How to QUICKLY Root/Propagate Succulents From Leaves





Introduction: How to QUICKLY Root/Propagate Succulents From Leaves

Succulents will root without any human intervention/interference whatsoever. Most will sprout roots and form new plants wherever they fall, be it the patio floor under the parent plant, or the trunk of the car where some busy mom knocked off a few leaves. However, it can take weeks and weeks for Mother Nature to get Her process on. I have found that spraying the leaves with water every day will speed up the process, but alas, I am not only horribly impatient, I'm also terribly lazy... And thus, I came up with this method :

  • easy to do, with stuff you already have
  • works quickly, with little maintenance
  • newly formed roots are easily seen
  • works with most succulents leaves, hens-and-chicks, and sedums
  • will probably also work on a variety of houseplants (will test it out and update later, but spider plants seems a good candidate for this method)

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You will need:

  • succulent leaves, mooched from a friend is best because it's free (or buy a plant and make 180 new ones)
  • a hot-food container from the deli of your local grocery store is ideal, but you can also use aluminum trays with matching lids, or just any tray-like container and some plastic wrap
  • small rocks or chunky gravel
  • good, thick paper towels
  • *rooting hormone; completely optional as this method works pretty well, and succulents are easy to root to start with, but since I had them on hand, why not?

Step 2: Line Your Container

Line your container with the rocks or gravel. It will help air circulation and ensure that your rooting environment won't stay too wet.

Step 3: Lay It On

Lay 2 layers of paper towels onto the gravel, and pour on a bit of water, a couple of spoons or so. Don't worry if you overdo it, because that's what the rocks are for.

Lay your succulent leaves on wet paper towel.

**Some folks recommend letting freshly picked leaves air-dry a couple of days in a cool, dry place to "callus" over, but since mine were scraped off said friend's patio where they've sat for a while, this was a moot point for me.


If you choose to use the rooting hormone, tap a small amount out to use in a disposable bowl or plate . I did that onto some construction paper in a paper bowl so that the white powder would be visible, and I can toss the whole thing away afterwards.

Dip the stem end of the leaves into the rooting powder, tap gently to remove excess, and lay it it on.

Step 4: Cover and Wait

The nifty hot-food container has built-in holes for ventilation, but you can either put some in yours, or loosely cover with plastic wrap. Keep somewhere with bright indirect light. (I've got mine on some cheap plastic shelving in my daughter's room because it gets great lighting)

The second pic is an aluminum tray with loose plastic wrap, lined with mulch instead of rocks (experimenting), and looks a bit downtrodden, but should still work!

Step 5: Wait for Sproutlings!

Check the moisture every few days, mostly in case of curious little persons who peeked in and forgot to replace your lid. Add a spoon of water if needed. Since the sproutlings are not directly using the water, I figured it was safe to use my ultra-heavy tap water. In about 2 weeks, your succulent leaves should look like this, or at least have some nice roots!

*Nice thing I've noticed: If allowed to dry out (thanks to little persons), progress will halt, but will resume when you re-wet the paper towel, rather than wilt and die off like soft cuttings like basil and coleus.

Step 6: Ta-da! Plant an Uber-mini-tabletop-garden!

Transfer to pre-moistened cacti growing medium. The roots are not anchored yet, so moving them is just a matter of placing the leaves wherever you want. Loosely cover the new plantings with plastic wrap or clear lids for a few days until the plants are established.

Step 7: Pitfalls

The drawback to this method is that because of the high moisture, imperfect leaves with any nick or scratch will rot quickly! And it does not seem to work for these two plants : sedum burrito, and the nameless Shrek-ear looking one. It's been 3+ weeks, and I have yet to see roots on any leaves from them. And one hybrid of hens-and-chicks just disintegrated overnight after being put in the box.

(Don't that let last bit scare you, I have other species of hens-and-chicks, as well as many sedums, that are rooting like crazy in that humidity!)

Step 8: So Tiny!

Hope this was clear and helpful! Happy growing!

2 People Made This Project!


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The "Shrek-Ear looking one" is a Gollum Jade if you wanted to know.


Hi, I just started to propagate succulent leaves. I used a container from strawberries and added gravel and the two paper towels. My question, when it, or if it gets dry, do you add the water to the paper towels or can I just spray the water on everything. Thank you


Why did you cover your leaves

Hello! I read somewhere at honey is a good rooting hormone, is that correct?

Honey is an excellent rooting hormone since it’s a natural anti-fungal.

I have heard that too, but I have never tested it out myself.

oh okay, i will try it and see how it works!

Very good method!! Thank you!

Thank you! The 'Shrek Ears' or 'Gollum' I have labeled Crassula Argentea from the Jade Plant family. I hope that's correct. My husband 'helped me' all on his own to 'straighten' my plant tags the other day and a few made it straight to other plants. ;-)

Just another comment on the Shrek - I have another hybrid called "Ogre Ears" that says it is similar to 'Gollem' - since I don't have 'Gollem' I can't compare, but sounds like they are popular enough they are making multiple hybrids. Mine is still small so I don't know what the mature plant will look like, or how large.

Hi everyone.

My name is Icelene Jordan.

I live in NC a little town called Harmony.

And I am writing to everyone today because I would like everyone that can are will help me out on this.

School is out and some kids on the streets due to know one is out to help them.

I love helping pp I do alot of couponing to help pp in need.

But as school is out I would also like to help our children around our little town.

I want to help the start growing plants .And as I see the best one to do is Succulents Plants.

I think this will help kids to learn of take care of things by putting care and love in to there plants.

But as I look in to price of Succulents I am asking if you pp out growing these will send me a cutting from yours to help me out on this .I will keep a record of how things are going with this.

So if you could help out I would love it.

Thank You

Icelene Jordan

161 Grose Street

Harmony N.C 28634