One of the best things about keeping succulents is the ease of propagation. For most varieties, a pup, branch, or even a single leaf can make a whole new plant.

Choosing the propagation method

Branch Cuttings

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Many succulents will root easily from a branch cutting. For this type, you can really just cut the branch according to the size of succulent you want to end up with. You can also break off any leaves or lower branches to give you a smooth stem for planting. It’s usually best to let the cutting dry out for a day or two before planting. Then just push the stem into the soil, and that’s it! Your cutting should begin to root within a week or two. If you leave the cutting out longer you’ll likely see bright pink new roots start to sprout from the cutting (see photo above).

Leaf Cuttings

Many succulents can be propagated using a single leaf from the parent plant. I’ve found this works especially well with thicker leaved sedums, graptopetalums, and some kalanchoe varieties. In this case, you simply break a leaf off of the parent plant, right where it meets the stem. It should be fairly easy to break off without cutting. (Hint: If the leaves break off when you barely brush them it is probably going to be great at leaf cuttings. They’re supposed to fall off so easy!) Take your leaves and space them out on a flat tray or cardboard, and put it somewhere out of the sun where they won’t get wet from rain. Now just wait. After a week or so check on your leaves. Some should be starting to get a tiny new growth right at the spot where they were connected to the stem. This new growth is the start of a whole new plant. You’ll still have to be patient. This new plant will slowly absorb the water and nutrients from the leaf as it gets bigger. Don’t separate the new growth from the leaf until the leaf is all shriveled up. By then the new growth might have pink roots coming out of it as well. Once the original leaf is all shriveled, gently separate the new growth and lightly plant it in a potting soil. It’s best to keep new plants out of the sun until they grow a better root system, which can take a couple months.