Can You Cut Off A Piece Of Succulent And Plant It?

Many succulent varieties can be propagated just by cutting apart a small piece of that plant and planting it in suitable soil. Many cuttings can be planted immediately, however some take a little more work to get ready for their new life. There are many different ways to start your succulent cuttings, but the method below has proven to be the most reliable way to grow new healthy plants from a cutting.

Succulents are a resilient breed of plants, so much so that you can actually plant a piece of it, and it will grow into a new plant. Regenerating something new from a decapitated limb may sound like a horror movie or the plot for Netflix’s upcoming sci-fi thriller, but it’s actually real life. Even if you cut off one of their branches, they will find a way to continue living. 

Yes, you can cut off, or prune, a piece of a succulent and replant it. And with the proper living conditions, the pruned piece of succulent will take to its new home and grown into a full-fledged succulent.  

Keep on reading if you’re interested in learning about pruning succulents. Once you master the process, it’s like growing multiple plants for the price of one! 

Propagating a New Succulent 

The process of pruning a piece of a succulent and using it to grow a new plant is called propagation. If done correctly, propagating can allow you to grow multiple succulents from a single succulent. 

Performing a clean cutting is important for successful propagation. Using scissors or pruning shears will help you get the cut that you need. But you can also experiment with this process by using your hands and pinching off pieces of your succulent. 

A huge number of succulent on pot.
A single leaf of your succulent should be enough to propagate the plant.

Depending on what type of succulent you are working with, removing a single leaf is good enough. Whether you are utilizing shears or just your hand, aim to remove a leaf of your succulent as close to the stem as possible.  

If your succulent is larger and has multiple stems or branches, you may be able to cut off the top of a certain section or an individual offshoot. 

Drying Out the New Cutting

Once you’ve removed a series of leaves, stems, or offshoots, you will want to let the cuttings dry out. Depending on the amount of sunlight and heat, your cuttings will need to dry out for 1 to 3 days to scab over. 

A person reportting the small succulent and cactus plants.
You should let the cuttings dry before you plant them.

Your cuttings should shrivel up just sightly. If the fresh cuttings do not have time to dry out, they’ll absorb too much water the first time you hydrate and drown or eventually develop root rot. 

Watering the New Cutting

The cutting you pruned should be placed on top of the soil. Refrain from actually planting one end of the cutting into the soil. Once your cuttings have dried out sufficiently, it’s time to start watering them. 

Watering the plant.
You should slightly water newly propagated cuttings every day.

Full-grown succulents do not need to be water every day. However, newly propagated cuttings do require a light watering every day. When the soil is dry, water the cutting. Using a spray bottle is a popular tool for watering, especially during the early stages. 

Eventually, your cutting will take to its new environment and begin to set roots! 

Ideal Living Conditions for Propagating Succulents 

In order for your new succulent to thrive, you will want to create the ideal living conditions for it. 

Above, we talked about the watering needs during the propagation process. But there are a few other things to consider moving forward. 

  • Soil type: First off, succulents require well-draining soil. Using a pre-made cactus potting mix will ensure that your growing medium is ideal for your succulent. To encourage draining, you might consider lining the bottom of your container with gravel or pebbles.
  • Sunlight requirements: In general, succulents enjoy a lot of sunlight. Ideally, around 6 hours of sunlight per day. However, be careful. Freshly propagated cuttings should not be placed in direct sunlight. 
  • Watering needs: Succulents’ watering needs are considered to be pretty low maintenance. Depending on the size of your container, the soil, and your local climate, you should only be watering your succulent one time every 1 to 2 weeks. 
  • Fertilizing: Succulents are hardy little plants that are easy to grow if you take care of their basic water, soil, and sunlight necessities. However, you may want to incorporate fertilizer to encourage faster growth. 

Maintaining Your Succulents After Planting from a Cutting

Succulents are popular because they are low maintenance. For the most part, if you water them correctly and plant them in high-quality soil with plenty of indirect sunlight, they will grow happily. However, there are a few maintenance items to consider in order for your succulents to be the happiest they can be. 

A person holding the small pot with succulent.
Although succulents are low-maintenance plants, you still need to provide water, give enough sunlight, and prune them.

Pruning your succulent is not just something you can do to propagate more succulents. In fact, pruning is also important for removing dead and dried-up leaves and encouraging new growth. 

Dried-up leaves should not cause alarm. It’s just part of the life cycle. We recommend you prune your succulents sometime in the Springtime. 

Cleaning your Succulents

Maintaining your succulents may also involve cleaning and dusting. Dust and other debris can build up on your succulents. This can take away from their vibrant colors, affecting their aesthetic appeal, and may even encourage pests or diseases to grow.

You can wash your succulents with a damp ramp. Or use a spray bottle to wet them before removing any dirt or dust. If your succulents are outside, you may need to remove extra debris like sticks and leaves. 

Preventing & Treating Pests and Disease

No matter how well we take care of our plants, sometimes Mother Nature gets the best of us. If you grow succulents long enough, you may eventually encounter some pests or diseases on your plants. 

