Have a succulent you really like and want another one or two just like it? Seeds are an option, but I don’t seem to have much luck with that method. Instead, I rely on cuttings and rooting leaves. I googled the subject of rooting succulents and came up with all kinds of directions and methods for starting new plants. I just know what works for me, so I will share with you what I do.

Grapetoveria bella hybrid.

You might must want to trim up a plant that become leggy or just want more specimens of a particular plant. Another reason you might want to root a cutting is because over time the stems on some succulents seem to just play out and wither away. The crown of the plant stays viable but the bottom of the plant, the roots and stem, dry up and die. So the thing to do is cut the good top off and root it. No matter what else you do, the first thing you need to do is let the cut dry up and scab over. This keeps fungus and bacteria from infecting the cutting. And it just makes for a more successful rooting. I usually let mine dry for a day or two and then plant the cutting in my regular cactus soil, a mixture of crushed limestone, composted potting soil, and perlite.


I have had good results from this method, but a variation of that is to not plant the cutting until it has sprouted roots. This may take several days, maybe even weeks. I have never kept track of how long it takes for the roots to show up. Once the roots appear, the cutting can be planted.

Grapetoveria bella and pachyphyllum cuttings.

While I am waiting for those roots to show up, I like to position the cutting so that it is upright; otherwise the crown will start curling up to be upright and makes it awkward to plant when the time comes.

Grapetoveria bella leaves.

Another way to propagate is by letting a leaf sprout leaves and roots. This takes a while, too, but the leaf can just sort of be set aside and forgotten, and then one day, boom! you will see those little new leaves and roots appear, after which you can position it in a pot to take root and grow.

Good luck.