What are green and perfect for giving to friends or new neighbors? Don’t think hard. Give them beautiful succulent plants!
Succulent plants are those that store water in their leaves and/or stems. Body water keeps them fresh. Cactus is an example of such a plant, though not all cacti are succulents. Other examples are wax plant (Hoya), jade, crown of thorns, and century plant.
There are actually various types of succulent plants such as these ones:
These are just some of the best succulent plants that should help beautify anyone’s home garden.
Propagating succulent plants is actually fairly easy. Cut the leaves, wait for new roots to sprout, let them grow…and it’s done! In just a few steps. Of course, there ought to be some loving maintenance added. But unless the gardener is working under the heat of the sun, it’s basically “no sweat”.
The main advice is to try rooting (at least) two leaves at a time. It’s a kind of fail-safe measure as not every cut leaf results to a whole new plant.
So what are the steps in propagating succulent plants? There are three phases:
Phase 1: Remove and Dry the Leaves
- Pick the best time to propagate. That’s when the plant has become “leggy”. It means the plant is not getting much sunlight and is, therefore, growing longer to find sunlight.
- Take leaves from the bottom of the plant. Leave the younger and smaller ones alone (near the top).
- Start with healthy mother leaves. They have a uniform color, no rip/tear, no spots/marks, and are plump.
- Gently twist the entire base of leaves off the stem below the rosette. Holding leaves by the base prevents breakage.
- Use shears to snip the rosette. Leave a short stem attached.
- Dry the cuttings for three to seven days in an empty tray, under indirect sunlight, until the “wounds” heal. Planting prematurely will only kill the leaves.
Phase 2: Let New Roots Sprout
- Dip the leaves in rooting hormone.
“A rooting hormone is a naturally occurring or synthetic hormone that stimulates root growth in plants…most plant cuttings will naturally produce their own rooting hormones after a short period of time.” (Maximum Yield)
Its main purpose is, actually, to decrease rooting time. It could be in powder, liquid or gel form.
Slightly moisten the end of the leaves using damp towel. Then, dip the end into the rooting hormone. If honey and/or willow extract is available, that/those could replace the rooting hormone. Each is a natural and organic source. They are great as alternatives to the synthetic hormones.
- Immediately place or plant the end of the leaves into a potting soil hole.
- Place the cuttings on top of a shallow tray filled with cactus, succulent soil or damp sand. Succulent plants need well-draining soil.
- Put them by a warm window which is protected from direct sunlight. They still need sunlight, but not directly, especially not until new plants sprout.
- Water the leaves daily, but be careful with giving too much. Use a spray bottle instead, enough to mist the soil. If the location is humid, misting may not be required at all.
- Cover the roots with soil once little pink roots come out (around four weeks).
Phase 3: Replant the New Succulents
- Rid of the withered parent/mother leaves. Remove them carefully so as not to damage the new roots.
- Transplant the succulents once they have taken root. Put them in small pots with drainage holes at the bottom. The pots should first have pebbles placed in the bottom — that’s to make sure of better drainage. Then fill the pot with a succulent mix that consists of sand, perlite and potting soil in 1:1:1 ratio.
- When the new plants are established, switch from daily misting to actual watering. However, only water when absolutely needed. Wait till the soil is dry then water. Do a thorough soaking.
- Move the plants to a location that receives direct sunlight. They’re ready to mature.
Simple and low maintenance and yet, succulent plants are the most beautiful plants one may ever see. They may even be turned into a profitable endeavor by anyone with both a green thumb and an entrepreneurial spirit.
So start breeding succulent plants today.