The best thing you can do is prevent the pests and diseases from establishing themselves in the first place. There are a few simple things you can do to prevent pests and disease:

  • Encourage airflow: airflow is important for succulents. If indoors, avoid positioning your succulents in a closed room with little airflow. 
  • Check your plants often: if you examine your succulents regularly, you can stay ahead of any pests or disease. If they do develop, you’ll be able to spot them before the infestation gets bad.
  • Wash your succulents: washing your succulents regularly with water or a diluted alcohol solution will help prevent pests and disease. You can also use neem oil for extra preventative power. 
  • Don’t overwater: Or, underwater for that matter. These two things can’t be mentioned enough. There’s a rumor out there that succulents don’t need water- they do! But they don’t need a ton. Just a weekly misting is usually enough.

Treating Pests and Disease

If pests or diseases do take hold of your plants, you will have to start a treatment plan to get rid of the infestation. The first thing will be to separate the struggling succulent from other plants to prevent whatever it is from spreading. 

Spraying the leaves with neem oil is the preferred method. If the infestation is particularly bad, then you can also soak the soil with neem oil. Using a diluted solution of rubbing alcohol and water can also kill some types of bacteria. 

A mealy bug on a leaf.
If the infestation is particularly bad, then you can also soak the soil with neem oil.

Depending on the problem, you may also consider using a pesticide or herbicide. If you do choose to incorporate chemicals, make sure to follow the directions. If your plant is indoors, ensure that the product is approved for indoor use. 

And if you have small pets or children, using an organic and biodegradable product will keep all parties involved much safer. 

Summary

Succulents are amazing plants. They are easy to grow and relatively low maintenance. Better yet, if you properly prune them, you can propagate entirely new plants from the cuttings. 

Just follow the recommended guidance from above, and you’ll be propagating and growing new succulents in no time. 

Last update on 2022-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

read this next

Providing good growing conditions including essential nutrients, are critical elements you need to adhere to when growing cacti plants. Doing things right will give your plants the best chance of staying healthy and happy throughout the year
Mother of Thousands grows without the need for watering or fertilizing, which means that if left to its own devices, it can create hundreds of small offshoots called “pups”. This plant is also sometimes called “The Walking Plant” because the pups will often fall off and start new plants, continuing to spread indefinitely around your garden.
If you want to take care of your own little plant babies or introduce someone else to the joys of succulent-growing (and why wouldn’t you?), you’re in luck! Today, we’re sharing DIY succulent soil recipe details.
Something every ghost plant owner should know is how to care for your ghost plant. This plant requires high humidity and low light. Ghost plants do not like direct sunlight, so keep them away from electricity sources such as windows. Watering frequency depends on the soil your ghost plant is in.
The Christmas cactus is a popular holiday flowering plant, but it can be difficult to keep alive in household conditions. Many people don’t even know how often to water Christmas cactus, but the answer is surprisingly simple. Here’s how to keep your Christmas cactus healthy year-round.
Cactus plants can be a beautiful addition to your wedding decor. From a floral-style centerpiece that sits out on the table for people to see, to a cactus wreath that can be placed over a doorway as guests enter, using cacti as part of your wedding decorations will allow you to add a little fun and flare to your big day!
Wondering how to revive a mushy succulent? Mushy succulents are disappointing, but don’t throw them away! Still, some succulent plants are easier to fix than others. Here are tips on what to do when your succulents go soft.
Air plants are beautiful living plants that grow without soil. Their unique leaves absorb the nutrients they need from the air, so they can literally be hung in your window or on your wall. However, if neglected the leaves will begin to turn color and shrivel, so here are some tips on how to save a rotting air plant.
Aeoniums are a challenging species. They’re extremely sensitive to over-watering and produce an enormous root system under the soil that, left unmonitored, can rot and kill the plant entirely. There’s not much that’s more heartbreaking than watching your favorite plant shrivel up and die from over-watering.
What could be worse than seeing your beloved cactus plant slowly dying? Root rot is one of the signs that your cactus is no longer healthy. Identifying the problem can help you save your precious plant.
Sempervivums are beautiful and hardy plants that look great in garden beds, rock gardens, containers, and more. This complete guide includes tips on how to care for these plants so you can keep them looking healthy and beautiful for years to come.
The Sansevieria is a flowering plant that can be grown outdoors or indoors. The plant originates from Africa and is a great addition to all homes. While Sansevieria does not necessarily need direct sunlight, it does need natural light for at least six hours per day in order to do well.
Did you know that air plants can survive without soil? These plants are commonly called epiphytes, which means they grow on other plants. They also require very little care and can survive for months without water. These make them the most versatile plants and can be placed in a variety of places.
Some people call it Tile Flower, some people call it Desert Rose. But we’ll tell you the name of this stunning flower, and we’ll tell you amazing facts about it that you probably didn’t know before. It’s not a rose at all, and in fact it’s not even a flower! It is also not rare, but it is wonder-filled with its vibrant colors and striking shape.
Aloe vera is one of the best plants you can grow to help maintain your health and wellness. It is easy to care for, propagates quickly, and will thrive in a variety of conditions. As a succulent enthusiast, it is important that you learn how to care for aloe vera properly so that you can use its health benefits whenever needed.

Receive the latest news

Get Our Cacti Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest facts, tips, advice, and more!

Your privacy is important to us.