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Propagating Succulents: Do Old Leaves Die Out?

Propagating Succulents Do Old Leaves Die Out
Read time: 5 min.

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Succulents are beautiful plants that are quite popular due to their low-maintenance nature and stunning appearance. Propagating succulents is a fun and rewarding hobby that allows you to expand your collection or share your plants with others. However, many people wonder if the old leaves die out during the propagation process. The short answer is yes.

Anyways, read on to know everything about succulent propagation and the common mistakes that beginners make!

What is Succulent Propagation?

Propagation is the process of creating new plants from existing ones. Succulent propagation is the act of growing new succulent plants from a parent plant. Succulent propagation can be done in various ways, including stem cutting, leaf cutting, division, and seed propagation.

In short, it’s not the commonly taught way of growing from seeds.

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Different Methods of Succulent Propagation

As mentioned earlier, there are different methods of propagating succulents. Common methods include stem cutting, leaf cutting, division, and seed propagation. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and some methods are better suited for certain types of succulents.

We will focus on the method that is most discussed: Leaf Propagation.

Leaf Propagation

Leaf propagation is a popular method of succulent propagation, especially for species such as Echeveria and Sedum. This method involves removing a healthy leaf from a parent plant and placing it on top of soil or sand. The leaf then sprouts roots and a new rosette. The new plant can be separated from the parent leaf and potted individually.

P.S Not all succulents can propagate via leaves, whereas some can only be propagated via offsets.

Does the Parent Leaf Die After Propagation?

Many people believe that the parent leaf dies after propagation. However, this is not entirely true. While the parent leaf may wither and dry up, it does not die 100% of the time. In fact, the parent leaf continues to provide the new plant with nutrients until it can sustain itself. In some cases, the parent leaf is fully integrated with the child’s system and continues to be part of the plant.

It’s important to note that while the parent leaf may play a role in providing initial support and nutrients to the new plant, it is not essential for the long-term growth and survival of the plant. Once the new plant has developed its own roots and is growing well independently, it should be able to continue to thrive even if the parent leaf has withered and fallen off.

Okay, But What Happens to the Parent Leaf After Propagation Most of the Time?

After the new plant has developed roots and a rosette, the parent leaf will wither and dry up. At this point, it is safe to remove the parent leaf from the new plant. However, some succulent enthusiasts choose to leave the parent leaf on the plant as it adds a unique touch to the overall appearance.

How to Propagate Succulents Using Leaves

Propagating succulents using leaves is a simple and easy process that can be done in a few easy steps:

  1. Choose a healthy leaf from a parent plant and gently remove it from the stem. Make sure to remove the entire leaf, including the base. Pros usually recommend wiggling it from side to side for a clean cut.
  2. Place the leaf on top of the soil or sand in a well-draining pot. Mist the soil or sand lightly, making sure not to saturate it.
  3. Place the pot in a bright, warm spot, but avoid direct sunlight. You can use a grow light too to achieve the same results
  4. Wait for the leaf to sprout roots and a new rosette. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the species.
  5. Once the new plant has developed roots and a rosette, you can remove the parent leaf from the plant.
  6. Water the new plant regularly, but avoid overwatering.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Propagating Succulents

While propagating succulents is relatively easy, there are some common mistakes that you should avoid to ensure success:

  1. Overwatering: Succulents are adapted to arid environments and do not require frequent watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues.
  2. Underwatering: While succulents are drought-tolerant, they still require regular watering. Underwatering can cause the plants to wither and die.
  3. Using the wrong soil: Succulents require well-draining soil that allows for proper airflow. Using heavy, compact soil can cause root rot and other issues.
  4. Planting too deep: Succulent roots are shallow, so planting them too deep can suffocate the roots and lead to root rot.
  5. Placing the plants in direct sunlight: While succulents require bright light, placing them in direct sunlight can cause sunburn and damage the plant.

Propagating succulents can be done in various ways. While many people wonder if the old leaves die out during propagation, the truth is that each succulent is slightly different, and it is normal whether or not the parent leaf withers and dries up.

With the right techniques and care, you can successfully propagate succulents and expand your collection.

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