More than a few succulent enthusiasts have gazed longingly at their favorite plant and wished they could have a whole collection of plants exactly like it. Fortunately, the process of reproducing succulents is neither difficult nor time-consuming in any way. You, too, can breed and spread succulents with a little knowledge and effort. The process of reproducing succulents is rather simple, even for inexperienced gardeners. Whether you want to increase the number of plants in your collection or produce the next great hybrid, succulent reproduction is relatively simple.
Nature’s Way of Succulent Reproduction
Cactus are capable of reproducing both sexually and asexually in their natural environment, and they do so rather frequently. If any of those terms sound familiar to you from middle school science class, you may want to brush up on your knowledge. In plants, sexual reproduction happens when one plant pollinates another, which is typically accomplished with the assistance of pollinators such as bees and other insects. A plant produces seeds after it has been pollinated, which are usually found inside a sort of fruit.
If the plant reproduces without the genes of another plant, this is referred to as asexual reproduction. This occurs in the form of offsets and cuttings in the case of succulents. Despite the fact that cuttings appear to be a more recent way of propagation, they are really found in nature when a plant has been broken or damaged. This enables the succulent or cactus to reproduce even if it has been damaged in some way. Keep in mind that succulents are survivors!
Related: Where And How To Plant Succulents?
Different Methods of Propagation
Succulent reproduction is also known as propagation in modern succulent gardening. This is due to the fact that most succulents are cultivated and produced under the supervision of a professional gardener. Succulents in the wild are left to reproduce by any means required, but domestic succulents are deliberately selected to produce the most unusual and beautiful plants. Here’s a basic rundown of the numerous succulent propagation methods.
Reproduce Through Cuttings
Succulents can also reproduce by leaf cuttings. This happens when a leaf slips off a plant. Gardeners who want to reproduce succulents take leaf cuttings. This is also a fantastic remedy if you inadvertently bump your succulent or knock a leaf or two off.
Leaf cuttings are popular for propagating Echeveria and Sedum. These succulents grow easily from leaf cuttings, although not all succulents do. Cacti, having no leaves, do not reproduce in this way.
Stem cuttings are another popular succulent propagation method. It’s not only a leaf that’s chopped off with a stem cutting. In most circumstances, the original plant is not damaged and can regenerate the excised area. When wildlife or weather destroys a plant, this allows succulents and cacti to propagate.
Succulents reproduce quickly by taking stem cuttings. Because the cutting is essentially a whole plant, it just needs to root. Cacti, which grow slowly, benefit greatly from stem cuttings. Stem cuttings can also be used to trim etiolated or stretched succulents.
Succulents should be propagated by cuttings with care. While this is a natural occurrence in the environment, we want to protect our plants’ health. To ensure maximum safety, take your leaf or stem cuttings with sterile scissors or shears. Allow the wounds to be callous before planting your new cuttings. Taking extra care protects your plant from bacterial and fungal infestations.
Reproduce Through Offsets
Many succulents and cactus species reproduce asexually via offsets. These young plants, also known as offshoots or pups, are exactly what they sound like. They are little plants that grow around the base of older succulents. Succulents like Aloe, Agave, and Mammillaria use this form of reproduction frequently. Although the majority of species produce offsets underground, some succulents, such as Kalanchoe daigremontiana, produce offsets on their leaves.
It is as simple as removing offsets from the mother plant and putting them somewhere to replant them. Succulent puppies can be removed by either cutting them with a clean knife from the mature plant or gently wriggling them loose. Offsets, like cuttings, should be allowed to dry and callous before replanting.
Succulents and cacti, like any other plant, can reproduce sexually by creating and developing from seeds. However, you may have noticed a scarcity of succulent seeds in the seed collection at your local garden center. This is because producing succulents from seeds is unreliable.
Related: How Often To Fertilize Succulents?
A succulent must be cross-pollinated by another plant to generate seeds. Although pollination occurs more frequently in nature, it is more difficult with cultivated succulents, particularly those grown indoors. Some gardeners, particularly those who are interested in hybridization, physically pollinate their succulents in order for them to produce seeds.
Growing succulents from seed, on the other hand, can produce unpredictable outcomes. When you propagate a plant from a cutting or offset, you may be reasonably certain of how the succulent will grow up. You never know what you’re going to get with seeds until they germinate and blossom into something identifiable. Even if you fertilize a plant with pollen from the same cultivar, genetic recombination could result in distinct results.
Furthermore, depending on the conditions in which your seeds are exposed, you could be waiting a very long time. It might take anywhere from a few weeks to a year for seeds to germinate. After germination, you’ll have to wait for the seedling to mature.
Because succulent seeds are so little, they must be handled with care. When watering succulents and cacti, it is easy to wash the seeds away, so take care to keep them from disappearing.
Growing succulents can be done in a variety of ways. Succulent reproduction, on the other hand, is a different matter. For a newcomer, the process might be extremely difficult and even terrifying. The trick is to be brave and determined. Courage and determination let me identify the best techniques to care for my succulents and eventually propagate them successfully in my situation.
All you need to do is be willing to explore and experiment with your plants. Don’t be afraid to fail because it’s a natural part of the process. I’ve previously lost many of my plants due to failure. But it didn’t stop me from testing until I figured out what works and what doesn’t for my succulents. And now I’m going to share it with you on my blog. Happy Planting!