Introduction: How to Take & Grow Succulents From Cuttings

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If you've ever gone down a plant-shopping rabbit hole on the internet, you've probably had succulent cuttings catch your eye. Or maybe you already have older succulents you'd like to refresh and restart? Regardless of how you end up with cuttings, they're a great way to grow succulents! (And often much cheaper than buying full plants, too!)

In this instructable, I'll show you how to take succulent cuttings, callous them, and plant them. It's a fairly simple process as long as you follow a few important rules.

Step 1: Tools + Materials

Here's what you'll need to take and plant succulent cuttings:

  • Small pot
  • Succulent soil
  • Chopstick, skewer, or other thin tool to make holes in the soil
  • Sharp scissors or an X-acto knife
  • Succulent plants or cuttings, whichever you're starting with
  • Container for watering

If you're using a full plant, I'll show you how to take and callous succulent cuttings on the next two steps.

Step 2: How to Take Succulent Cuttings

Succulent cuttings should be taken from the very top of the stem. I always try to cut below the first leaf node on the stem at least, but often cut them longer.

Make sure you have at least and 1-2 inches or so of stem. (Less than that, and the plant will have a hard time standing up straight in the soil, hindering root growth.)

These particular plants are ones I'm completely restarting because they did not get enough sun and become too leggy. I've already pulled these leaves off these stems to propagate those.

Step 3: Let the Succulent Cuttings Callous Over

This is the most important part: letting the cut ends of the succulent stems callous over! A callous is essentially the succulent version of a scab.

Because I live in such a dry place, I only callous mine for 3-4 days. Yours may take longer! It's always better to go longer if you're nervous. I let mine sit out on a paper towel on the kitchen counter until the stem ends are good and dry.

The stem ends will become puckered and tough looking when dry.

Step 4: Plant the Succulent Cuttings and Water Them

Fill your container with a fast draining succulent and cactus soil and press down lightly on the soil to compact it a little.

Using your tool of choice, make small holes for the stems in the soil. Place the succulents into the holes and push the soil in around them.

Once they're all in place, water them just until water begins to run out the bottom of the pot. Let the water drain completely and then place the pot in a bright, warm place. (Though I would avoid direct sun for the first week or so - gotta go easy on them while they recover and grow roots!)

Step 5: Wait and Watch Your Succulent Cuttings Grow!

It can sometimes take a little while for cuttings to get established, so be patient with them! It took mine about two weeks to start to feel like the roots were developing. Two months later, they've doubled (or tripled) in size!

To check your cuttings for roots, gently push them with your fingers. Cuttings that have not established roots will move around quite freely, but those with roots feel more anchored.

Basic care for succulent cuttings:

  • Water them only after the soil has COMPLETELY dried.
  • Always water until the water runs out the bottom of the pot.
  • Place the succulent cuttings on a windowsill or outside - wherever receives the right amount of light for them! If they don't get enough light, their colors will not fully develop and they will become leggy. ("Leggy" is when a plant grows tall and thin instead of the way it should.)

Enjoy your new succulents!