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If you’ve been bitten by the succulent bug, propagating your succulents is probably on your mind because it’s one way to add to your collection for FREE.
Here in Canada, succulents can be a little bit pricey so I propagate the succulents I already have whenever I can.
However, some varieties of succulent are easier to propagate than others.
I’ve done a lot of trial and error and have come the the conclusion that these are the 6 easiest succulents to propagate if you’re just starting out.
1. Kalanchoe “Mother of Thousands”
Kalanchoe “Mother of Thousands” is a prolific propagator all on its own. This interesting succulent actually produces little baby plantlets all along its leaves without any intervention from you.
Widely considered a weed in places where it grows in nature because of its tendency to reproduce and spread rapidly. Despite this, Mother of Thousands is still a fun succulent to grow, especially in containers and indoors where its spreading isn’t a problem.
This is the true beginner’s plant if you’re new to propagating — when the baby plantlets are ready, they’ll drop off the mother plant’s leaves and all you have to do is find a nice pot or container to plant them in.
Related post: 7 Easy to Grow Succulents for Beginners
2. Burro’s Tail
This sedum variety is the first succulent I ever propagated from leaves. When leaves fall off they’ll often root and start growing new plants all on their own, though you can help things along if you want to propagate Burro’s Tail on purpose.
Take fallen leaves and place them on top in a container filled with damp cactus soil. Within a few weeks your Burro’s Tail leaves should start rooting, and new succulents will start to form soon afterwards.
You can propagate this succulent either from leaves or cutting, both work equally well.
These plants look great in a hanging basket and are easy to care for. Propagating more for extra arrangements isn’t altogether uncommon.
This is another easy one, which makes it a great place to start if you’re new to propagating succulents.
Sempervivum “Hens and Chicks” are a cold-resistant variety that can grow outdoors in most climates in North America (my mom grows these in her garden all the way up here in Canada, and they come back with vigour every year).
The mother “Hen” will produce baby “chicks” from its base in the spring, all on its own. Wait until the chicks start producing roots, and you can separate the babies from the mother and plant them elsewhere. Chicks can also be left to grow next to its mother hen.
If you want to separate your chicks to plant them elsewhere, you’ll need to cut the stem connecting the chick from the hen with a sharp knife before transplanting.
4. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a popular succulent and houseplant that can be propagated from leaves and offshoots. Aloe sometimes reproduces by creating offspring “pups” alongside itself, which can eventually be removed and repotted on their own.
It is much easier to propagate aloe vera by removing its pups, though leaf propagation is an option if you have the patience for it. Leaf propagation has a low success rate, so I recommend against it.
To remove an aloe pup from its parent, you’ll need to remove the dirt from around the base of the pup. If the pup has formed its own roots, it can be successfully removed.
Use a clean knife to cut the pup away from the mother plant, being careful to leave the roots intact. Plant the pup in a container with good drainage and filled with cactus soil and give it a place with good sunlight.
There are mixed opinions on the difficulty of propagating this interesting succulent, but I’ve always had good luck with it so I’m including it here.
String of pearls can be a bit finicky to grow, but it should be relatively easy to propagate.
To propagate string of pearls, cut off a strand about 4” long (or use a broken piece that has fallen off) and stick the cut end into the soil.
Keep the cutting in the shade or out of direct sunlight and don’t over water.
Patience is key, but after a few weeks to months your string of pearls strand should be firmly rooted.
This succulent is very similar to burro’s tail, and is also easily propagated.
To propagate this succulent, remove a few leaves and place them on top of damp cactus soil. In a few weeks, your Jelly Bean plant leaves should start to form roots, and eventually new Jelly Bean plants!
The leaves are quite easily knocked off the succulent (I’ve accidentally broken a few off myself more than once), so you should have lots of extra leaves to start propagating succulents with. It’s only a matter of time before you have lots of Jelly Bean plants to populate your sunny window sill!