help with propagation of my crassula
by Joris Vicca
I have a nice crassula buddha's temple.
However the main branch has "broken off" cause it became too top heavy.
I want to root this stem and create a second plant off course :-)
But on the internet I find confusing advices.
so I have a few questions.
On this type of plant is it a smart idea to use "rooting powder"?
Do the 'baby' plants need to be in full sunlight of half?
Is normal cactus soil good to plant them in?
Should I cover the 'baby' plant with a plastic bag?
and I read somewhere that giving the new plants extra nutrition is also a good idea (to give them an extra "boost")
could you help me out?
Hi Joris - all valid questions - so starting
from the top;
Most succulents don't need any hormone to help them root. Many can root from just a leaf, if necessary, and in many cases you'll see little pink roots emerge from near the leaves on the stem. Any plant with this type of aerial roots doesn't need any help, and in fact, the hormones can burn the plant, so I don't recommend it.
Keep the baby plants in bright light but not full sun. Before they grow roots, excessively bright sunlight can dry them out too much. After they root, many succulents thrive in bright morning light, with a bit of shade in the later afternoon.
Normal cactus soil is perfect - they still need good drainage, so any soil with added pumice, gravel or perlite will work in a pinch.
Don't cover the plant. This will lead to moisture building up and condensing on the bag, which can cause rotting. For many other kinds of plants (shrubs and groundcovers like thyme mostly) I do cover the plants, but not succulents.
It's pointless fertilizing cuttings unless you're very careful. Yes, it's true that they can absorb nutrients through their leaves, but they don't have the capacity to utilize them, and in some cases, even a little bit is too much. Wait for them to root and start growing before fertilizing. Then use the 'weakly, weekly' formula; very diluted fertilizer such as compost tea every week until they are healthy. Succulents as a rule don't need much nutrition - they originate in areas where there isn't any available, so they have evolved to get what they require out of the lean soil.
Hope that helps!
More questions? Buy the book!