Succulents are totally the It plant right now. It doesn’t matter which social media platform you use, they’re everywhere — from wedding bouquets and boutonnieres to terrariums and wall art. Seriously, everywhere.
A friend of mine recently gifted me some leaves that had broken off of her plants and urged me to propagate my own — and its incredibly easy.
If you don’t have a generous friend with unwanted succulent leaves, you’ll need to remove leaves from a healthy plant. Gently wiggle it back and forth until the entire leaf breaks off. (You need the entire leaf, or the magic won’t work.)
Next, leave the leaves out to dry for a couple of days so the end where it attached to the stalk can scab up. I left mine on a paper towel well away from the determined paws of our curious kitty, Lillith. (Probably should have unclumped them, but details, details.)
After a few days, take the leaves and lay them on a bed of soil. Miracle Grow makes a cactus potting mix that’s also perfect for succulents. You want soil that drains well. Root rot is not fun.
I then mist the leaves with a spray bottle. You’ll want to do this whenever the top of the soil dries out. After about a week you’ll start to see tiny roots sprout from the end of the leaf that was attached to the plant. In a couple more weeks you’ll notice tiny leaves spout up.
Then comes the waiting game. Succulents grow slowly. I started these guys about six months ago and they’re still tiny. I have yet to experience it, but I heard that it could take up to a year (or more) for that leaf to reach full size.
I just started these guys this week, so it will likely be a while before anything major happens. I am starting to see some minuscule roots, but I try not to disturb them too much.
Here are some I propagated about six months ago. They are about an inch and a half tall. They’re a bit stretchy, so it’s likely they need more sun. (Still learning as I go.)
These plants actually started from the stump of a succulent I decapitated after it got too leggy.
You can re-pot them once they get bigger or just leave them as is. I can’t decide quite yet what I’m going to do with them. I do love the succulents in a tray thing. I just want to find the right container for them. I also want to try succulent kokedama since you can hang them. That way they will be out of the reach of Lillith’s grabby paws. (Maybe I should start calling her Jabberwocky — you know, “the jaws that bite, the claws that catch.”)
I’ll keep you guys posted on what happens with this new batch of leaves.
P.S. My florist friend has put her foot down on making boutonnieres with succulents. Those juicy leaves break very easily. You practically have to handle them with kid gloves. Actually — even more gently than kid gloves. What’s more gentle than kid gloves? Baby gloves? I digress. Expect to pay a ton of money for that trendy boutonniere. On the plus side, it’s a good excuse to avoid all those hugs from Aunt Mildred.