Succulents are adorable. I don’t know what it is about them, but I soon as I see them, I just get happy inside. I swear they’re smiling at all times. But succulents can also be expensive, which makes me just a little less happy, especially when all I want is to buy about a zillion and cover my windowsills in them. Just when I gave up my dream of having a succulent-rich home, though, I found out about a little trick called propagation. Basically, this means that you double, triple, quadruple – you get the picture! – your succulent collection by just following these easy steps:

  • Get a leaf or a cutting: Maybe you’ve been eyeing your friend’s gorgeous succulent plant, and maybe, just maybe, she decides that she’s generous enough to share that plant with you. What you want to do is take one leaf or a small section – make sure to get a clean cut, no jagged edges here – from the plant. I recommend using a knife, unless you’re feeling super confident. Make sure to grab or cut from the base of the leaf or section of the plant as close to the stem as possible (without actually damaging the stem). Once you’ve got your leaf or cutting, get a little greedy and ask your friend for just a few more. Sadly, it’s not always guaranteed that all of your leaves or cuttings make it to full plants, so it’s good to avoid heartbreak by grabbing a few extra. Your friend will understand – that’s why you love her. 
  • Wait!: You can’t plant your leaves or cuttings right away. Let them dry out for 1-3 days. Basically, you want to see the base of the leaf or stem of the cutting become hard and tough. (Some have described this as the “scabbing” process.) 
  • To soil: Once your leaves and cuttings have toughened up, you want to get them to some soil. The next step depends on whether you have a leaf or a full cutting, though:
     
    1. If you’re propagating leaves, rest them on top of some soil in the pot that you want it to grow in. Don’t actually plant the leaves! Be sure to be diligent about watering your leaves at this point. You don’t want to soak them, but give them a good spritz with a spray bottle. Also make sure to keep them in a well-lit area. You should see the roots start to show and work down into the ground within a few weeks or months and start to grow your new plant!                       
    2. If you’re propagating from cuttings, you’ll actually need to plant your little guys. Place them in a pot of well-drained soil as you would any other succulent. As with your leaves, you’ll want to make sure to water your plant diligently and give it plenty of sunlight.

That’s it! Now all you have to do is sit back and reap the benefits of having baby succulents growing (which is even more adorable than your standard succulent!). And maybe pass the favor on when your plants are ready to donate some leaves or cuttings of their own and make someone just as happy as your friend made you.

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