• rose anne cruzado malagotnot

How to tell when your cuttings are going to take off

Succulents are any plants that are able to survive in minimal amount of water due to some of its unique functions that other plants don't have. Cacti are botanically succulents, but not all succulents are cacti, if you know what I mean.

There are a lot of plant families that are considered succulents because they have the unique mechanism to store water in their leaves, stems and roots. This is also why they are easy to propagate, but they have lesser stomata, that is why they grow slow.

I have tried to propagate my 22 succulent varieties (as of 10 May) in various ways (e.g. water propagation and soil propagation) using several succulent parts (e.g. leaf cuttings, stem cuttings and offsets). I have somehow determined signs that it will propagate successfully.

Signs of Successful Propagation

Of course developing strong and healthy roots can determine a successful propagation venture, but for a succulent that could take 3 weeks to several months. Below are some tips to ensure your success in succulent propagation.

  • Detach the cutting properly without damaging the leaf or stem cutting.

This is very essential. Whenever I accidentally broke the leaf, I automatically lose hope. When the petiole (technically succulents don't have petioles but I will call it petioles for the sake of explaining things) doesn't completely detach with the leaf, it is very likely that it won't callus well.

Below are the failed ones. (I kept them to see if there is a chance.)

This one might have a chance because it is callusing well, despite the accidental tear on the side.

It is hard to take leaf cuttings sometimes depending on the varieties. Some echeverias have tight rosette formation that even when I take cuttings during repotting (when the soil is loose and there is more space for movement), sometimes, I still fail.

Below are what it should look like.

  • Magenta discolouration on the cutting.

After a couple of days, it will callus and you will notice a magenta or red-pink discolouration on the cut. It is usually a good sign that roots will emerge. However, some varieties have white roots ( e.g. Crassula ovata), hence, the magenta discolouration is not applicable.

Below are pictures with the magenta discolouration and some root emerging.

The last leaf cutting is from my Echeveria 'Pollux'.

This was from where the last leaf cutting was from. As you can see, the leaf formation is not as tight, so I took a leaf cutting while I was repotting it.

This is the leaf cutting now, thriving and rooting well.

I will update this blog whenever I learn something new from my succulents, so stay tuned.

Also, I have some exciting rare succulents arriving soon and I will write about them so stay tuned and subscribe to get updates.

Thank you and don't be shy to share or tag me @greenthumbblog in Instagram if you tried any of my tips or if you want to share new tricks with me. I'd love to hear about it.

'Til next time,


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