Introduction: Easy Succulent Propagation
Succulents are great houseplants for those with semi-black thumbs. I often forget to water plants, indoors and out, which make succulents ideal for me as they need very infrequent watering. Succulents however, assuming you like variety as I do, can be expensive. Growing your own succulents from leaf cuttings is extremely easy and less expensive than buying individual parent plants, it also doesn't take a lot of work.
Step 1: BoM
Succulent friendly soil
Step 2: Leaves & Cuttings
There are several ways to get a variety of succulents growing in your home. The most expensive way is to buy each variety you want. Depending on where you shop, a 2-3" pot will cost you $1.99-4.99. Some of the bigger box stores will occasionally have half-dead succulents on sale, don't ignore these. You can still harvest a half-dead plant.
While you're looking at the selection in your local box store, you'll notice leaves that have either fallen off (some plants can pop their leaves off naturally) or have started shriveling because they are damaged---take a look at the ends, you might find some usable leaves that you can grow at home. I usually pop them into the succulents I'm buying, no one seems to mind. Half the time fallen leaves end up in different pots anyway. The last picture is an example of a couple leaves I found at Home Depot today while I was purchasing a few new succulents.
If you have friends who grow succulents or work somewhere with succulents as decor, you can ask and/or trade leaves and cuttings with the plant owners so you both get more variety. User/Backenforth is actually bringing me some Hens & Chicks cuttings and I'm giving her some of the cuttings used in this Instructable.
Cuttings can also be purchased online from sites like eBay or Etsy, though you might not get a choice of what plants you'll get. I recently turned to Etsy to find a Haworthia Zebra succulent, it's a type of aloe plant and is really cool. I looked all over town and couldn't find one that didn't come in an overpriced vase or pre-made succulent garden.
Step 3: Leaf Cutting
One of the most common ways to propagate succulents is by removing the bottom leaves. You do this carefully by wiggling and twisting the desired leaf back and forth until it pops off. You want to be careful about removing the leave as a broken leaf will not grow a new plant.
Step 4: Dry
After you've collected your cuttings they need to dry out for a few days. Specifically, you want the cut end to start callousing over. Place your clippings on paper towel and set aside in an area where the cuttings will receive plenty of indirect sunlight. If you're not sure about your cuttings being dried out enough, leave them for another day or two. It's better to be over dried out than under, too much water/moisture causes succulents to rot.
Step 5: Soil
Once your cuttings have callused over, place them in a shallow container that has an inch or two of cactus/succulent soil that has been lightly moistened (like with a spray bottle, nothing heavy). You don't have to bury the callused end, as the roots begin to grow they will find their way to the soil.
After a week or two you'll start to see tiny pink or white roots grow from your succulent, this is a good sign and all you need to do is sit back and watch.
Step 6: Time
After 2-3 weeks you'll start seeing your new succulent growing. A couple more weeks after than the original leaf will start to shrivel, at this point you can remove the dead leaf from your new plant. Carefully scoop the tiny plant up and repot in your desired container.
Succulents do not need a lot of water. If you think your plant looks dry, wait another day or two and then give it a little water. Too much water is where a lot of succulent owners tend to go wrong.