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How to Divide and Propagate Succulents


Two years ago one of my students gave me a pot of succulents as a thank you gift.  My love affair with succulents began.  They did well that first summer, then over the winter one of the varieties died and the other two looked not far behind.  I kept them alive until the summer, added a few more to my collection, and got much better at keeping my plant babies happy.

Do your succulents look like they are at death’s door?

First, move them to a sunnier spot.  Second, while succulents don’t need a lot of water, they do need some.  Make sure you water them when the soil is dry.  Don’t fret too much, though.  I’ve been known to go a month without watering mine and they were still fine.  Third, consider switching the soil they are in to cactus soil.  Succulents need soil that drains well, and you can’t mess up if you use that soil.  Finally, when summer comes, move those plant babies outdoors to a south facing spot and let them soak up rain water.  Those few haggard plants turned into this over the summer:

Once it got too cold I put the plants up on the ledge of our south facing bedroom window.  Over the winter, they turned into this:

Time to divide and propagate!!

If you like videos better, here’s a Facebook live I did showing exactly how I clean up my succulents for the year.

The wonderful thing about succulents is that once you have a little collection, you can keep dividing and propagating and never have to buy any more again.  Although, if you do manage to kill yours, Fat Plant Farm in Regina and Duo Plant Studio in Saskatoon are two great local options to get your succulent fix.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Calling all crazy plant ladies! Here’s how to divide and propagate your succulents.” quote=”Calling all crazy plant ladies! Here’s how to divide and propagate your succulents.”]

Cut off the succulent below the root and clean off all the sad looking leaves.  Don’t throw those leaves away!  That’s what you’ll be using to propagate your new succulent babies.

Leave your cuttings to dry out for a day or two to prevent rot.  Then they are ready to pop into a new planter.

Related: Stop Killing Your Succulents and Do This Instead

Learn how to grow and propagate succulents in winter so you never have to buy them again! A step by step tutorial of how to care for and how to plant your indoor succulents from leaves over and over again. #succulents #propagating #indoorplants #indoorsucculents #crazyplantlady

The bigger bits went back into a planter, and the little bits and single leaves go into an egg carton filled with dirt.  You can put 4 or 5 of the smaller leaves in each egg carton segment.  Some of your leaves won’t do anything and some will die.  Others should give you new plant babies in about a month.  It’s really hard not to check them every day to see if one has propagated yet.  Just me?

Enjoy your succulents with this easy pumpkin and succulent arrangement.

Out of that unruly batch of succulents I made two new planters, replanted the old 3 planters, and came out with an 18 count egg carton filled with potential new succulents.  I can’t wait for the summer to see what my new little plant babies will do!  Oh, and if you’re in Saskatoon and area and have a succulent that you don’t want or is looking sad. . . you know where to find me.

Readers, do you have any tips and tricks you’d like to share?  Anyone else share my succulent obsession?

caring for and propagating succulents



Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!