Leaning, wide-leafed succulent with long stalk

by Thomas
(Brooklyn, NY)

Leaning tower of succulent

Leaning tower of succulent

This succulent was given to me, half in the grave. The main stalk grows high, and is tipping over, and the stalk looks brown at the base.

The leaves are broad and I've searched through the photos and descriptions here. I think it is an echeveria. I've read that probably the best way to save it is to cut the stalk with a clean knife above the base, let it sit out and callous over for about three days, and then place in dry soil.

However, in the past, I've just taken succulent pieces and put them in cups of water, and sometimes they grow roots and eventually are ready to be replanted. So, I'm not sure if I should cut this stalk off and let it sit out and dry, or cut it off and put it in a vase of water.

Can anyone help save this plant? Thanks.

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Ah, at last; a challenge! I would agree what you have is some type of Echeveria, and yes, it's possible to save it.

Your ideas about cutting off the top are about what I would suggest, especially about allowing the cuts to callous.

However, I think what you might want to do (as it doesn't really have a top rosette) is to cut each leaf with some stem, and in this way, you'll get a new plant emerging from the axil of the leaf and stem.

I would avoid the water method for two reasons: 1) Echeveria and other succulents have evolved in very dry conditions, so tend to rot if they're immersed in water for any length of time, and 2) the roots that any plant gets from the water glass method are very soft and/or brittle and don't adapt well to being planted in soil, as eventually that must happen.

I think you have a good chance of saving at least one plant from this one, so give it a try - what have you got to lose? This isn't a top quality plant as it is now, so anything will be an improvement.

Happy Succulent Growing!

See also these pages:


How to Grow Echeveria

Succulent Care

Succulent Plant Propagation

Buy the Succulent Plant Propagation e-Book!

Click here to post comments

Return to Echeveria.