When it comes to succulent propagation, there are often many questions for the novice such as “How do I choose the best leaves to propagate?”. It can be a game of trial and error for many who assume one leaf is the same as the next, but there are things to look out for.
- The Good: An ideal propagator leaf is one that you remove from a healthy plant. Leaves that have already fallen off, have usually done so because of health issues such as plant infection or age. Old leaves will usually dry up from the base up. You want a plump leaf that has no signs of damage or spotting. if you accidentally knock healthy leaves off of a plant, you can, by all means use those in an attempt to propagate.
- The Bad: Some leaves, no matter how healthy they may look will fail to grow roots, a plant, or anything at all. I can’t say this enough: No one has a 100% propagation rate! All you can do is give your propagator leaf plenty of time and if it fails to develop take your losses. Keep in mind that some varieties of succulent are very slow to grow and nothing happens overnight.
- The Ugly: Leaves that have spots, are yellowing, drying out, or damaged are not ideal leaves for propagating. This is not to say they will not grow you a baby succulent, but that the odds are much less likely than in an ideal propagator leaf.
At the end of the day, it is up to you if you want to propagate every single loose leaf that you come across, or if you are selective in your attempts. The more selective you are in the leaves you begin with, the greater your chances of a baby succulent in the end.