandy soil that has not been compacted. I do not bother burying the leaves, as it tends to do more harm than good (you may snap roots/damage new shoots in the process):

I place all the plants together, they don’t really seem to mind! These is how they look after about 10 weeks:

When the plants are big enough, the mother leaf will shrivel up and start to die off:

TADA! You’ve created baby succulents :)

I do feel bad for plants in general.
Like, I know they are often as vicious as animals in many ways, just slower.
But, I mean, they just show up and they’re like, “I Think I Will Evolve To Eat The Sun And Also Make Oxygen And How Now Is All This.”
And, like, everything fucking dies at first (totally not plants fault, btw. okay maybe it was but they didn’t mean to) but then new things evolve.
And they’re like, “Fuck it, eating each other suuuucks. Let’s eat the plants which give us life.”
And so we start doing that.
And plants are all, “Oh Dear No, I Do Not Care At All For Being Eaten. I Will Make Myself Into Poison Sometimes.”
But, y'know, stuff kept eating plants anyway so plants, ever the bro, came up with a new idea. “I Have Made A Decision About Being Eaten And You May Eat Me Friends And Here Is An Especially Tasty Bit Packed All Full of Delicious Sugars Which I Have Produced At Great Cost (What They Do Not Know Is That My Seeds Are Within And Shall Be Propagated Near And Far By Their Dung)“
But that’s not good enough for animals, no, not at all.
We love the fuck out of some pomegranates but also alliums which are like, "I Have Not Decided To Go In For This Being Eaten Business. I Shall Be Very Foul Tasting And Also A Poison.”
But no, sorry, onions, you fucked up.
You accidentally wound up with a species that just doesn’t give up or fully comprehend the idea of things tasting “”‘bad’“’ or other concepts like not eating poison. (Sorry, plants, later we turn some of you who are not poison into a poison we consume recreationally. We really enjoy eating poison.) 
Legit, alliums are deadly to, like, every other species.
And we call them aromatics and throw them in everything.
Peppers are the best, though.
They completely got on the being eaten train.
BUT ONLY BIRDS
Peppers are like, "You May Eat Me, Fair Avian, For You Are Sure To Spread Me A Great Distance. But, Mammal, Take HEED. Should You Eat Me Then I Will Burn You Most Terribly.”
And we were all about that.
“The FUCK, burning? I love pain,” said humans, presumably.
“You know, peppers, you and evolution have done a good job at burning us but I am pretty sure we could make your chemical agony even more potent. Come hang with us,” humans added to a very confused pepper just before creating the ghost chili.

How to Propagate Succulents

My latest obsession is the pretty succulent. They are beautiful plants and come in so many varieties and great colours. They are very hardy and need little watering (once every two weeks or once a month depending on your climate and environment) so they make a very good plant for indoors and anyone who doesn’t have a green thumb. 

The great thing about these guys is you can actually grow heaps of succulents from the one plant. It’s called propagating and I’ll run you through just how to do it!

Step One:

Choose the succulent. Head to your local garden nursery or local market to pick one. 

Once you’ve got your little friend home. Start by carefully removing the lower leaves. Pull off as many as you would like to propagate. Most people usually remove all the leaves from the lower level. That way you have a few if any don’t make it. Hold the leaf firmly and wiggle it until you can feel it pull away.  Make sure you get the whole leaf and don’t tear it otherwise it won’t grow a new plant.

 Step Two: 

Your leaves should look something like this If you have correctly pulled them off in one piece.

Step Three: 

Now we wait. This step is the most important!! The leaves need to dry out & callous over before we plant them or else they will  absorb too much moisture,rot and die. This usually takes a few days to a week. 

Step Four:

Once you feel the ends have dried over, place them in a pot or tray ontop of well drained succulent & cactus soil mixture (you can buy this in a bag from your local hardware/ garden nursery I got mine from Bunnings). Some people dip the ends of the leaves in a plant cutting mixture (contains stimulating root hormones). This speeds up the growth process. You can try this but not essential.

Leave them inside where they can get indirect sunlight. After a few weeks you will notice roots shooting out the ends of the leaves. Then very small succulents will begin to form. Lightly water once you see these. During the process if the soil is dry add water to keep the area moist. Remember too much water is not good. Succulents aren’t big fans. 


Step Five:

Congratulations you've successfully growth succulents! Once they get to this size (see image below)  or even like the above image. You can carefully remove the new succulents and plant them in their very own pot (remember to use a succulent cactus soil mixture) and watch them blossom! Pretty cool hey! 

Now you can start getting creative and making gorgeous features out of your succulents. Mix them with other plants just like this. 

Happy Gardening! x 


Images via: www.pinterest.com

Succulent Guide

Congratulations on becoming a proud plant parent! Welcome to to the wonderful world of succulents and cacti, here is a small guide of how to take care of your succulents properly and tips on how to maintain a healthy, happy plant based on personal experience. (・ω・)ノ

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General Knowledge

Firstly, here is some general knowledge on succulents that will (believe it or not) help you greatly when it comes to taking care of your plant.

  • Succulents and cacti are in the same family! This means there are many different kinds and like dry places with little water
  • The world “succulent” refers to the plant’s fleshy, thick leaves. They are like this to retain water.
  • Because succulents are cacti, some can be pointy and have spines (like aloe!) so in general, be careful.

That’s basically all the general information you need to know that will help your plant grow.

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Watering your plant:

Although most people believe that succulents thrive on neglect, they really don’t, and need almost as much maintenance as a regular house plant.

