Propagating Succulents

It's easy, fun, AND rewarding

propagating succulent plantPropagating succulents is simple, once you understand the technique.
Erin holds succulentErin Kirkpatrick with a succulent rosette.

Erin Kirkpatrick's work station has become something of a destination here at our headquarters, as fellow employees stop by to see what treasures she's cultivating — especially during the last year, when she starting growing and propagating succulents.

It's hard to believe, but employee-owner Erin K. has worked at Gardener's Supply for 17 years! What started as an after-school telephone sales rep job grew into her current role of Email Program Manager. "Those years working in customer service really helped prepare me for my move to the Marketing Department six years ago," notes Erin.

Erin started growing succulents because she thought they looked cool and intriguing. And she fell in love with some succulent arrangements she had seen online. Although she grows some at home, she grows most of them at work because she has a grow light and a sunny windowsill here. (She has a bigger grow light at home, but saves that for starting seeds for her vegetable garden.)

Propagating the plants was the logical next step for Erin, "because I wanted more."

Erin thought succulents looked cool and intriguing.

This video shows her technique for propagating Graptopetalum superbum.


Care Tips


succulent leaves on soilErin saturates the soil once a week. ("I initially misted the soil, but learned about saturating the soil from a colleague and that sped up the propagation process," says Erin.)


baby succulents growing on leaves in tray of soilYou may start seeing the baby succulent rosettes forming at the ends of the leaves in as little as a week. But note that they are very slow-growing. The little plants in this tray have been growing for about six months!


baby succulents transplanted into potOnce the babies are about the size of a nickel, start potting them up. Gently lift and you'll see roots. Carefully pull the baby off the parent leaf, if it hasn't already died back.

Erin pots up her succulents in a blend of three parts succulent soil, two parts bonsai soil, and one part perlite, "for excellent drainage." She places them on her sunny windowsill or under her grow lights for 13-14 hours per day. She waters the pots about every two weeks in winter, every week-and-a-half in summer.

etiolated succulent with elongated stemWhen choosing succulents to propagate, look for one that is etiolated, or elongated. This plant received insuffient light, so it "stretched" and grew tall, rather than remaining a tight, compact rosette.


mother of millions succulentsMother of millions is another succulent that is super-easy to propagate.

Tiny plantlets form at the tips of the leaves, complete with roots. The little plantlets simply fall off and then grow at base of the mother plant. If the pot gets crowded, Erin pulls some out and pots them up. "It's a self-propagating machine!" says Erin.

mother of millions succulentsMother of millions babies that Erin potted up into new container.


mother of millions succulentsErin keeps many of her plants in her Low Bamboo LED Grow Light Garden.
Related Article: Growing Succulents in Containers

Last updated: 04/26/2023