Succulent Plant Propagation E-Book - an excerpt
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One of my most popular of all time e-books is the one I wrote about propagating some of the most intriguing plants ever - succulents. In the book (which is in digital format, so it's instantly available) you will learn about the many facets of growing more with detailed information. Here's an excerpt of one of those facets;
Propagating Your Collection
collection of succulent plants will start innocently enough, with a
gift plant from a friend, a small piece of one handed to you on a
garden tour, or a leaf on the top of the soil in a purchased plant.
You will quickly find that the more you know about these fascinating
plants, the more kinds you want. Propagation of the leaves is so
easy you can get many plants in a small area while they root and grow
into tiny replicas of their parent. This is the slowest method.
cutting, with a small piece of stem and some leaves is the faster
way, and beheading a plant to re-root the nice top rosette of
Echeveria or Graptopetalum the fastest way to get really nice
Lots of healthy happy new plants made from Cuttings.
collected from the arching flower sprays can give you many new
varieties – this is the method by which new types of Echeveria
hybrids are formed.
use all of these methods as you gain in confidence. You will never
get 100% success – even professional horticulturists rarely have
perfect success. I've found I have great results by propagating my
own plants as I have the most control over the health of the parent
plants, however, I would never turn down a small piece of any
succulent plant to try and propagate.
What you will need – pots, soil and tools
The Right Pots and Containers
gardener, indoors or out, seems to accumulate a selection of pots.
Succulent plants having shallow roots require a shorter soil column
in a lower pot or flat to enable the soil to completely dry as
deeper the soil the more risk that the lower levels will stay too
damp and cause the fatal condition of root rot. Over watering is the
number one cause of succulent plant death, so this is a very
important point. Using shallower pots is a definite advantage when
propagating succulents, but use what you have available. I routinely
use 1020 open flats which only have a soil depth of 5cm (2”) or
less, perfect for shallow root systems.
I use a
bagged potting soil which has additional drainage materials in it.
You can use a soilless mix customized for cacti or add more perlite
and pumice to a regular houseplant mix. Avoid any soilless mix which
has added fertilizer, or manure based soils and keep in mind that
Echeveria don't enjoy lime in the soil. Other than that, good
drainage is the mantra.
larger numbers of propagation I use a 1020 open flat, filled to the
top with the soil. Don't use any kind of broken pottery, gravel or
other drainage material as this can actually prevent the water from
draining properly as well as being a management nightmare when you
dump the soil after the propagation cycle.
containers you can use are virtually anything that will hold soil, as
long as there are drainage holes. I've used styrofoam egg cartons,
milk cartons and so on, with a drain hole punched in the bottom, of
course. These work well for a single use, then can be sent to the
any containers you are re-using with a 10% bleach solution to kill
any pathogens, or wash with dish detergent and hot water.
re-use the soil from one cycle to the next – use the old soil in
the garden compost pile or for larger containers to prevent any
pathogens from accumulating.
Tools for successful propagating
knife or sharp scalpel is perfect to slice cleanly through
the stems when taking cuttings or removing a single leaf.
a whole rosette is easier with a sharp pair of bonsai scissors. Aim for a clean
cut without crushing – it's not recommended to use anvil type
pruners for this reason.
your tools is important so as not to contaminate the plants you
propagate. Although most succulents are resilient and pest
resistant, an open wound left from propagating is an open invitation
to pathogens. I use a small container of rubbing alcohol between
cuts to sterilize the tools if I feel that this is necessary.
spade or shovel or a large serrated knife are
perfect for the division of large hardy succulents such as Sedum
There's a lot more where that came from - the Succulent Plant Propagation E-Book. Want your own copy? Buy it here.
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