Transplanting and Propagating Succulents

Succulent plants are very easy to transplant into different garden settings, and are perhaps the easiest plants of all to grow from cuttings, division, stem cutting, and rooted leaves.

Succulents are exotic-looking plants that store water in leaves, stems, or both, and come in an astounding array of shapes, sizes, colors, flowers, and unique frills. Propagating succulents is very easy because most of them either grow lots of new plants at their bases, root readily from stem cuttings, or produce new plants on the tips of mature leaves.

Moving Them Around

Most succulents have very shallow, fibrous roots, making them easy to dig carefully and replant. And there is no hurry – when transplanting succulents it is a good idea to allow a day or more before replanting to allow roots to heal over a bit before being watered.

Plant new succulents into sunny beds or pots with a well-drained soil, amended ahead of time with a little organic matter such as compost or potting soil, plus a generous amount of coarse drainage material such as sharp sand, pumice, grit, or the expanded clay used for improving aeration in sports fields. All are available at garden centers or farm supply stores. 

As you dig garden succulents, brush excess soil from roots; potted succulents should have potting soil and roots loosened gently. Plant at the same depth they were originally grown, tamping new soil around them for support. Cover soil with gravel or grit, and allow plants to settle in for a day or two before watering, so broken roots can heal. Never keep succulents wet.

How to Grow Succulents from Cuttings

Many types of succulents, including Agave, Yucca, Sansevieria, Haworthia, Aloe, Echeveria, and Sempervivum, grow in rosettes and are very easy to divide into new plants by cutting off small offsets growing from their base or from short rhizomes. But growing succulents from cuttings is a fast way to get lots of popular long-stemmed and branched succulents including Aeonium, Crassula, Euphorbia, Hoya, Kalanchoe, Sedum, and Senecio.

Growing succulents from stem cuttings is easy. Simply snip off tops or ends of mature stems; the bare stems left on original plants will quickly sprout new stems.

Allow the cut ends to dry and heal over a few days.

When planting succulent cuttings, either wait a few days to insert into new soil, or before watering those you plant immediately. How to plant succulent cuttings without them is rotting is a big problem, but can be avoided by inserting them into a well-drained rooting mix. Any commercial cactus mix or good potting soil can be made better drained by adding coarse sand or perlite; generally a one-to-one ratio of potting soil and drainage material good to start with. 

Growing Succulents from Leaves

Many new plants can be grown very quickly from leaves of Crassula, Stapelia, Opuntia, Graptopetalum, Sedum, and Sansevieria. Some exotic kinds of Kalanchoe are called mother of thousands because their long, succulent leaves often have small entire plants already growing on the tips.

Simply break off plump, mature leaves and insert them a little, stem-tip down, into well-drained potting soil. Keep moist, not wet, and within weeks each will sprout new plants. 

Simple Succulents 03:34

Our expert shares her secrets for growing and selecting succulents.

Next Up

What is a Succulent Plant

Succulent plants, from tropical to cold hardy, come in astounding variety of sometimes bizarre shapes, colors, and unique features; they have fleshy leaves or stems which help them store water for weeks or months.

Succulent Gardens

Succulent gardens, both indoors and out, are interesting, low maintenance, and easy, and contain a variety of sometimes-bizarre plants in many shapes, sizes, colors, and features. The most crucial things they need are bright light, and well-drained soils that never stay wet.

Types of Succulents

Succulent plants offer an incredible array of types, sizes, shapes, colors, flowers, fruits, garden uses, and temperature tolerances, coming from a wide range between tropical jungles, deserts, mountains, and extremely cold climates.

Caring for Succulents

Succulents are pretty low maintenance compared with other garden plants, but do have certain requirements for light, water and fertilizer.

Pruning and Trimming Succulents

Succulent plants often need pruning to remove unruly or overgrown growth, and their dead or dying stems, leaves, and flower stems trimmed.

Growing Succulents Outdoors

Create the right conditions for growing exotic-looking hardy succulents outdoors in an garden, anywhere in the country.

Different Colors of Succulents

Succulent plants come in a vast array of leaf shapes and colors, enough to satisfy the designer eye in any gardener.

Succulent Plants

Succulent plants are those with juicy leaves or stems for holding water through long periods of drought. They come in a vast array of shapes, colors, sizes, unique features, and temperature tolerance, are suitable for growing in dry garden areas or in containers both indoors and out.

Aloe Succulents

Aloe is a large group of succulent plants with rosettes of thick, juicy leaves and bloom spires topped with beautiful clusters of mostly red or yellow hummingbird-attracting flowers. Many popular Aloes tolerate frost or short freezes.

Succulent Wreath and Arrangements

Create a unique living wreath or wall hanging using small types of colorful succulents.

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