If you follow me on any social platform, you’ll know that I have an absolute love of succulents! I’m not alone, because my succulent posts are often among my most liked. One of the most amazing things about succulents is their ability to propagate from not only cutting but from the leaf as well. Today, I’m sharing a fairly underutilized method of succulent propagation, water.
Many succulent owners shy away from water propagation because too much water for succulents planted in soil typically leads to a very common problem, root rot. I have lost my fair share of succies to root rot, as it is probably one of the most common causes of succulent demise, especially in a humid or moist climate. I’m located in zone 8a in Georgia, and finding succulents is not always an easy task, so naturally, I love to grow more from my existing plants.
To successfully water propagate a succulent, you will need to:
- Cleanly remove several healthy leaves from the lowest point you can from a succulent. Obviously you don’t want to destroy your whole plant and just randomly pull leaves from the top of the center as this can permanently damage your plant.
- This step is very important and is often overlooked and can destroy your attempt at water propagation. Allow your leaves to callous over for several days. A healthy leaf will not die without a water source very quickly, and if your leaf does wither in a few days time, it would not have been a valid propagator to begin with.
- Depending on the size of the leaf, you can either set it in a narrow neck bottle filled with water or cover a jar of water with plastic wrap and cut slits to insert and hold your leaf tips into the water.
- Be sure to set your bottle or jar in a window sill or near bright filtered light. You don’t want direct sunlight to beam down on your propagating leaves and burn them.
- Check on your leaves periodically. You will want to change out the water about once a week. I just leave the leaves in the plastic wrap, as to not to disturb the emerging roots and or a baby succulent, and gently lift off of the jar to change out the water, and then replace the plastic cover with leaves.
- Some leaves will fail to develop and die. Some leaves will only grow roots and no plant. The leaves that do grow roots and a plant will eventually shrivel up. The leaf can be gently removed and the plant can be planted in soil.