MY RULE OF THUMB: When the leave look thin, water the plant.

This rule of thumb is a bit of a last resort. If your plant’s leaves are withered or thin, it needs a lot of water.

Regularly, I water my 2" succulents with about 2 tablespoons of water A WEEK.

In winter, succulents and Cacti go through a dormant phase and don’t need to be watered as often, but I found this information as not useful because when I went as little as 1.5 weeks without watering some of my plants in the winter, they’d start to wither.

Remember, succulent leaves should remain fleshy! And watering them often is the key to doing this.

If you happen to forget to water your succulents for up to three weeks and even beyond, do not worry. At that point, the plant will ration it’s water until you water it.

If you happen to do this, do not immediately think that you have to drown your plant in water to make up the weeks you missed. For a 2" succulent, 2 tablespoons or less is the key. These types of plants can only take so much water at one time.

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Soil/Potting:

Repotting Cacti and Succulents is a lot of fun, especially when you get decorative pots or creative with potting ideas.

Some people like to use teacups, and other people use plain old terra-cotta pots.

Whatever the case may be, succulents and cacti like drainage.

So your teacup doesn’t have a drainage hole? No problem.

It is ideal to pot your plant in something that has drainage holes, but if it doesn’t, adding rocks to the bottom of whatever it is you’re using will help greatly.

I have small, 2" white square ceramic pots for my babies, which have a singular, small drainage hole in the bottom. Because I wanted more drainage, I used a few rocks on the bottom, and filled the rest of the pot with succulent and cacti potting mix.

It’s also healthy to keep some of the soil from the original pot to mix in with the potting mix.

When repotting my cactus plant, I preferred using thick rubber gloves to repot rather than gardening gloves because I didn’t want the thin spines to prick me.

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Sunlight/Heat:

I normally keep my succulents on the windowsill over my kitchen sink because it gets the most light in the house while being indirect.

This is the key to good sunlight: light, but indirect. So if you have a windowsill where the sun crosses over it throughout the day, that is the ideal place for your succulent. In winter, keep your succulents inside! And on the sill of a west facing window is ideal because the light is not too harsh in the afternoon.

TIP: make sure to rotate the pot so the plant grows straight.

If you do not have much sun, although I have not tried this, I know some people grow their plants under special lamps which work just as fine.

As far as heat goes, heat was not much of a problem for my plants except for my one pesky Echeveria nodulosa ‘Painted Beauty’ which I had named Rory.

Rory was not a fan of being near an open window, and since I had gotten my succulents in January, it was cold outside. A few rare days of warmth would occur in February which called for an open window, and any time he was near it, he would wilt.

And although Rory is due for what looks like propagation, he is my smallest plant to this day and I don’t want to go onto that step for him yet.

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Propagation

When I noticed my plants reaching for sunlight, they’d bend towards the window and grow very tall and their leaves would space out. Soon, the bottom leaves would die and need to be plucked off and I’d be left with a long stem, a few spaces but still alive leaves, and a small rosette on the top.

This means it’s time for propagation. When I first read on how to stop my plants from getting so leggy, results appeared calling it “decapitation” where you would cut of the head of the plant and leave a stump.

This sounded very scary to me and I waited until a month before I tried to look for answers again and found propagation as the solution.

There are basically three parts of propagation.

  1. the stump
  2. the rosette
  3. the babies (which are actually a bunch of little parts).

The first step to propagation is to remove the bottom leaves from the plant completely from the stem by gently twisting them off. (Even if they are alive)

Place the leaves on a wet paper towel on a pan after they have calloused over and dried out (takes about 2-3 days). You may notice the the root of the leaf may already be growing roots, and if it has not, it will eventually. From each leaf you will grow a new baby rosette and have a forest of succulents! The babies make great gifts. (Note that not every leaf will be successful in growing a baby). This process takes about 3-4 weeks.

For the left over plant, you now have a super long stem with a rosette at the top. Cut the rosette leaving some stem on it and submerge the stem in water after letting it callous and dry out (takes about 5 days) For mine, I submerged the rosette in a medicine cup filled with 2 tablespoons of water. Soon, roots will appear so you can repot the rosette. This takes 2-3 weeks.

Then, cut the rest of the stem the is in the original pot down to a stub. After the stub callouses over, it will start to regenerate new babies around it. This takes about 3 weeks.

When it comes to propagation, it takes time and patience.

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Tips:

Here is where I was going to put any tips I had for growing plants but I kind of mentioned them throughout my spiel. In that case, here is where I will reiterate my most important tips:

- Water your plants once a week or when the leaves look less fleshy.
- 2 tablespoons of water a week for 2" plants (some species may need more or less)
- For repotting cactus plants with spines, it’s ideal to use rubber gloves instead of gardening gloves
- Rotate the plant so it grows straight!

Those are my best tips. There really aren’t any tips on propagation since its a hit or miss kind of ordeal.

Feel free to ask questions! uwu

4

How to grow baby succulents from only leaves!

Growing new succulents from the ones you already have is super easy- simply twist a few leaves off of the mother plant (or use already fallen leaves), let them dry and callous over for a few days to avoid rot then place on soil. Spritz with water every 3 or so days and you’ll see progress like mine above in around 3 months- be patient!

Some Graptosedum cuttings! Not sure what variety they are though…guess I gotta wait till they get bigger so I can see. I have a hunch that one of these is a ghostie~

I need to get soil for them first though. For now, I’m just propagating by water to see how it goes. I’m so obsessed with these little guys lately.