There are four main ways to propagate cacti and succulents which I have had experience with and will explain about them here.
There is nothing more rewarding that growing your own cacti and succulents from seed, from the process of sowing the seed to watching them sprout, and grow into cute little miniatures of their adults is the most wonderful thing, and then to watch them grow into fully sized succulent over the following months and years is amazing, there is nothing more exciting for me than to become a cactus and succulent Mummy haha!
If you can provide additional heat and grow lights then seed can be sown at any time of the year, but if you haven’t it is best to wait until the Spring until you sow your seeds when it is naturally warmer and the days are longer, as to get seeds to germinate you need a minimum temperature of about 70-80f.
There are many different ways to grow cacti and succulents from seed and every grower will have his or her own preferred method but out of all the methods I have tried over the years, by far the most successful and easiest has been growing them via the bagged method, its as easy as just sterilizing the soil and water and sowing the seeds and they then take care of themselves for a good few months anyway.
Check out this video below that I have made for my You Tube channel on How to grow cacti from seed:
Check out this video below I have made on How to grow Aloe from seed:
This is the most easiest and quickest way to get more plants from your own or other peoples plants,
When taking cuttings of cacti and succulents it is very different to taking cuttings of other non succulent plants where you just simply snip the cutting and place into soil or water to root.
With cacti and succulents when the cutting has been taken because they store water in their stems, leaves and roots, this makes them very prone to rotting by fungi and bacteria entering the cut surfaces if the cutting is placed directly into soil.
When a cutting of a Cactus or succulent has been taken it is paramount that the cut part has completely healed over and formed a scab called a ‘callus’ this can take anything from a couple of days or a few months depending on the size of the cut part of the cutting. I always prefer to dust over the cut part with Sulphur powder or rooting powder as this prevents fungal spores forming before the cutting has had a chance to heal over and form a callus, especially with large cuttings.
Cuttings are only recommended to be taken during Spring or Summer, and unless an emergency cutting has to be done to save a plant then it is not recommended to take cuttings during the Winter months.
Once the cutting has fully callused and is planted, keep the cutting in a warm and well bright spot and lightly mist the very surface of the soil every few days to encourage the cutting to send out roots, you will know when a cutting has taken root when the cutting fills out and or shows signs of new growth, where you can then water the cutting as normal.
Some growers like to provide bottom heat by the use of a heat pad or propagator to speed up rooting, this is a very good idea although I have had success without using this method.
There are many methods of taking cuttings for all the different types of cacti and succulents.
Here are a few videos below that I have made for my You Tube channel on taking cuttings of Cacti for propagation and you can watch them below:
How to take cuttings of Epiphyllum:
How to pot up and root cuttings of Epiphyllum:
How to save a cactus from rot and take cuttings:
How to pot up and root a tall Cactus cutting:
How to pot up Trichocereus / Cereus cactus cuttings :
This has to be one of the most easiest and fun ways to propagate a lot of the succulents, all you need to do is pull off a leaf or segment and leave the leaf to ‘callus’ over for 2-7 days depending on the size of the leaf, and then place into a well drained potting mix, keeping the soil medium in the pot only just lightly moist, although this is not 100% necessary as many leaf segments will send out roots regardless if the soil medium is kept moist, but personally I find that keeping the top of the soil just lightly moist encourages rooting faster. Keep the leaf segment in a warm and bright spot, you will know when it has taken root when you see signs of new tiny growth from the bottom of the leaf or segment, over time the main leaf used for propagating will die back and the new plant ‘baby’ will continue.
Check out this video below that I have made on How to propagate succulents the easy way:
How to propagate Christmas/Thanksgiving Cactus Schlumbergera :
How to propagate Crassula ovata Money/ Jade plant :
OFFSHOOTS AND PLANTLETS:
Some Cacti and succulents readily produce offshoots and plantlets such as Echinopsis, Rebutias and Mammillaria varieties of cacti, and Aloe’s Haworthia’s, Agave’s, and Gasteria’ Succulents. The popular succulent house plant Kalanchoe daigremontiana more commonly known as ‘Mother of Thousands’ produce many tiny plantlets all along the edges of their leaves, these easily become detached and can be potted up.
Check out a video below that I have made for my You tube channel on How to propagate the Mother of Thousands plant :
Offshoots and plantlets can easily become detached from the parent plant and potted up into their own individual pots as most of these will quite often have roots already on them, however like with all cacti and succulent cuttings, I would still recommend waiting a few days before placing into soil to allow any damage to ‘callus’ over that may have occurred while removing the offshoot from the parent however gently it may have came away from the main plant.